Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
Research has found that the proportion of young people who are daily readers drops has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to some studies, since 1984, the percentage of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers dropped from 70% to 53%. Even worse, the percentage of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers fell from 64% to a startling 40%. It’s jarring news. Therefore, I’m sharing my list of reading recommendations. Here are a few titles that had an impact on my life and that every African-American should read.
The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that African-Americans of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, he claims, causes African-Americans to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. He challenges his readers to become autodidacts and to “do for themselves”, regardless of what they were taught: History shows that it does not matter who is in power… those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end.
The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B DuBois, Ph.D.
This landmark book is a founding work in the literature of black protest. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) played a key role in developing the strategy and program that dominated early 20th-century black protest in America. In this collection of essays, first published together in 1903, he eloquently affirms that it is beneath the dignity of a human being to beg for those rights that belong inherently to all mankind. He also charges that the strategy of accommodation to white supremacy advanced by Booker T. Washington, then the most influential black leader in America, would only serve to perpetuate black oppression.
The Reverend Clarence E. Stowers, Jr. was born on December 2, 1966 to Dr. Clarence (deceased) and Margaret Stowers, Sr. in Evanston, Illinois. He began his spiritual pilgrimage at Mars Hill under the leadership of Dr. Clarence E. Stowers, Sr. He accepted his call to preach the gospel in 1991 and was licensed and ordained at Mars Hill. In May of 1999, he succeeded his father as the pastor of the historic Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago. Mars Hill has experienced phenomenal ministry growth under his visionary pastoral leadership. Since his ministry there, more than 1500 souls have been saved and united with the church. In 2004, Mars Hill was awarded the Church Health Award from Rick Warren and Saddleback Church. Mars Hill is an innovative, multicultural, and soon-to-be multi-site church. With membership now exceeding 2200, it is one of the fastest growing churches in the Midwest. Pastor Stowers shares his life and ministry with his gifted wife, Lady Shauntai Stowers and three children, Myles, Joshua and Lauren. Follow Rev. Stowers’ blog, The Urban Pastor or check out Mars Hill’s website.