Monday, February 1, 2016

Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African-American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African-Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African-Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history. 

To commemorate this historic month we are hosting Mark McCormick, Executive Director of The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM), for Coffee with the Curator on February 18. 

McCormick is on his second tour of duty as Executive Director of TKAAM, but was trained as a journalist. He is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning writer and editor. He also serves as a trustee on two journalism boards (The University of Kansas and Wichita State University) and has been a Professional in Residence at the Gaylord School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. McCormick is featured in a documentary about WSU's efforts to acquire the collected works of trailblazing photographer, author, and filmmaker Gordon Parks, who grew up in Ft. Scott. 

Recently, McCormick and a team of professors and students published a photo history of African Americans in Wichita, tracing the presence of black residents from the city's founding all the way to the election of the city's first black mayor. Other authors of the book include Dr. Robert Weems, Dr. Jay Price, Dr. Gretchen Eick, Carole Branda, Abril Marshall and Mark Strohminger. For more information on TKAAM, please visit their website at

To celebrate with our younger visitors, we will be reading The Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt during Pre-K Passport on February 8. Visit our Facebook page for more information about our educational programs and events happening this month.

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