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Black History Month


February is Black History Month (African-American History Month) in America. A tradition since 1976, but its history goes back to the 1920s. And its origins were quite humble.

It all started with a historian named Carter G. Woodson. The son of former slaves, Woodson rightly noted that African-American history and contributions were not only overlooked and ignored but actively suppressed in textbooks and by teachers. So he proposed the idea of a "Negro History Week," which was to be observed the second week of each February. Black History Month is an annual celebration of African-American achievement and history.

In honor of Black History Month, I took a reading ride with LaTonda Fennell Cherry as she shared on social media a book a day, the month of February, that encourages us to learn more about the history of African Americans. LaTonda is the great niece of Clarice & Romey Fennell, Jr.

Romey was the first Black principal in the Plainview Independent School District. He first led Booker T. Washington and then principled Lakeside. It was a privilege to volunteer through PTA on his campus.

Clarice taught second grade at Booker T. Washington, and in 1967, with segregation, she moved to Edgemere, where she continued to teach second grade, Room 104, for forty-five years. She retired in 1999. 

Black History Month ended with the last day of February, but learning about African Americans continues because our friends and neighbors make history every day.

We must teach our children and families about the movers and shakers who impact our world. To celebrate Black History Month's success stories, we chose to purchase each book on LaTonda's recommended reading list for the Unger Memorial Library in honor of Clarice and in memory of Romey, great educators who dedicated their lives to Plainview's children. Thank you to all of the Fennell family for your incredible legacy.

Phyllis Wall presents the booklist books to the Plainview Unger Memorial Librarian Cynthia Peterson, who shared the books will be on the shelves by mid-March. Enjoy!!!





The list includes:

1. Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America's First Female Firefighter

2. Teammates

3. Shirley Chisolm Is a Verb

4. The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

5. The Teachers March!: How Selma's Teachers Changed History

6. The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

7. Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

8. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

9. Sing a Song: How to Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations

10. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X

11. What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors

12. The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne

13. Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight

14. Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!

15. Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson

16. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

17. Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment

18. Fearless Mary: Mary Fields, American Stagecoach Driver

19. Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama's Inspiring and Historic Presidency 

20. Segregated Skies: David Harris's Trailblazing Journey to Rise Above Racial Barriers


Bonus Books:

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem

Stacey's Extraordinary Words

Mae Among the Stars

Tar Beach

Henry's Freedom Box

The Other Side

The Story of Ruby Bridges



Check these books out at Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, Texas.