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Black History Month

The PCC Library continuously selects materials related to African American history as well as contemporary Black American culture. Explore our collection, and suggested materials from the web, to learn more about the contributions and achievements of Black Americans as we celebrate Black History Month.

About Black History Month

Established in 1926 by noted African American historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month evolved to become a month-long event in 1976. February was selected because Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln have birthdays during the month. The annual event provides an opportunity to learn about the history, traditions, and contributions of Black Americans. The theme for 2024 is African Americans and the Arts.

Cascade Festival of African Films

In celebration of Black History Month, PCC Cascade is hosting the 33rd Annual Cascade Festival of African Films from February 2- March 2, 2024. These films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose its failures, and reveal possibilities for a hopeful future. This year it is online and free. Visit the festival website for additional information.

PCC Student Engagement

PCC Student Engagement is partnering with the Coalition of Racial and Educational Justice to host the fourth Annual Black Liberation Teach-In, an online event on February 3 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Veterans and Multicultural Centers

In honor of Black History Month, the Veterans and Multicultural Centers will offer two screenings of the documentary “Black Art: In the Absence of Light” on February 15 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Cascade Hall Room 304.


Recommended books

African American Arts: Activism, Aesthetics, and Futurity (eBook)
This anthology explores the role of African American arts in shaping the future, and further informing new directions we might take in honoring and protecting the success of African Americans in the U.S.

The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression & Reflection
An anthology centering a range of perspectives, spotlights teaching practices, research stories, and conversations from a Black/African diasporic lens.

Black Resistance, White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America
Why millions of African Americans are still at risk of political abuse and unprotected from bias crimes.

Blind No More: African American Resistance, Free-soil Politics, and the Coming of the Civil War
The persistent determination of enslaved people who would flee bondage no matter the risks forced states to recognize the meaning of freedom.

Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists
Creating Their Own Image marks the first comprehensive history of African-American women artists, from slavery to the present day.

Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner
Essays focusing on historical and contemporary examples of resistance.

The Hip Hop Movement: From R&B and the Civil Rights Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Generation
The Hip Hop Movement offers a critical theory and alternative history of rap music and hip hop culture by examining their roots in the popular musics and popular cultures of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement.

New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement (eBook)
During the 1960s and 1970s, a cadre of poets, playwrights, visual artists, musicians, and other visionaries came together to create a renaissance in African American literature and art.

The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
This is a story of an activist’s education on the streets and in homes around the country finding ways to come together to create change.

Slavery, Resistance, Freedom
Americans have always fought for freedoms – speech, religion, and political dissent. Slavery is the denial of these freedoms.

Struggle On Their Minds: The Political Thought of African American Resistance
Key moments of activist resistance to demonstrate its current and future necessity.

What is This Thing Called Jazz: African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists (eBook)
What Is This Thing Called Jazz challenges interpretive orthodoxies by showing how much black jazz musicians have struggled against both the racism of the dominant culture and the prescriptive definitions of racial authenticity propagated by the music’s supporters, both white and black

Recommended websites about African American Resistance

Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that combines science-fiction, history and fantasy to explore the African-American experience and aims to connect those from the black diaspora with their forgotten African ancestry.

Black History Month Virtual Festival
This year’s festival will celebrate the theme of African Americans and the Arts in the past, present, and future starting February 1, 2024.

Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey Towards Equity
Stories of struggle and achievement in the African American experience.

Goddess of Anarchy: Lucy Parsons, American Radical
A prolific writer, editor, and fearless defender of the First Amendment.

Hip Hop History: From the Streets to the Mainstream
From the street corner to the world stage, hip hop has grown into one of the world’s most prominent musical genres and cultural influences. Explore significant events in hip hop history and its explosive evolution

The History of the Black Arts Movement
Beginning in the late 1960s, the Black Arts Movement grew as the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement.

Resistance and Abolition
The story of American slavery resistance, a great moral crusade.

Rising From The Ashes: The Oklahoma Eagle and its Long Road to Preservation
This site examines the process of digitizing The Oklahoma Eagle, a historically Black newspaper razed in the chaos of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the politics of digitization, and the significance of preserving Black history.

Uncovering America: Harlem Renaissance
Discover compelling stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience in this new set of resources for educators featuring works of art that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories
This site has 22 interviews with former slaves who talk about living as an African American from the 1870s to the 1930s and beyond.

Recommended videos

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s was the scene of a passionate outburst of creativity by African-American visual artists.

American Masters: How It Feels to be Free
How It Feels to Be Free takes an unprecedented look at the intersection of African American women artists, politics and entertainment and tells the story of how six trailblazing performers

Black Lives Matter
This film examines the various forms of violence against black citizens, and why resistance is essential.

Business as Usual: The Exploitation of Hip Hop
Business as Usual is a feature length documentary that asks the questions: Has Hip-Hop been exploited for economic gain, to the detriment of the masses of urban youth who embrace it?

Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality
This video introduces the dynamics of systemic racial inequality.

Furious Flower III: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry. Cultivating a Poetry of Social Change, Resistance and Truth-telling
Watch 32 of today’s leading African American poets reading from their work and discussing the critical issues shaping this vibrant poetic tradition.

Rise (1940 – 1986)
This film examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable.

SNCC and the Black Arts Movement: We Had to Change the Conversation
The poets Amiri Baraka and Haki Madhubuti describe the intersection and interaction between Southern struggle and the nationwide black arts movement.

The Songs are Free Bernice Johnson Reagon and African-American music
Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder of the musical group Sweet Honey in the Rock, and curator of the Community Life Division of the Smithsonian Institution, discusses with Bill Moyers how black music has shaped the African-American experience and identity.

Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space
Zora Neale Hurston has long been considered a literary giant of the Harlem Renaissance, but her anthropological and ethnographic endeavors were equally important and impactful.

Recommended general websites

Black Past
An online reference center with a wealth of materials on African American history. Maintained by the University of Washington. Includes a section on African American History in the West.

A Hdden History: Oregon Black History Timeline
Reveals the stories and struggles of Oregon’s African-American communities. – Black History
Includes this day in history, TV shows, video clips, interactive timeline, important speeches and more.

Library of Congress: African-American History Month
Includes speeches, images, collections, and audio/video of outstanding African-Americans who have helped pave the way for ethnic multiculturalism.

New York Public Library Digital Schomburg Collection
Includes exhibitions, books, articles, photographs, prints, audio and video streams and selected external links for research on the global black experience.

Not Even Past: Resources for Teaching Black History
Not Even Past is a digital magazine that serves as a robust platform for public history with a global reach.