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During Black History Month we recognize the impact African American communities have had in the world we see today. Using the Minnesota Digital Library and Ebooks Minnesota, let's celebrate their diverse voices, experiences, and contributions.

A graphic of the phrase "Black History is World History" in the shape of the African continent.

Black History Month is not a singular narrative, but a vibrant tapestry woven from diverse experiences and voices. Despite facing myriad challenges, African Americans have helped shape America. African Americans play the leading role in the ongoing struggle for civil rights, and their mark on popular culture is undeniable. Resources available in the Minnesota Digital Library and Ebooks Minnesota allow us to explore their experiences and acknowledge their culture, history, and contributions.

The Minnesota Digital Library offers primary sources highlighting and exploring the experiences of African American communities in Minnesota. In addition to photographs and editorials, MDL also offers interviews showcasing African American voices. One such interview features Edward Toussaint, who broke down barriers as the first African American judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Throughout his interview, conducted for the Minnesota Court of Appeals Oral History Project, we learn about his experience growing up in the segregated south. He also shares how the value of education, instilled in him at a young age, motivated him to pursue higher education and ultimately obtain a law degree. To delve deeper into his experience as a trailblazer for future generations, watch his full interview on the Minnesota Digital Library website.

The United States we see today would be unrecognizable without the centuries of contributions made by African Americans. Ebooks Minnesota’s collection offers us a window into African American  individuals and communities. James Robenalt's "Ballots and Bullets" examines the civil rights movement, detailing major events and drawing parallels to present-day efforts. His book also spotlights key figures, like Martin Luther King Jr., and the lasting impact of their endeavors. In "Keep on Pushing," Denise Sullivan analyzes the relationship between the civil rights movement and music, exploring how artists used lyrics to communicate their experiences and fight discrimination. Their music mobilized communities towards a common goal by highlighting the grievances and challenges they shared. Explore these and other valuable resources available on Ebooks Minnesota.

Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity to lift up African American voices while recognizing their contributions to the fight for equality. As we strive towards an equitable society, we must acknowledge those who laid the foundations and continue to shape our world.

Written by

Jesus Maldonado Sanchez
Marketing & Communications Generalist

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