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Black History Month 2024 - African Americans and the Arts: Home

During the month of February, we celebrate African American History Month.

2024 Theme: African Americans and the Arts

ABlack History Month 2024frican-American artists — poets, writers, visual artists, and dancers — have historically served as change agents through their crafts.

Drawn from their ancestors' ancient rites of passage and the shared hopes of liberty, Black artists continue to fuse the rhythmic cadence of creative expressions with the pulsating beats of progress.

RCC Library Black History Month Display 2024RCC Library Black History Month Display 2024RCC Library Black History Month Display 2024

Famous African-American Authors

Langston Hughes, Author and PoetLangston Hughes, who cited Paul Laurence DunbarCarl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman as his primary influences, is particularly known for his insightful portrayals of Black life in America from the 1920s to the 1960s. He wrote novels, short stories, plays, and poetry, and is also known for his engagement with the world of jazz and the influence it had on his writing, as in his book-length poem Montage of a Dream Deferred (Holt, 1951). His life and work were enormously important in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Unlike other notable Black poets of the period, such as Claude McKayJean Toomer, and Countee Cullen, Hughes refused to differentiate between his personal experience and the common experience of Black America. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including their love of music, laughter, and language, alongside their suffering.

Toni Morrison, American Author and PoetMorrison is best known for her numerous novels, which include Beloved (Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and Song of Solomon (Alfred A. Knopf 1977), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1993, Morrison received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Maya Angelou, American Author, Actor, Producer, Director, Dancer and PoetThe first black woman director in Hollywood, Angelou wrote, produced, directed, and starred in productions for stage, film, and television. In 1971, she wrote the original screenplay and musical score for the film Georgia, Georgia, and was both author and executive producer of a five-part television miniseries "Three Way Choice." She also wrote and produced several prize-winning documentaries, including "Afro-Americans in the Arts," a PBS special for which she received the Golden Eagle Award. Angelou was twice nominated for a Tony award for acting: once for her Broadway debut in Look Away (1973), and again for her performance in Roots (1977).

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