African-American History Month Book Giveaway


Thanks to everyone who entered. I saw a lot of new names and appreciate all the beautiful things that were shared in comments. I hope you all will come back again for future giveaways. I wish I could say everyone wins, but I can choose only three. In the interests of keeping things totally fair, I used to select the winners. I enter everyone’s names in the order in which they commented. scrambles that list and the names it gives me in the #1, #2, and #3 slots are my winners.

Those winners are:

  1. Alyson
  2. Martha Lawsosn
  3. Alyce


Congratulations! Winners will be contacted via E-mail for their shipping address so their prize can be sent. Thanks again to all who entered and to the ever generous Hachette Book Group for making this possible.


When I was a child, “African-American History Month” was called “Black History Month”… I guess they changed it to be politically correct.

Most of my classmates hated history class in the month of February. In February each year, we read the same stories we had read the year before about Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver. The hallway bulletin boards were always a strange mix of Valentine hearts and African American heroes.

Our town was like many small, suburban towns, with very few minority families. We ignorantly wondered aloud, “Why do black people get their own month? White people don’t have a month!” … A brave black classmate named James once replied, “Sure you do. In fact, you got eleven of ’em.”

I’m sure at the time we didn’t appreciate the depth of what our classmate James had said, but years later I would remember it and realize that from that young age, he was already seeing the world differently than his white classmates. Now I think back on “Black History Month” and try to see it through James’ eyes, and the eyes of the other minority kids at our school. It must have felt good to finally turn to those hidden chapters in the History text book and hear the teacher speak with admiration of those more familiar faces.

And today, how far we’ve come. Children no longer have to wait for February’s history class. Today, they can pick up a newspaper or turn on the T.V., and see history writing itself before their very eyes.

In honor of “African-American History Month”, in honor of those past, present and future who will be read about in history books for years to come, Hachette Book Group, has asked if I would like to host a book giveaway.


Here are the prizes:

Each winner will receive a copy of each of the following books:

1. The American Journey of Barack Obama By The Editors of Life Magazine
2. Fledgling By Octavia Butler
3. Stand the Storm By Breena Clarke
4. Red River By Lalita Tademy
5. Keep the Faith: A Memoir By Faith Evans
6. Say You’re One of Them By Uwem Akpan
7. The Shack By William Young
8. The Bishop’s Daughter By Tiffany Warren

That’s 8 books!

Here are the rules:

1. Leave your name and valid E-mail address in the comments. (You do not need to put your E-mail address in the actual comment – in the E-mail field is good enough. I just need to be able to contact you in case you are a winner.) One entry per household.

2. In your comment, tell me anything relevant to this topic. It can be a memory of Black History Month, (as I have shared), a personal story of race relations, your hopes for the future, etc.

3. I will choose 3 winners. Each winner will receive all 8 books.

4. United States and Canada only, please. You must be able to provide a shipping address for your prize when I contact you via E-mail. No P.O. Boxes allowed. You also grant me permission to share your address with Hachette Book Group – (they send the prize directly.) Your name, E-mail address and shipping address will not be used for anything else.

5. Contest ends Sunday, February 15th, 2009. Winners will be announced on this same blog post and contacted via E-mail Monday, February 16th, 2009.



Filed under About me, books, contest, culture

25 responses to “African-American History Month Book Giveaway

  1. Hi, Tee.

    I always remember Black History Month being weird. In elementary school I remember hating having those Black History month discussions mainly because I would be the only black kid in my class and if there was more than one I was the most outspoken. I hated feeling like I had to speak on behalf of all black people. I also hated reviewing the same 5 or 6 black figures (MLK, Rosa, Harriet, Carver, CJ Walker), but never Marcus Garvey or Malcolm. There was just more history than we weren’t being exposed to. Now I know better and have read enough on my own to put myself in a position to share what I’ve learned with my younger family members who may share some of my same hang ups about Black History Month in a majority white public school.

    E-mail… wiledout00 at aol dot com

  2. Hey Tee,

    You know in Canada we don’t really have a “Black History Month” but growing up we always had teachers who would share these stories with us. While Canada has been known to be a multi-cultural mosaic we all too often follow only “White Angl0-Saxon” traditions.

    I have to say the day that Barack Obama became president, I felt a relief come over me. It seems that Canada and the US are so closely related we often forget. The economy is on a down-turn here too… ever since Bush took over, we’ve felt threatened too.

