Black History Month at the Smathers Libraries

The Smathers Libraries celebrate Black-African History Month through a variety of events and activities that highlight the rich history and culture of the Black-African community. From book displays and online exhibits to guest speakers and Out Loud readings, there is something for everyone. We honor the contributions and achievements of Black-Africans individuals and their impact on society.

Featured Online Exhibits

Featured Collaboration

“We’re Tired of Asking: Black Thursday and Civil Rights at the University of Florida” is a look into the university’s past civil rights issues, created by the Matheson Museum. The online expose delves into the history of Black Thursday and its impact on the university.

Book and Movie Displays

In February, drop by the branches to browse book and movie displays celebrating Black-African History, cultures, artists, scientists, and more.

Library West will have a book and movie display focused on Black Artists.  The display will be located on the 2nd floor of the library, in the New Books Wall Area.

Education Library will have a book display focused on leaders, history, and popular books written by African American authors. The display will also have quotes and poems by famous African American writers and poets describing history and culture. There will also be banners hung on the pillars near the entrance of the library.  

The Latin American and Caribbean Collection’s display, “She Spoke So We Can Soar” features books that highlight afro-latina writers.


Out Loud

Celebrate Black-African History Month through our open mic event: A 60-minute reading session. Listen to literature written by or featuring the lived experiences of Black authors. Books will be available to read from in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children, and adult, or people may bring their own text.

  • Where: Marston Science Library
  • When: Wednesday, Feb 21st
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1 :30 p.m

Book Talk: The Chase and Ruins: Zora Neale Hurston in Honduras

Dr. Green will discuss her new book: The Chase and Ruins: Zora Neale Hurston in Honduras (Johns Hopkins UP, 2023). The book follows Hurston’s little-known anthropological expedition to excavate Mayan ruins in Honduras in the 1940s. Dr. Green’s book has great appeal to the History Department’s strengths in US History, Latin American History, the Atlantic World, and the Black Atlantic. This event is also an engaging way to show interdisciplinary strengths across UF, especially with African-American Studies, Anthropology, Latin American Studies, African Studies, and American Literature.

The book talk will feature two discussants: Dr. Riché J. Daniel Barnes, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology, and History PhD Candidate, Joe Angelillo. All faculty, staff, and students from across the university community are invited.

  • Where: ZOOOM
  • When: Friday, February 23rd
  • Time: 4:00pm
  • Registration

Afternoon with Zora

Join the Gainesville Zetas as they celebrate the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston.

  • Where: Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
  • When: Sunday, February 25th
  • Time: 2:00pm

Featured Resource

The Diverse Book Finder is a comprehensive collection of children’s picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC). Librarians from the George A. Smathers Libraries are part of a team working on an IMLS National Leadership Grant to enhance the discoverability of children’s and young adult literature featuring BIPOC characters. 

Music is the universal language. It doesn’t matter where you come from, everyone can feel the beat.

Bo Diddley