Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is it time to move past Black History Month?

My answer is NO. What’s wrong with having a month that celebrates your culture? What’s wrong with having a month that informs the world about Black history?

This year I signed up to be a girl scout leader. I thought it would be a fun way to spend time with my daughter. At our last meeting I decided to talk about a local Black History. One lady I admired growing up was Julia Davis. She was a local historian who made it her business to keep the Black history known at the public libraries.

My girls had heard of her name but only because a library had been named about her. They didn’t know who she was. Why?

I think its because there is so much the teachers have to teach during the year, they don’t have time to touch on everything. Which is why I believe Black History Month is important, during this month, they can make time to focus on the history of Black Americans.

If this wasn’t Black History month, the girls probably wouldn’t have heard about Julia Davis. Until all history is taught in school, Black History month will always be needed.


Julia Davis was born in 1891, attended Sumner High School, Normal School, and Stowe Teachers' College and became an educator and historian of black history in St. Louis. Since 1941, she has organized the annual Negro history exhibit at the St. Louis Public Library. She served on the National Education Association Committee on Teacher Education and Professional Standards, as secretary for the St. Louis branch of the Association For Childhood Education, and has been active in other educational organizations. She retired as a public school teacher on November 20, 1961.

Dr. Julia Davis, established the Julia Davis Fund at the St. Louis Public Library in 1961 on the day she retired from teaching in the St. Louis public school system. The fund, designated for the purchase of literature by, for and about African-Americans, has provided for the acquisition of more than 2,000 volumes.

The Julia Davis Collection is housed in the beautiful Great Hall of the Central Library at 13th and Olive Streets downtown. On April 21, 1974, the St. Louis Public Library made history by dedicating a branch to a living person - Dr. Julia Davis. This branch houses the same volumes found in the Central Library and is the site for many African-American cultural activities held throughout the year. This library was on Naturalbridge.

Julia Davis gave the Julia Davis Research papers to the Black History Research Project from October 1980 to April 1981for permanent preservation at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-St. Louis at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. Julia Davis continued to donate material through October 1988.

Do you think we should move past Black History Month?

1 comment:

Rhonda McKnight said...

No, our history has been so deeply buried that we all still have alot to learn. It's not happening in the public school system. If we can learn about one more great black person every year it's worth hosting annually.