Centering and Celebrating Black History

Posted on: February 2, 2023

faded group photo of African-Americans dressed up for a social event; scanned page in old handwriting

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

Engage with Black History in Our Collections

Newly Added:


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. 

collage of images from film overlaid on silhouette of woman with afro. Movie title says Subjects of Desire

Top-rated documentaries include:

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

Learn more and join the national celebration of Black History Month.

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