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Celebrate Black History Month with the Drexel Libraries

February 14, 2022

The Drexel Libraries joins many others to pay tribute to the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout US history with a series of activities during Black History Month.  This year’s theme focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness and acknowledges the legacy of Black scholars, medical practitioners and non-traditional health and wellness practitioners (such as midwives, naturopaths, and herbalists).  

For 2022, the Drexel University Libraries is proud to showcase curated resources that explore and highlight the impact members of the Drexel community across disciplines—not just in health and wellness—have made on their local and global communities.

Through its resources and events, the Libraries educates and connects the Drexel community to the lives and achievements of Black Americans not only during the month of February, but throughout the entire year. We recognize there are many people, resources and events missing from the compilation below, and we encourage you to contribute more ideas and resources to help us expand these collections.

Black History Month Online Resource Guide

The Drexel Libraries’ Black History Month online resource guide provides information related to primary and secondary sources for Black history. It also features just a few of Drexel’s Black faculty and staff, highlighting their research and their contributions to the University and a global society.

This year, many of the resources and people featured in the Libraries’ Black History Month resource guide focus on the 2022 theme of the importance of Black health and wellness. Visit the resource guide to learn more about just a few of the people, research, and creative works that have inspired Libraries staff. View the resource guide.

Black History Month Display in the W. W. Hagerty Library 

During Black History Month, the Libraries invites you to visit the display on the first floor of the W. W. Hagerty Library. The display features many accomplished writers, leaders, and scholars from Drexel and beyond. The books in the display cases include snapshots of Drexel faculty, as well as fiction, nonfiction, and short stories that document and highlight numerous contributions of the Black experience. books and images on display for Black History Month in Hagerty Library

The resources on display are available either online or in print through the Drexel Libraries. Visit the Service Desk to borrow a print copy or use DragonSearch to access e-resources.

Books that Celebrate Black Lives & Voices

This collection of titles reflects just a few of the contributions and achievements of African Americans and the significant impact they have on our country and our culture. Many of these resources also focus on the theme of Black health and wellness and are available online or in print through the Libraries.

ScholarSip featuring Professor Ayana Allen-Handy

On February 7, 2022, Drexel Associate Professor Ayana Allen-Handy offered “food for thought” on her research on race and education during a special Black History Month and 10th anniversary ScholarSip event. During the event, Professor Allen-Handy spoke to a virtual audience of 59 Drexel faculty, staff, students, and community members about her work as the founding director of The Justice-oriented Youth (JoY) Education Lab.

Her talk focused on one JoY Lab research project in particular—the West Philadelphia High School Youth Archivist Project—and her use of the Youth-Led Participatory Action Research Method (YPAR) for that project.

“The purpose of the project is to push back against those pejorative narratives that try to tell the story [of West Philly High] without really telling the story,” Professor Allen-Handy said during her session. “…We along with 7 students started the project to explore the rich history of WPHS—which has served as a pillar of the community since the 1950s—to illuminate the voices of students, alumni, families, teachers, staff and administrators… and to inspire a new generation of youth scholars dedicated to issues of access, equity and social justice.”

She went on to describe the work the students who are involved in the project do to collect, digitize, and promote archival materials that tell the real story of West Philadelphia High School and how the project helps students improve their self-awareness, community awareness and global awareness. Following her presentation, Prof. Allen-Handy answered questions from the audience and socialized (virtually) with a few colleagues.

Although this event is now passed, you can watch the complete recording on our YouTube channel, no login required.

Other Featured Resources & Collections

Explore these selected databases of archival materials, newspapers, primary source materials and more to supplement your research on African American history. You’ll find more resource collections in the Libraries’ online resource guide.

  • Black Women Writers Collection: presents 100,000 pages of literature and essays on feminist issues, written by authors from Africa and the African diaspora
  • The Philadelphia Tribune: the oldest continuously published African American newspaper in the United States
  • Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: features select primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history
  • Umbra Search African American History: brings together digitized pieces of African American history and culture from over 1,000 libraries and archives across the country.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch: a current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives