DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Feb 10 2012

Stories for African American History Month

by Patricia D

I think history is best taught through stories. Facts and dates are fine for knowing, but it is through story that we can best come to a deeper understanding of what those facts and dates mean. I think that’s why genealogy is such an addictive hobby—the facts are easier than ever to track down with all the tools available on the Internet (sites such as  Heritage Quest, Ancestry and Rootsweb) but it takes going to the place, finding the people who know the stories that go with those facts, for the facts to matter—at least that’s how it works for me. In honor of the month, I’ve pulled together a list of children’s titles that I think give heart and that deeper understanding to various points of African American history.  Most of these are picture books, a few are novels. This list is by no means comprehensive, just some things I’ve loved over the years.   The DCPL collection is loaded with lots of wonderful non-fiction for children, as well as for adults,  so once you’ve cruised through my list, type  “African americans literature” in the keyword search section of the catalog and browse the collection.  Don’t forget to use the word juvenile in the keyword search to narrow the selection down to children’s materials.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Effie C. February 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Thanks Patricia. The stories relate the richness of the ancestry. This weekend I read Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates for a children’s literature class. Elizabeth Yates ‘ biography of Amos Fortune is an excellent book for children and adults. I also used DCPL’s genealogy database HeritageQuest to look up Amos Fortune. Mr. Fortune is reflected in the 1790 census report.

T. Strong February 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Wow…Effie, that’s great, finding a free person of color in the very first census. How exciting that is!!!

Thanks PD for the list. I guess I need to get started.

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