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Black history

African-American Musicians and Music

Celebrate African American history month by reading about African American music and musicians. 

We shall overcome: the story of a song by written by Debbie Levy ; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Harlem's little blackbird by Renée Watson ; illustrated by Christian Robinson

Hey, Charleston!: the true story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band by Anne Rockwell ; illustrated by Colin Bootman

Charlie Parker played be bop [kit] by Chris Raschka

Bessie Smith and the night riders by Sue Stauffacher ; illustrated by John Holyfield

Movies for Black History Month

Amistad [videodisc] by DreamWorks Pictures in association with HBO Pictures ; produced by Steven Spielberg


The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman [videodisc] by Tomorrow Entertainment, Inc


Boycott [videodisc] by produced by Preston Holmes


Daughters of the dust [videodisc] by a Geechee Girls production


Down in the Delta [videodisc] by Miramax Films and Showtime present an Amen Ra Films and Chris/Rose Productions production


Get on the bus [videodisc] by Columbia Pictures presents a 15 Black Men production in association with 40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks ; a Spike Lee joint

African American History

The month of February has been set aside to celebrate the contributions of the country's African Americans. It was in 1926 that  Negro History Week was first organized by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) and others. During America's Bicentennial celebration in 1976, the one-week span was lengthened to four and February was established as Black History Month.  The Canton Public Library has a vast amount of resources for and about African Americans.

Books: Reference

I Believe I Can Fly!

In commemoration of Black History Month we are celebrating some of Black America’s firsts in aviation and aerospace. Through the month of February, stop by and view our display case near the Receptionist Desk highlighting some of these pioneering aviators. From the first known Black pilot to the youngest African American (12 yrs) flyer. Their lives and stories are a celebration of the human spirit and an inspiration to all that against all odds and great adversity you can achieve your dream… you can touch the sky! To learn more about blacks in aviation visit some of these exciting resources:

African American Biographies

African Americans are at the heart of the greatest achievements of our history, from music to law, from politics to sports, from literature to religion.

The Great Michigan Read 2011-2012

The Michigan Humanities Council is proud to feature Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age as the 2011-12 Great Michigan Read. Written by Detroit native Kevin Boyle, Arc of Justice tells the story of African American Dr. Ossian Sweet and the chain of events that occurred after he purchased a home for his family in an all-white Detroit neighborhood in 1925.

Black History Month Family Films

Start some family discussions by watching one of these five films.

Remember the Titans — The story of how school integration affects a football team and its coaches.

Akeelah and the bee — Akeelah overcomes a distracting home life to participate in the national spelling bee

The princess and the frog — New Orleans waitress Tiana's plans to own her own restaurant are sidelined by some unusual developments of an amphibian nature.

Black Americans Making Their Stamp on History

In honor of Black History Month stop by and view our display case near the receptionist desk. It includes an authentic USPS Black Heritage stamp collection and portraits on loan from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Also showcased are just a few of the many Black Americans that have given their lives to shape our world through leadership, inventions, medicine, arts & entertainment, civil rights, sports, education, and more.

Check out our wide selection of materials including books, videos, CD’s and cassette tapes noting the achievements and notable moments in history of those of African descent. Let’s celebrate Black History Month together here at your Canton Public Library!
(image from Kevin Fell at HOZA)

African American Genealogy Resources

African American genealogy can be challenging for many people researching their family histories. African American Genealogy is a special collection designed to help researchers get a start. 

African American Geneaology

African American genealogy can be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor for those researching their families. Information retrieval can be complicated by such things as lack of former slave and census records, and change of surnames. Luckily, there are many African American genealogy resources written to help researchers overcome the potential hurdles.