Lionel Richie smiled, the cameras flashed, the bass thumped, the music soared and the concert celebrating the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song popped back into life two years after COVID-19 shut down much of public life in the nation’s capital.
Wanda Whitney, head of the Library’s Local History & Genealogy Section, tells how using DNA research led to her discovery of a genetic mutation that had health implications for her entire family. It’s part of the Library’s Black History Month focus on families and health.
Rosa Parks, one of the most consequential Americans of the 20th century, was born on Feb. 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her activism was galvanized decades before the Montgomery bus boycott by the sexualized violence of whites against Blacks in her native Alabama. This activism is featured in this short documentary by the Library of Congress, which holds her papers.
The Library kicks off Black History Month with a new By the People crowdsourcing project — transcribing the papers in the William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection.
Dozens of signs from the Black Lives Matter protest site across from the White House are being preserved at the Library and are now online. The protests, which lasted nearly a year from 2020 and into 2021, rallied against police violence toward African Americans after the police killing of George Floyd
Lionel Richie, the Alabama-born songwriter with a smooth voice and a deft touch for the romantic ballad, is the 2022 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honoree.
Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is back with his first newsletter of 2022.
The National Film Registry’s 2021 class is the most diverse in the program’s 33-year history, including blockbusters such as “Return of the Jedi,” “Selena” and “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,” but also the ’70s midnight-movie favorite “Pink Flamingos” and a 1926 film featuring Black pilots in the daring new world of aviation, “The Flying Ace.” The Library interviewed a dozen key players about their role in inducted films, including Mark Hamill, Edward James Olmos, John Waters, and documentary filmmakers Cheryl Dunye and Sylvia Morales.
Billy Strayhorn was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and lyricist, most often working for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He wrote “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life,” “Chelsea Bridge,” “Day Dream” and dozens of other standards. His papers are collected at the Library of Congress.
Hazel Scott was the gorgeous face of jazz at the mid-century; the most glamorous, well-known Black woman in America, making more than $100,000 per year, draped in custom-designed jewelry and furs. Her remarkable career is preserved in the Library’s Music Division.