In 1925, the historian, Carter G. Woodson, called for a week-long celebration to recognize the contributions of African Americans in the development of our country. Negro History Week was celebrated for the first time in 1926 and expanded to a full month in 1976, the year of our nation's sesquicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."
This year, the tradition continues. In the presidential proclamation issued by the White House on January 31, 2018, a special theme was designated commemorating the contributions of African Americans in Times of War. To educate and inform the public about the significant contributions of African Americans in combat, the National Archives has assembled an extensive list of resources called Blacks in the Military.
We at the Harris County Law Library hope to do our part in honoring National African American History Month. We'd like to call greater attention to the many notable African Americans who have played such crucial roles in shaping the law and achieving civil rights. With a special exhibit, we honor the first African American to rise to the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court and perhaps the most influential African American lawyer in U.S. history -- Justice Thurgood Marshall.
An exhibit commemorating the extraordinary life of Justice Marshall will be on display in the Law Library lobby throughout the month, and a digital exhibit is available on the Law Library's website.
For additional digital resources celebrating African American history and the remarkable life of Justice Thurgood Marshall, please visit the following sites:
Biography.com -- Thurgood Marshall: A Justice for All (VIDEO)
Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture