Black history is American history. It is baked into the foundation of our country so thoroughly that it is impossible to escape its influence today.

We stand at a pivotal time, not only for our county but also for our state and especially our community.

When I got my first library card in 1993, I did not yet know that one day a Black man would be the president of the United States of America — or that I would grow up to become the mayor of the city I grew up in.

In this book, we celebrate those African Americans on whose shoulders we stand.