Friends of RHPL

Information about Friends

Become a Friend

Donate to the Friends

Friends Events & Book Sales

Volunteer for Friends


Donate Material


Memorial Donations

Planned Giving



Community Service






Special Collections

New Items

Innovative Items

Local History & Genealogy

Citizenship & Immigration


Digital Collections

Download eBooks & eAudio

Digital News & Magazines

Financial Information

eCourses & Learning

Research Databases


Events Calendar

Recorded Programs

Storytime Groups


Explore with RHPL

Explore Challenge

Michigan Activity Pass


100 Days of Summer


Smart Towns

50 Books in a Year

Room Reservations

Reserve a Study Room

Reserve a Conference Room

My Account

My Library Account

Pay a Fine

Get a Library Card

Specialized Services

Makerspace – Eureka Lab


Oakland Talking Book Service

Computers, Printers & WiFi

Library Information

Location & Hours

Staff Directory


2024 Millage Information


Library Newsletters

RHPL History


Board of Trustees

Library Policies

Black History Month

In 1925, Historian Carter G. Woodson (founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History – ASNLH) created “Negro History Week” which was first celebrated in 1926 during the week in February that spans both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. Woodson’s goal was to show African American’s important contributions to history, culture, and society as a whole. The event took off nation-wide with educators, clubs, people of all walks of life who celebrated and affirmed the need for such an event.

By 1950, mayors across the country were issuing proclamations in support of the week and in 1976, in honor of the nation’s bicentennial, the week-long celebration was expanded to a month. President Gerald R. Ford was the first to issue a proclamation marking the occasion and encouraged all Americans to “sieze the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” From 1976 to the present day, every US president has issued a proclamation each February in honor of Black History Month and Woodson’s association, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), works year-round to honor and advocate for Black history studies every month of the year.

Youth Recommended Reads

Teen & Adult Recommended Reads

Join the Explore Challenge on Beanstack for an interactive approach to our monthly book lists. Find great new books and earn prizes when you explore with RHPL.