Black History Month

February 9, 2024

This year's Black History Month theme is Black Americans and the Arts, celebrating creators in the visual and performing arts, literature, film, music, architecture, culinary arts, and other forms of expression. It's an opportunity to discover, honor, and share the enormous contributions of Black creators to national and global culture.

The library offers a wealth of relevant resources, including scholarly content and the works themselves: music, literature, images, and more. A few singular highlights:

  • The only known copy of the first cookbook by a Black American, Malinda Russell, who offers a tantalizing, brief history of her life in the book's first pages.
  • Chez Baldwin Writer's House Digital Collection, with thousands of images memorializing Baldwin's home in France. It was a social hub for many great Black and diaspora artists like Josephine Baker, Caryl Phillips, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and others, and was demolished in 2014 to make way for luxury condos.
  • A digital copy of the Orville Z. Frazier Photograph Album from the Bentley Historical Library. Frazier (1896-1971) was an engineer and inventor who lived in Elkhart, Indiana, as well as Grand Rapids and River Rouge, Michigan. 

To find more, use search by subject in our Advanced Catalog Search: select Subject in the dropdown menu, and enter a term (for example, "Composers, Black" or "African American Women Authors"). Use quotes around phrases for more precise results.

Use Ask a Librarian for help finding materials, or contact one of our information experts — among them folks who can help you find resources in

and much more.

The Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) offers a campus-wide list of Black History Month events at U-M. Also see the library's list of events and exhibits, which this month includes our annual celebration of abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass.


Stacked artwork in storage with James Baldwin portrait, Chez Baldwin Writer's House Digital Collection, U-M Library.


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