Black History Month: African Americans and the Arts

Black History Month: African Americans and the Arts

Jan. 30, 2024
Black History Month promo image

Since 1976, the annual Black History Month has had a theme, and this year it is "African Americans and the Arts." 

In honor of the innumerable contributions of Black authors, poets, publishers, artists, activists, philosophers, scholars, and dreamers, we've chosen some books and resources to spotlight, and encourage you to dig in.

The University of Arizona Press book recommendation: 'When Language Broke Open'

Edited by Alan Pelaez Lopez, this anthology contains the creative offerings of 45 queer and trans Black writers of Latin American descent who use poetry, prose, and visual art to illustrate Blackness as a geopolitical experience that is always changing. 

Telling stories of Black Latinidades, the anthology centers the multifaceted realities of the LGBTQ community. By exploring themes of memory, care, and futurity, these contributions expand understandings of Blackness in Latin America, the Caribbean, and their U.S.-based diasporas (image 1 below).

The University of Arizona Press is the premier publisher of academic, regional, and literary works in Arizona. 

Books That Matter book spotlight: 'Hood Feminism'

Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues (image 2 below).

Books That Matter is a print collection of more than 100 titles which support our commitment to social justice and antiracism, and its categories are:


Special Collections Graduate Assistant Zoë Harrison created the Black History in the Borderlands LibGuide a tool libraries use to share information with users – that highlights an often-overlooked history and raise awareness about the many contributions Black individuals have made in the Borderlands region, from Baja, California, to Tamaulipas, Mexico (image 3 below).

Historical photos

Throughout February, we'll share historical photos from our archives, curated by Special Collections student employees, on our Facebook, Instagram and X accounts. Connect with us! (@uazlibraries)