Special Collections Celebrates Black History Month Through the Lens of the 1960s

African American Students walk together near College-in-the-Woods on Binghamton University campus in 1971
On campus, near College-in-the-Woods, Fall 1971

Officially commemorated since 1976, but with its origins in the early 1900s, Black History Month celebrates the frequently unacknowledged contributions of African Americans throughout the nation’s history. During this year’s Black History Month, Special Collections will spotlight items in its holdings related to the “long” 1960s (1960-1975). The 1960s marked a period of cultural, socio-political, and educational change at the University and across the United States. At the University, new fields of study, student organizations, publications, and programming emerged to give voice to African-American concerns and achievements. The impact of Black writers, artists, and performers during this period was profound.  On campus, within the local community and on the national stage, the Civil Rights movement and social and political activism focused attention on racial disparities and the need for a more inclusive and just society.

Our efforts to critically examine who is and is not represented in Special Collections, reveal archival and published materials currently in our holdings that document Black lives, and attempt to build a more diverse collection aligned with the University Libraries’ anti-racism initiatives.  We further support the Libraries’ recently-launched Center for the Study of the 1960s in promoting research and teaching in this pivotal era. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to discover some of our wide-ranging holdings!