    I always think of that children’s hymn “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, we’re all precious in his sight, because Jesus love the children of the world”

    Although it seems we only choose to remember this in February month I think that there’s hope for a tomorrow when acceptance is the norm where we don’t need a “black history month” and people are simply loved and accepted for who they are.

    I love the book “to Kill a Mockingbird” I think that was my first introduction as an adult to what it must have been like to be a black person in the southern states during that era. I think as humans we have a responsibility to just be kind… regardless of colour.

    So I guess I don’t have just one memory to share but a feeling that we are becoming an accepting nation. We’re becoming an accepting world, we need to keep trudging forward.

  3. Linda

    I guess that I am old enough that I don’t remember Black History Month, or perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention. Now I am a homeschooler and this year I am teaching a class at my co-op called American Biographies. Each week we learn about a different American who made an impact. So, this month we will focus on some notable African-Americans. While we will study George Washington Carver, we will also learn about a couple of lesser known people–Sojourner Truth and Benjamin Bannneker. I am excited about sharing the stories of these amazing people who overcame adversity to make a difference.

  4. Growing up in a predominately white rural area, I didn’t go to school with anyone other than white kids until I was 13 and entered 8th grade at the consolidated county school. Unfortunately, the lines of racism were drawn so deep, that by the time we got to high school, there was very little interaction between white and black kids

    When I went away to school in metro-Detroit, I was thrust into a new environment where I was the minority (in my dorm, I was the only ‘white girl’ on my floor). That semester, I made some great friends with girls that I never would have met outside of school–or outside of the dorm environment. We hung out, talked for hours at a time, compared our respective sorority antics, ate tons of pizza and taco bell, and would wave at each other as our paths crossed during the day on campus. I learned so much that year that I will always consider it one of the best experiences of my life.

  5. Christy

    What a wonderful giveaway!

    I was just a young girl with Martin Luther King was assassinated and I remember what an impact that event made in my life.

  6. xoeskie

    I believe that this really is a new day. We, as black
    Americans, are a living manifestation of everything that slaves longed for, prayed for, and died for.

    With the election of Barack Obama, the world sees “black” in a new light – powerful, successful, leader, dignified, confident, smart, diplomatic, warm, genuine, loving, engaged family man, and open.

    We have our predecessors to thank for allowing us to stand on their shoulders, those who sacrificed the little they had so we could have something.

    A month to celebrate the contributions of black Americans is not nearly enough. I hope that text books will be written to encompass the various contributions that black Americans have made to build this United States and allow it to prosper.

    I’m excited about what the future holds for black americans, and the world.

  7. mindy

    although i am not black i grew up in the boroughs of new york, i never associated anyone with race everyone was just a person. i guess a lot of areas where different in the sixties and seventies and some areas still are but as i have said many times we all bleed red

  8. Kathy D

    My sister homeschools and is always looking for great books…. I am adopting out of foster care and I plan to adopt the child God has for me no matter or race so my sister cqan give them back to me for my child someday

  9. kim v

    My favorite teacher was an African American woman who was married to a white man and had a biracial son. This was in the 70’s so it stood out, but it taught me that color shouldn’t matter.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Yay for give aways! Our back neighbors in my parent’s home in Florida are a husband and wife who are black and white respectively. I never have thought anything of it, t hey have three beautiful children and are nice neighbors. They came back one day from a walk down a rural path with pale faces and frightened eyes. When my dad asked why he said that some people in pick up trucks followed them down and jeered at them the whole way calling them racial slurs. I can’t believe this still happens to this day. My parents live in a metro city and the news was shocking to us though more so to them. I think that MLK’s dreams are coming closer to reality, but incidents like that remind me that we have a long way to go.

  11. Becky

    I remember being a little girl, and my next-door neighbour was a nice, African-American girl named Nicole. I’d always go over and play on her swing set, play dolls, watch TV, etc. I’ll never forget the day I learned what “race” was. My parents told me how nice it was that I had a “black” friend. I understand they grew up during MLK and the civil rights movement. But at that point in my life, I just considered her my best friend. I never let their comments affect our friendship, but I never forgot it either. :(

    I remember always enjoying African-American History month in school because we’d always watch movies and read books, such as Frederick Douglass’s works, which always put history into perspective for me. It wasn’t that long ago that we were treating African Americans as if they were less-than-human. That we could call ourselves a free country and yet treat people this way..hypocrisy in the worst way.

    African-American history month is important so that we can see how far we’ve come. We’re still not there yet, but hopefully soon, we can treat everyone equally regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. — then we shall truly be the land of the free. We have made a large, positive step forward by electing an African-American president, and this gives me hope!

