Monday, February 1, 2016

February is African American History Month

The theme for 2016 African American History Month is "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories." 
The theme was announced on the web site of Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), the founders of the annual celebration.

They explain that "One cannot tell the story of America without preserving and reflecting on the places where African Americans have made history." Some sites mentioned are the Kingsley Plantation, DuSable’s home site, the numerous stops along the Underground Railroad, Seneca Village, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Frederick Douglass’ home. 

We have an important site right in Reading that tells the history of African Americans in Reading and Berks County--the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum. The museum houses a collection of the most comprehensive information about the history of African Americans in our area. It is located in the former Bethel AME Church at 119 North Tenth Street in Reading. The church housed former slaves and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. 

The Yocum Library has displays of DVDs and books honoring the lives and history of African Americans. Stop in to see what's in the exhibit. As items are checked out, others are added, so make sure you check back every time you're in or check the library catalog for items not on display, including Through the Eyes of Local African Americans: Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement in Reading and Berks County, Pennsylvania (E185.615.T47 2015).