Detroit Catholic Central High School kicked off its Black History Month celebration with a display of memorable African American authors in the Learning Commons. The display was assembled by Library Media Specialist, Mrs. Kelly Kolchuk.
Kolchuk puts together a new display every month featuring relevant themes or new items to the library’s collection. For example, she’ll assemble a baseball display in the Spring during the start of open season. She covers different angles for Black History Month every year.
This year, Kolchuk focused on drawing in Shamrock readers by displaying both contemporary and historical Black authors. She stated that she was trying to include authors that speak to more contemporary issues like protests from athletes, characters who encounter incidents with the police, and the book The 57 Bus, which discusses a real-life racially-motivated incident that occurred between two teenagers.
“I was trying to feature a combination of popular Black teen authors as well as some of the newer Black teen authors coming onto the reading scene. The goal is to draw attention to what we already have in our collection and hopefully gain interest from students to check out a book,” she stated.
This year, Mrs. Kolchuk highlighted 16 authors in her display, including:
- Alice Walker
- Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Walter Dean Myers
- Jason Reynolds
- Zora Neal Hurston
- Kwame Alexander
- Tomi Adeyemi
- Faridah Abike-Iyimide
- Chinua Achebe
- Candace Buford
- Christopher Paul Curtis
- Frederick Douglass
- Ryan Douglass
- Toni Morrison
- Maya Angelou
- Dwendelyn Brooks
Each year, she pulls different titles for Black History Month. In the past, she displayed books featuring historic events in place of new authors. She has started to focus on teen authors as a way to encourage more students to read, stating that many students forget they can check out books since changing the name of the library to the Learning Commons.
Toni Morrison is one of her favorite authors in the display. Kulchock started reading Morison when she was in college.
“I loved her stories and I think she has an important message to share. She’s one of the authors that gets challenged a lot in libraries, so it was important for me to put one of her books on display. I also pulled award-winning adult authors like Maya Angelou and some of my favorite newer authors, including Jason Reynolds and Chris Paul Curtis,” she stated.
The authors will be on display all month, but there are many more books by Black authors on the shelves. This is just a small part of the collection, Kulchock shared.
“I try to make sure the student body sees themselves represented in each collection. There is something for everyone. If a student wants a book that we don’t have, I’m more than happy to buy it for them,” Kulchock stated.
Stay tuned for continued coverage as CC celebrates Black History Month.