Dreams and the Human Spirit: Black History Month 2023

The theme of Black History Month 2023 is Black Resistance. 

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History reminds us that “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores.”  

Librarians are proud to continue the tradition of resistance by providing free educational tools, services, programs, and support to our communities. By continuing to support banned books, and open access to information for all. By holding culturally relevant celebrations, and honoring marginalized, silenced, and own voices. 

This month at Contra Costa County Library branches we’re featuring Black art, history, films, music, storytelling, quilting, and more. We share two new booklists curated by our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Black Girl Rising, inspired by the children’s book of the same name and featuring books that joyously celebrate Black girls; and Shut Up & Dribble: A Black Resistance Booklist, where we shine a spotlight on Black athletes and Black athlete/authors. “Serena Williams, Flo Jo, Jesse Owens, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Jackie Robinson, Colin Kaepernick, Simone Biles, and many others have used their public forum to bring awareness to issues that affect society as they resisted the idea that they cannot or should not speak about political, cultural, or social issues. Black athletic activists have often suffered personal and economic consequences due to their stances, speech, and actions, but to them it has been worth it to see changes.” We honor those Black athletes who use their voices to share stories to uplift and inspire others to be the change.  

Contra Costa County Libraries are proud to celebrate Black History, today and every day. We welcome you to join us.