Centering and Celebrating Black History
Posted on: February 2, 2023
February is Black History Month, an opportunity to bring intentional focus to the centering and celebrating of Black history. We’ve compiled this list of events, films, and other avenues to dig deeper into our local and national history and find new ways to join the celebration.
Learn About Black History at JMU
- Black firsts at JMU: This interactive timeline, created by students in the African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies minor (with support from JMU Libraries Special Collections), features the first Black students, faculty, and staff at JMU among other milestones in the university’s history. Explore the timeline: Black Firsts at JMU.
- A digital exhibit on race relations at JMU: This exhibit gathers together materials from JMU Special Collections that confront the painful racism of JMU’s past, as well as the efforts of students, faculty, and administrators to make JMU a more inclusive place. Explore the exhibit: Black and White on Bluestone Hill.
- Renamed buildings at JMU: Learn about the people who were honored with the renaming of three buildings on JMU’s campus in 2021, thanks to the work of the Campus History committee and community members who supported the effort.
Explore Black History in Harrisonburg
- Try the new Black history tour in Harrisonburg: Roots Run Deep is a new self-guided tour of African-American history in Harrisonburg, created by the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project in August of 2021.
- Learn about Newtown: Watch a recording of the Remembering Newtown event to learn about the urban renewal project in the 1950s and 60s that destroyed many Black homes and businesses in the northeast neighborhood of Harrisonburg.
- Timeline: Explore A Timeline of African American Life in Harrisonburg, part of the Celebrating Simms digital project, which is supported by JMU Libraries.
- Map: Explore A Map of Landmarks in African-American History in Harrisonburg, also part of Celebrating Simms.
Engage with Black History in Our Collections
- Black Newspaper Collection from ProQuest: A collection of prominent Black newspapers, such as the Chicago Defender, Baltimore Afro-American, New York Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, and The Norfolk Journal and Guide.
- Augusta County African American Records: Added to the Histories along the Blue Ridge digital archive in 2022.
- New access to primary sources in Black history: Read about JMU’s new access to diverse collections thanks to a statewide partnership.
- Local history collection: The Ruth and Lowell Toliver Collection of Newman Family Papers in JMU Special Collections offer papers related to George Ambrose Newman, who served for 33 years as a teacher and administrator in Harrisonburg’s early African American schools and is remembered as a trailblazing member of Harrisonburg’s Black community. Learn more: Documenting Black History in Harrisonburg.
- Research guide for AAAD: Resources for African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies at JMU, curated by librarian Malia Willey.
- Our Black comic book collection: Learn about the collection of 10,000 Black vintage comic books donated by a JMU librarian to JMU Special Collections: Black Representation in Comics.
- Understanding Black Lives Matter: Explore the virtual book display.
- A digital archive that celebrates a local leader and educator: Learn about how we support the digital archive: Celebrating Lucy Simms and Black History in Harrisonburg.
- Furious Flower Poetry Center collections: JMU Libraries hosts all the collections for the Furious Flower Poetry Center, the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry.
- Interviews with local Black community members: Explore the Lucy Simms Remembered oral history collection.
- Juneteenth book display: Explore our virtual book display to learn more about Juneteenth, the federal holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.
Black History in Film
Check out the Black History Month video collection of 127 streaming videos in Kanopy – an award-winning video streaming service providing access to more than 30,000 independent and documentary films, available to you for free through JMU Libraries as a member of the JMU community.
Top-rated documentaries include:
- Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985
- The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords
- White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books
Check out the entire Black History Month video collection or browse all 30,000 titles in Kanopy.
Attend a JMU Event
Check out the wide variety of educational and community events that CMSS, the AAAD Studies Center, and the Madison Vision Series are hosting for Black History Month. See additional events in The Breeze, JMU’s campus newspaper.
Learn more and join the national celebration of Black History Month.
Categorised in: JMU Libraries News