Celebrating Black History Month
In his 1983 landmark study of national identity, Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson writes that people are united by the fact that they’ve forgotten the same things. It is, Anderson asserts, the shared act of common remembering that draws people together (191-2). While there are many ways that we commemorate Black History Month, the library’s place as the repository of books and of memory itself positions it as a key site of imagined community for this shared remembering. In the interest of fostering such an act of communal memory, Monroe Library has assembled displays of our print and digital holdings in black history and culture in the United States.
Located at the LC desk, our print display features the work of black artists and thinkers from a wide range of disciplines: poetry, drama, music, fiction, visual arts, autobiography, and social commentary. We’ve assembled a chorus of voices, visions, and viewpoints that includes the earliest slave narratives, the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, the theater of the Black Arts movement, and the contemporary cultural critique of bell hooks and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Feel free to stop by and check out a book from our display. Or, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask a librarian.
If you’re interested in browsing our online, digital collections, be sure to check out our research guide – especially useful for class projects! The guide collects together a large range of digital materials on black culture, art, and history, including vintage and contemporary newspapers, print and electronic encyclopedias, ebooks, music, and movies.
- Victoria Elmwood
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso, 2006.