    Sorry to babble on, but this is a very important month, and this comment deserves a lot of thought.

    <3 Thank you for offering this wonderful giveaway! eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

  12. These books look great. Please enter me!

    To celebrate Black History month, I’m going to pick a book or two on the subject. I’ve narrowed it down, but haven’t started yet. I better get moving.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

  13. Mo

    I remember feeling so moved the first time I heard Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “I Have A Dream”. I wish we could honor his legacy by fulfilling that dream. This is my favorite line: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  14. Right now I am reading a book called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s about the civil rights movement era in Mississippi, and it is shocking to me how African Americans were treated in the deep south. I grew up in the pacific northwest, and haven’t been exposed to this kind of prejudice. I have heard about it, and read a lot about the history of slavery, but hearing about it isn’t the same as living it, and I know my imagination could never do it justice. Even though reading a book can’t compare to real life experience, it can help you to feel in your mind and heart a little bit of the agony and suffering that the African Americans lived through.

    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

  15. Lydia H

    Black History Month was always a time for the few black children in my mostly white school to actually feel special. Everyone thought that we were this great race with ties to those great black heros during this month only.
    Now, my daughter is feeling the same thing. Only her school isn’t mostly white. They had an assembly Monday and everyone really felt the tear jerks of the stories from slavery to Obama.
    She came home and said, “you know what mom, we have overcome.”
    We have a long way to go still, but my we have really come along!

  16. Estela S

    Lovely giveaway!

    I didn’t vote for President Obama, but I do recognize how uplifting his election was for ALL minorities. I think this month makes it even more apparent, and allows us to see the great strides we have made in civil rights and equality!

  17. When I was growing up, we didn’t have Black History Month. We lived in a white Polish neighborhood. The day the Reeds (neither Polish nor white), moved in next door to us, the first thing I said to Eddie, who was my age, was: “do you want me to teach you some Polish?” He said, “Nah, that would really confuse the neighbors.” I was the only girl he ever picked to be on his stickball team!
    Our families became very good friends. Mr. Reed taught my Dad to drive. I learned alot about Mississippi, and why they moved to Albany, NY.
    When I voted for Barack Obama, I thought of them, and I was grateful that they had the courage to move into our neighborhood.

  18. My favourite speech is Martin Luther King Jr.’s

    “I Have A Dream”

    It is very inspiring and it was the inspiration behind my Valedictorian Speech years ago.

  19. ikkinlala

    Where I grew up in Canada we never really did anything for Black History Month (although sometimes there were a few posters up on the wall). I learned way more about black history from books and from my parents than from my teachers.

  20. Anne

    I’m also in Canada and we do celebrate Black History Month. I am married to an African Candian so our children are bi racial and we have always made a point of educating our kids about both of their cultural backgrounds. We’ve been on cemetary tours where they show the graves of the first black settlers to our city and educate us all on the roles they played in the development of our community. There have been brilliant displays at our museum, the Royal BC Museum, which have educated us all actually!

    Thanks for a great giveaway

  21. Alyson

    Black History Month has been part of the Shaker Heights, Ohio school system for quite a time. MLK day was celebrated with honors given to a neighborhood group who rallied around taking care of the victim of a recent shooting in a bakery shop where a shoulder and ego were grazed. It also brought to justice and supported a lawyer out for a walk, beaten and left for dead, who now walks with a cane. Neighborly attention and care has made our hearts and morals stronger.

  22. alicia

    I would have to say the best memory would be the year our all white town had the first black family move in and their son was in my class up until then we never talked about black history month in school it was like a whole new world of learning opened up to us

  23. My hope for Black History Month is that in the future we will not need it. My wish is that the accomplishments of not only people of African heritage but of all races will be intergral parts of our public schools eduactional programs. Most Black History programs only put the emphasis on a few historcal figures and they are usually the same people every year. Because of this, I think that most people do not see the use for even celebrating this month. I have two children and I encourage them to read on their own about our history and the continent of Africa. I usually try to expose them to all types of people from out culture and other cultures so that they can see there are people that look like them that have done many great things and are responsible for many of the everyday items that we use and take for granted.

  24. Martha Lawsosn

    I have 4 bi-racial grandchildren and i am hoping that President Obama will be able to make the world a better place for them to live in.

  25. Marie

    My children have learned a great deal in school during Black History month, my favorite part is sharing with them with the speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr. — inspiring. I don’t honestly remember Black History month when I was in school, but I’m glad that my own kids have the opportunity to learn about so many things that I didn’t!

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