Ohio University

Libraries Releases Black Lives Matter and Anti-racism Guide

Afro-American Affairs Cover, 1972
Image from OHIO Student Newspaper Collection: 1972 edition of Afro-American Affairs

Ohio University Libraries has recently released a subject guide designed to connect patrons with free, informative resources about anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. This guide comes in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the innumerable other Black people who have been murdered in the United States.

The opening page of the Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter Resource Guide states, “Racism has no place on our campus or in our communities, but this guide is offered as a vehicle for understanding and grappling with the legacy of colonialism and white supremacy in our country, in higher education, within our academic disciplines.”

Michele Jennings, art librarian at the OHIO Libraries and creator of the guide, said that it was important for her to use her privilege and power within the Libraries to further the conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement and diversity in general.

“Especially now when people are trying to stay home, I was trying to get resources to the people that they didn’t have to pay for,” she said. “These are tough economic times and our collections are for all members of our community, but I hope that those who can show their financial support for Black creators consider doing so.”

On the webpage, patrons can watch videos, find links to podcasts and webinars, read articles and find book recommendations. There is also easy access to the Activism and African American Studies course and subject guides from the website. 

The Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter resources are mostly freely available to OHIO students, faculty and staff. Many of the book recommendations, for example, can be checked out and picked up at Alden Library, or requested from another location. 

The guide currently provides general anti-racist resources and will be expanded to include subject-specific material. There is a section with resources on diversity within higher education, which Jennings said she hoped would make people think about the inclusion issues that exist within colleges and universities today. 

Jennings noted that the Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter guide is deliberately a work in progress. She hopes that the conversation around diversity in academic settings will continue, and that the Libraries can use the guide as an opportunity to add materials to its collections.  

“I hope [patrons] are able to find something new created by a person of color and are able to engage in self-reflection,” she said. “I wanted to bring attention to authors, creators and publishers of color, and I wanted to be able to bring more attention to this discussion.” 

Feature image from OHIO Student Newspaper Collection: 1974 edition of Afro-American Affairs

For more information about the Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter Guide, contact Michele Jennings