Spring Break Hours

February 27, 2020

Spring Break Hours

 The Law Library will have shortened hours over spring break.  For more details, check out our detailed hours.

From the Archives: A Tribute to Black History & Poetry

February 24, 2020

From the Archives: A Tribute to Black History & Poetry

In the February 23, 1989 issue of the BCLS student newspaper The Alledger, members of the BC chapter of the Black American Law Students Association (BALSA) put together a collection of poetry by Black poets to celebrate Black History Month. (The BC chapter of BALSA continues today as the Black Student Forum (BSF), and BALSA itself continues as a national organization under the name the National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA). Learn more about the BSF or about NBLSA from their websites.)

Below is the introductory text from the students of BALSA:

Ain't gonna let nobody turn me 'round, turn me 'round, turn me 'round, ain't gonna let nobody turn me 'round, I'm gonna keep on a walkin', keep on talkin', marchin' on to freedom land.

Such was the battle cry of the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jackson, Mississippi, and in Little Rock, Arkansas. The struggle for equality, the struggle for dignity, the struggle for civil rights moved through the country. The bombs, the hoses, the dogs, the beatings and the marches were the tools and the consequences of the fight for human rights.

As we celebrate Black History Month this year we remember;

Emmit Till, Tommy Lee Carter, James Chaney, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X., Martin Luther King Jr. and others who died that we may enjoy a piece of the American Dream.

February is the month designated to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans to the United States and the World. While thsi celebration on a yearly basis serves as a marker in the minds of Black Americans, it should mark the minds of all Americans. The contributions of Black Americans extend far beyond athletics and music long considered primary areas of Black excellence. On the contrary, Blacks have achieved significantly in the fields of Architecture, Medicine, Science, politics, Literature, and Engineering.

Each day we are reminded of some of the contributions of Black Americans. Some of these reminders are: the stop light, the cotton gin, the engine self-lubricating cup (this cup is responsible for the phrase "the real McCoy" referring to engines bearing this cup), the shoe lasting machine (this machine revolutionized the shoe industry), the steam boiler, and the air brake. Each of these items were invented by Black Americans. And the list goes on.

The Students of BALSA offer the following works by Black Poets as lasting tribute to Black History Month.

February 1989 arrived just on the cusp of a critical point in the history of South Africa. State President Pieter Willem Botha had just stepped down from leadership of the National Party, and would in about six months step down from the Presidency to be succeeded by Frederik Willem de Klerk. It would be another six months before Nelson Mandela was released from prison in February 1990 (where he had been a political prisoner since 1962), and four more years after that until the official end of apartheid in South Africa in April 1994. International calls for racial justice, the release of Nelson Mandela, and the end of apartheid were at their height when this collection was put together, as can be seen in this poem by David Brian Williams, Litany to the Keepers of the Dream:

We have a dream
That today is the day that all men & women will see the light of truth
the light of justice, the light of freedom

We have a dream
Our day has come
It has come on the tide of a new birth
And a new understanding
A new realization that we as a people can no longer afford
to sit back and watch while the majority of Black people are
no better off economically today than they were twenty years ago

We have a dream
That here today is this year
Black people will celebrate the end of a century of living
in darkness, unaware of our beginnings, and provide
the light of education to our Black minds
Education to include the great kings and queens of Africa
And the great Kings and Queens of Mississippi
From Mansa Mussa to Malcolm X,
From Cleopatra to Fannie Lou Hamer to Winnie Mandela,
From Shaka and Hannibal to Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr.
Now is the time to rekindle the flames of pride and dignity
ignited in the sixties, dampened in the seventies and only awaiting
a spark in the eighties in order to burn brightly on through the nineties
A change is coming today here in America

We have a dream
That here is the place and now is the time
To stand up straight, walk tall, speak loud, and act just plain crazy
Crazy about the realization of dreams past
Crazy about being proud
Crazy about being Black
Crazy about being re-educated
Crazy about being economically self-sufficient
Crazy about a new freedom
Freedom from the chains of apathy
Freedom from the bonds of poverty
Freedom from the attempted destruction of the Black family
Freedom from our own complacency
Oh Freedom Oh Freedom Oh Freedom is just around the corner
Because it is up to us to make the dreams of the Martin Luther King's
and Malcolm X's becoming living realities

We have a dream
And America you'd better watch out
Because we are no longer blinded by the rays of pacification
America watch out
Because we have a new sense of pride in ourselves
America watch out
Because we can no longer ask you to ask South Africa to free Nelson Mandela
America watch out
Because we insist that you tell them to free Mandela
America watch out
Because we demand that you work hard to end apartheid in South Africa
And end modified segregation here in America
I feel a change coming on
America watch out
Because we ARE the dream
Coming Alive

David Brian Williams

To read more poems from the collection, or read the rest of this issue (Volume 9, no. 7) or others from The Alledger, head on over to our digital archive: https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/alledger/

Check out the Little Free Library!

