Black History Month Commemorates February Through Reading

Vy Thai, Entertainment Writer

Americans have celebrated Black History Month for fifty-two years. Preuss has always recognized and celebrated this month-long event through various activities in separate classes. Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality etc., anyone can participate in this celebration. One way is to read books written by African-American authors.

One well-known book is Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This memoir was released in August 2014 and is about growing up as an African-American in the 1960s and 1970s. During the 60s to 70s, African-Americans were dealing with the result of Jim Crow laws but they were also contributing to the Civil Rights Movement. In this book,Woodson talks about how she realizes her dreams and speaks out for herself.

Another good read is called, How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons. This story follows a young, twelve-year-old girl named Ella, who leaves her hometown in South Carolina to visit Boston, where her mother resides. She has never known her father and what she discovers is jaw-dropping. She realizes how Boston is completely different than South Carolina and when she returns, Ella finds out that her friend has been accused of murder.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a classic. This realistic novel describes the life of an African-American teenage girl that is involved in racism, police brutality and activism. After her African-American friend was murdered by the police, she learned that because of her skin color, people will treat her differently. This novel was published in February 2017 and a movie released following this story in 2018.

Last but not least, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi is also a great recommendation. This book is about a girl named Ebony-Grace who is passionately in love with science fiction. This story starts off in Huntsville, Alabama, where her grandfather is one of the first African-American engineers to integrate NASA. When Ebony-Grace has to leave and move-in with her father in Harlem, she is anxious about the new environment. Soon enough, she finds that Harlem is an amazing place to explore her vast imagination of sci-fi adventures.

These four books are of the hundreds of thousands of other African-American-authored books. To show love and support for the African-American community, there is so much more to do. Reading a book or two can show what struggles African-Americans go through and how their community supports them. Reading benefits everyone and by reading these books, dedicated authors are recognized for their work as well as their community.