Black History Month Events

Black and white photo of participants in the Selma to Montgomery marches with the text Black History Month

Please join University Libraries as we celebrate Black History Month in February. University Libraries will kick off the celebration with the African American Student Art Exhibit. The exhibit will kick-off with an opening reception on Monday, January 31, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in the Leslie F. Malpass Library, Garden Lounge. Dr. Charles Wright will introduce the students and their work. The exhibit will run from Monday, January 31, 2011 through Friday, February 11, 2011. Please stop by the reception and enjoy the refreshments while appreciating the students' amazing talents.

Dr. Laurian Bowles, from the Sociology and Anthropology Department will present "Performance, Blackness and the Circulation of Art in the Atlantic" on Thursday, February 3, 2011. The lecture will take place in the Leslie F. Malpass Library, Garden Lounge at 4:30 p.m.. Bowles will examine various aspects of black identity and expression as it pertains to performance in society, as well as African American popular culture and its role in the Diaspora and Black Atlantic.

Dr. Alphonso Simpson, from African American Studies will present "The Mis-Education of the Black Male" on Monday, February 7, 2011. The lecture will take place in the Leslie F. Malpass Library, Garden Lounge at 7:00 p.m.. Simpson's lecture will detail the current state of African Americans in predominantly white institutions, and will address issues of race and gender as they pertain to the African American college experience.

University Archives and Special Collections assembled a display on African American student history at WIU. The display includes images of early African American students; some administrative materials documenting the segregation, racism, and lack of services encountered by black students in the mid-twentieth century; and materials from the formation and ongoing activities of the Black Student Association, the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, and the African American Studies Department. The display is housed in the glass case located in the Garden Lounge on the main floor of the Malpass Library.

Proquest's African American databases have been made available for a trial period in honor of Black History Month. The databases include the following:

African American Biographical Database
In a single landmark collection, the African-American Biographical Database (AABD) brings together biographies, rare books, and historical information on thousands of African-Americans--many not found in any other reference source
African American Heritage
ProQuest African American Heritage is a groundbreaking new digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. It provides users a dedicated resource that not only brings together records critical to African American family research; but also connects them to a community of research experts, whose mentoring and assistance can frequently be the difference between research success and futility.
Black Abolitionist Papers
This collection documents the efforts of African American activists in their international effort to abolish slavery in the United States. Covering the period 1830-1865, the 15,000-item collection records the full impact of African American efforts to oppose slavery by displaying the writings and publications of the activists themselves.
Black Newspapers
This database provides your patrons with access to esteemed Black newspapers from across the U.S. Black Newspapers is a collection of current newspapers providing access to news from 1989-present and is cross-searchable with all of the newspaper collections on the ProQuest platform.
Black Studies Center
Black Studies Center is a leading tool that supports research, teaching, and learning in Black Studies and other disciplines that benefit from a more detailed coverage of the black experience such as history, literature, political science, sociology, philosophy, and religion.
Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience
This groundbreaking resource gives every library - public and academic alike - a vital core collection in Black Studies, shaped by the foremost experts in the field. It serves every user - from young people just beginning to explore the African American experience to senior researchers in search of materials available nowhere else.

The databases can be accessed from our trials page at The trial databases will be available until February 27, 2011.

The Curriculum Library will display a portion of their African American collection materials in the hallway outside the library in Horrabin Hall.