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20 Books on Black History to Read Beyond February

Many don’t know this, but Black History Month has a history all its own. It began as Negro History Week nearly a hundred years ago in 1926, and then developed to the full month in 1970 in the United States. Now, people of all colors and creeds celebrate the famed month worldwide. I always enjoyed finally getting to learn about Black historical figures in school once February rolled around, but felt saddened that they seemed to be cordoned off in their own little section of the school year, as if Black history is not directly intertwined with the legacy of the United States as a whole.

We need to advocate for the celebration and study of Black history year-round—both in our school systems and in our personal lives.  So, let’s begin by taking a small (but crucial) step: remembering the power and resistance of Black history throughout the year by delving into the fantastic pieces of literature available to us on the subject. The twenty books on this list are a great place to start, reminding readers both of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve left to do.