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"Black History Courses and Books." All Hands. no. 651. Washington, D.C. GPO, April 1971. P. 16-17.

SuDoc No.: D208.3

An article detailing the Navy's institution of African-American history courses that, "closely parallels Negro history courses offered at many colleges and universities." The article also talks of the Navy libraries and their celebration of "Negro History Week" in February of 1971. Navy libraries constructed displays and put together an annotated bibliography entitled, "Black History: The American Experience."


The role of minority groups in the making of America has been called "the forgotten heritage." To help servicemen remember, the Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) is now offering a correspondence course in Negro history, and Navy libraries all over the world recently celebrated Negro History Week.

The 15- lesson USAFI course closely parallels Negro history courses offered at many colleges and universities. It emphasizes African backgrounds, slavery, and the slave trade, abolition and reconstruction, the Afro-Americans in the North and South, and the civil rights movement. USAFI officials say the course "...seeks to keep the Negro in focus as a constant participant in U.S. history, recounting his relationship to the mainstream of American history." It should be of interest to all Navymen. See your educational services officer for more information.

Navy libraries from Norfolk to Subic Bay celebrated Negro History Week during 7-14 February. The Bureau of Naval Personnel and Navy spaces in the Pentagon were graced with bulletin boards recounting black Navy heroes and contributions by Afro-Americans to American life and culture. Local libraries Navywide were encouraged to set up similar displays and to distribute brochures and leaflets. That particular week was chosen because it includes the birthdates of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick C. Douglass, the black abolitionist and author.

In addition, the Library Services Branch of the Bureau of Naval Personnel published a selected bibliography, "Black History: The American Experience," which lists and briefly describes about 300 books of special interest in this field. The first printing was distributed to more than 1000 Navy libraries all over the world, and the Recruiting Service has requested additional copies for use in recruiting stations. The pamphlet has a number of excellent illustrations and thumbnail book reviews. It should be readily available by now at shore stations and ships' libraries. If you find a book in it you would like to read, chances are the librarian will be able to get a copy for you.

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