Celebrate Black History Month: Historical Figures and Civil Rights Heroes

The month of February is Black History Month in the United States. Check out a biography about a black historical figure or civil rights hero to learn more about their lives.

Biographical sketches chronicle the contributions of enslaved and free blacks during the Revolutionary War, including Prince Hall, who organized the first branch of black Freemasons, and Richard Allen, who founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"Describes the life and contributions of Crispus Attucks during the American Revolution"--.

Shares the life of the abolitionist, including his life as a slave, how he learned to read even though it was illegal for him to do so, and his work speaking out against slavery.

"Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away"--.

Describes the peaceful protest organized by teenager Barbara Rose Johns in order to secure a permanent building for her segregated high school in Virginia in 1951, and explains how her actions helped fuel the civil rights movement.

I am Rosa Parks by Rosa Parks

The black woman whose acts of civil disobedience led to the 1956 Supreme Court order to desegregate buses in Montgomery, Alabama, explains what she did and why.

A biography of the powerful leader in the struggle for blacks to acieve equality.

"Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis. John wants to be a preacher when he grows up a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm's flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice. Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story, featuring Jabari Asim's stirring prose and E. B. Lewis's stunning, light-filled impressionistic watercolor paintings, includes an author's note about John Lewis, who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and is now a Georgia congressman"--.

Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.

"Booker T. Washington had an incredible passion for learning. Born a slave, he taught himself to read. When the Civil War ended, Booker finally fulfilled his dream of attending school. After graduation, he was invited to teach in Tuskegee, Alabama. Finding many eager students, but no school, Booker set out to build his own school--brick by brick"--.