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A timeline of important events in black history that took place in February: February 25, 1870: Hirman R. Revels of Mississippi was sworn in as first African American U.S. Senator and first African American representative in Congress. February 4, 1913: Rosa Parks (née Rosa Louise Mccauley) was born. February 18, 1931: Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), author of Beloved and Sula, was born on this day in Lorain, Ohio. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. February 9, 1944: Novelist Alice Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia. Walker wrote the iconic novel, The Color Purple. February 8, 1986: Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show. February 27, 1988: Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal (bronze) at the winter Olympic games. February 11, 1990: Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist is released from a South African prison after being detBlack history is American history. In February of each year, we pay special attention to and celebrate Black, or African American, history. We “honor the lives and history of African descendants now living in other parts of the world,” (Issitt 2020). We celebrate the many powerful, beautiful, and important ways that black people have made this country, and the world, a better place. We encourage everyone to read and learn more about it with their family. 

Looking for a starting place to learn more about black history? There are some significant events that took place in February. We've included a brief timeline on the right!

To find out more information about these historical figures and events, follow the links to the Harris County Public Library website: 

Call your local library branch to place holds on books or movies and schedule a curbside pick up! And check out all of these great virtual events happening this month! 

Click on the book covers below to visit our catalog and learn more!
Cover of a Black Womens History of the US


Cover of Defining Moments in History


Cover of Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls


Cover of the ABCs of Black History


Cover of Black Music


Issitt, Micah. “Black History Month.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020. EBSCOhost, 

Header Image created in Canva by LeeAnn Jennings - Children's Program Specialist

Links and information compiled by Janny Tram, Adult Program Specialist, using

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