February 2, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Recognizes Black History Month with Special Library Collection

VALDOSTA — In recognition of Black History Month, Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections has put together a special collection of resources designed to allow faculty, staff, students, and community researchers to explore the role of African Americans in United States history. These historical materials will remain on display throughout the month of February in the display case on the first floor of the Odum Library.  

Highlights of the exhibit include newspapers created by African Americans and civil rights activists; writings and publications by civil rights journalists, one of whom participated in sit-ins and freedom rides; rare books from the 19th and early 20th century written by African American authors; interviews and photographs of South Georgia citizens exploring 20th century race issues; bills of sale for slaves; speeches on slavery from the mid-1800s; and pictures and stories of one family’s educational history.

Additional materials are available upon request in Archives and Special Collections, which is located on the fourth floor of the library.

The story of Black History Month began in 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other people of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the organization sponsored a national Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Throughout the 1960s, Negro History Week eventually evolved into Black History Month on college campuses.

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling upon the entire nation to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Contact VSU Archives and Special Collections at (229) 259-7756 or dsdavis@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.