The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) was founded
by historian Carter G. Woodson in late 1915, partly in response to the epic
film The Birth of a Nation, whose great success many believe inspired
the second incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan that year. ASNLH would provide a
vehicle for Negro intellectuals who were unwelcome within the unofficially
segregated American Historical Association to use scholarship to refute
perjorative ideas about their people during this "nadir of race relations"
in our country.
In 1926 Dr. Woodson created Negro History Week, to publicize Negro achievement.
It was held during the second week of February, in honor of the birthdays
of President Abraham Lincoln and slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
A half century later, ASNLH was rechristened the Association for the Study
of Afro-American Life and History (ASAALH) and Negro History Week was remade
into Black History Month, presumably reflecting expanding confidence born
of the dramatic political and social reforms of the 1960s.
The public library the Society shelters in Buchanan's Historic Courthouse
includes many items related to Black History. This includes the 5-volume
Reference Library of Black America in the non-circulating
reference section as well as numerous circulating items, including 8 volumes
of the series
Great African Americans for youngsters. The librarian can direct
you to more resources, including books, CDs & video.
This year the Haralson County Historical Society celebrates Black History
Month with a one-time trial subscription to a new Internet-based resource:
the Oxford African American Studies Center, a new project of Britain's
Oxford University Press.
Now through 18 February, the Society invites the community to visit the
public library in Buchanan and help us evaluate this emerging resource, to better
determine whether it is something whose subscription cost is worthwhile here.
The library staff will be happy to help you gain access this facility, and
will be grateful for your feedback. The Society would especially appreciate
personally identified written opinions, that we might engage the authors in
Haralson County may have a small Black community, but we feel the history
of our nation and especially our region is forever entwined with the history
of Black people, and we hope to encourage all interested Haralsonians to come
forth and help us explore this aspect of our common - and often painful - past.
For a limited inspection of the Oxford African American Studies Center,
visit its web site at:
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