February 12, 2020

Check out the Little Free Library!

A green sign with the text "The Little Free Library: Take a book, Share a book"

Tucked in an alcove on the fourth floor is one of the Law Library's better kept secrets: a Little Free Library!

This little mini-library is stocked with coloring books (and colored pencils) and jigsaw puzzles that you can borrow and enjoy. And, most importantly, it's full of books that are free to take!  If you're looking for something new to read, or have some books you feel ready to pass along, the Little Free Library is the place to go.

The photos below offer only a small glimpse of the variety of books currently available on the Little Free Library shelves. Take a look for yourself, and tag us on Instagram (@bclawlibrary) or Twitter (@BCLawLib) with any surprises you find!

Photo of the book "Very Valentine" by Adriana Trigiani. a caption reads "a seasonally appropriate title"

cover of the book "Quest for Tomorrow: Delta Search" by William Shatner. A caption reads: "yes, THAT William Shatner"  

 cover of the book "Look Back in Anger" by John Osborne. A caption reads: "the play, not the David Bowie song" 

cover of the book "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer. A caption reads "the rest of the series is here too"

7 Easy Things You Can Do to Celebrate Black History Month

February 07, 2020

7 Easy Things You Can Do to Celebrate Black History Month

Black history and culture deserve to be celebrated every month of the year. Fortunately, February offers even more opportunities to engage with the black community and to expose ourselves to stories and histories that are often overlooked. One of the best ways to celebrate Black History Month is to seek out ways to learn about black history and culture in your local area. Here are seven easy and fun things that you can do in Boston to honor the power and resilience of the black community.

1. Walk the Black Heritage Trail

This 1.6 mile trail links fourteen sites in the Beacon Hill Neighborhood. Over the course of the trail, you'll learn about how African Americans in Boston lived, worked, raised families, worshiped, and fought to end slavery.

More information on the Black Heritage Trail

2. Visit the Museum of African American History

Located on the Black Heritage Trail, the Museum of African American History is New England's largest museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the cultural contributions of African Americans. This month the museum is offering a special exhibit on Boston's rich musical history titled Jazz Scene in Boston: Telling the Local Story.

More information on the Museum of African American History

3. Become part of the Boston Black Restaurant Challenge

Back for its third year, the Boston Black Restaurant Challenge encourages people to support black-owned businesses by visiting at least one black-owned restaurant or bar a week. With around 70 restaurants participating, there's no shortage of choices.

More information on the Boston Black Business Challenge

4. Check out Boston's Children Museum's month-long celebration of Black History Month

If you and the kids are looking for something to do, Boston's Children Museum has lots of ongoing activities all month long. Stop by for "Living in Colors: Celebrating Black Life," a story-time and arts & crafts program to learn more about the history and contributions of African Americans with educator Ummil-khair Yusuf.

More information about Boston's Children Museum's Black History Month celebration

5. Visit the National Center of Afro-American Artists

Check out a wide-range of artistic media, including sculpture, painting, and photography, by black artists from all over the world. This impressive center is the largest independent black cultural arts institution in New England.

More information about the National Center of Afro-American Artists

6. Check out the Boston Public Library's annual "Black Is..." book list

Every year the BPL gathers a list of over 60 recent works, hand-picked by staff librarians, that examine the African American experience. The list includes a brief summary of each title and the BPL call number. Copies are available at all BPL locations.

More information about BPL's "Black Is" book list

7. See a performance featuring black artists

Over the course of the month, there are so many excellent plays and shows in the city that are created by and feature black artists. "Detroit Red" (running through February 16th) tells the story of Malcolm X's time in Roxbury during the 1940s. "Sweat" (running through March 1st and Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) chronicles a group of people whose friendships are tested in an industrial, Rust-Belt town.

More information about Boston-area performances

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