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Black History Month

Celebrating Black culture & confronting racism

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Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

Black History Month Celebrations at the Library

The Struggle in Books, Film & Art this year highlighted seminal figures in Civil Rights, Literature & Film, including internationally acclaimed authors Phillis Wheatley and Nnedi Okorafor, celebrated Civil and Voting Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer, and influential filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles.

Soul Train was an American music and dance TV program that ran for 35 years featuring Soul, R&B, Funk, Jazz and Hip Hop artists. The Scramble Board was a part of the show where 2 audience members would get to unscramble the person or phrase on the board.

Image of Soul Train Scramble Board in the library in 2020

The Struggle in Books, Film & Art highlighted seminal figures and genres in Black Arts & Culture including internationally acclaimed authors Toni Morrison and James Baldwin, renown silhouettist Kara Walker and the uniquely American music art form, Jazz

                                Premier 2020 Display in LSC-University Park Library

Image of posters depicting the struggle in books, film, and arts. The green poster discusses James Baldwin Toni Morrison; the red poster discusses   Posters discussing the struffle in books, film and art. The yellow poster discusses jazz, and cream and black poster discusses poet Kara Walker.


The Lewa Afriika Dance Troupe was the highlight of our Black History Month Extravaganza at UP, featuring authentic drum music and dance from Africa.

Flyer listing the events for Black History Month 2019Lewa Afriika drummers perform at University Park.Lewa Afriika drum and dance performance at University ParkLewa Afriika drum and dance performance at University ParkLewa Afriika drum and dance performance at University Park

The Black History Month Celebration ranged from a screening of the film 13th to a visit to Houston’s Buffalo Soldier Museum and capped off with a live one woman performance of Harriett Tubman and Rosa Parks by historical actress Melissa Waddy Thibodeaux.

Flyer listing Black History Month events in 2018

Melissa Waddy-Thibodeaux performs as Harriet Tubman at University ParkMelissa Waddy-Thibodeaux performs as Harriet Tubman at University Park