Black History Month

Black History Month: Articles for understanding

Highlighting MIT Press journals scholarship during our Black History Month retrospective

February marks Black History Month, first conceived in 1925 as a weeklong commemoration of Black Americans’ often overlooked achievements. Today the month offers an opportunity to reflect on the experiences, history, lives, culture, and contributions of this historically marginalized group.

At the MIT Press, we welcome the chance to consider our own work in amplifying diverse voices and stories—where we have made strides and where we may still fall short. This year to mark the occasion, we have gathered articles from our MIT Press journals that explore issues related to Black identity, history, culture, and social justice. These articles are available for free for the rest of the month. 

African Arts:

Afropolitanist Return and Circulation” by Laetitia Walendom, African Arts (2021) 54:3

The Financial Commitment of Repository Countries: A Key Element of Reparation” by Silvie Memel Kassi, Sarah Frisbie, Amanda M. Maples, and John Warne Monroe, African Arts (2021) 54:3

Restitution: Paths Towards a Clearing” by Christine Mullen Kreamer, African Arts (2021) 54:3

The Thinkers” by Kasalina Maliamu Nabakooza, African Arts (2021) 54:3

Forensic Art History?” by Z.S. Strother, African Arts (2021) 54:1

Imperatives of Restitution: Standards and Funding” by Erica P. Jones, African Arts (2021) 54:1

Reflection on Benin Repatriation Conversation,” Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba, African Arts (2021) 54:1

Susan Mullin Vogel: Disturbing Expectations” by Risham Majeed and Susan Vogel, African Arts (2021) 54:1

African Restitution in a North American Context: A Debate, a Summary, and a Challenge” by Amanda M. Maples, African Arts (2020) 53:4

Is Repatriation Inevitable?” by Allen F. Roberts, African Arts (2019) 52:1


Improving Teaching: Strengthening the College Learning Experience” by Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson, Daedalus (2019) 148:4

Together and Alone? The Challenge of Talking about Racism on Campus” by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Daedalus (2019) 148:4

Somewhere between Jim Crow & Post-Racialism: Reflections on the Racial Divide in America Today” by Lawrence D. Bobo, Daedalus (2011) 140:2

The Two Worlds of Race: A Historical Perspective” by John Hope Franklin, originally published in Daedalus in 1965, Daedalus (2011) 140:1

Freedom, Equality, Race” by Jeffrey B. Ferguson, Daedalus (2011) 140:1

Precious African American Memories, Post-Racial Dreams & the American Nation” by Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Daedalus (2011) 140:1

‘We dreamed a dream’: Ralph Ellison, Martin Luther King, Jr. & Barack Obama” by Eric J. Sundquist, Daedalus (2011) 140:1

At Last…?: Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Race & History” by Farah Jasmine Griffin, Daedalus (2011) 140:1

Justice & Racial Conciliation: Two Visions” by Tommie Shelby, Daedalus (2011) 140:1

*Articles in Daedalus are always open access and freely available

Design Issues:

African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce and the Politics of Race” by Hannah Pivo, Design Issues (2020) 36:1

National Museum of African American History and Culture/Smithsonian” by Victor Margolin, Design Issues (2019) 35:1

Community Consensus: Design Beyond Participation” by Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Nicola J. Bidwell, and Edwin Blake, Design Issues (2012) 28:3

Knowing Their Space: Signs of Jim Crow in the Segregated South” by Elizabeth Guffey, Design Issues (2012) 28:2

The Coloring of Jazz: Race and Record Cover Design in American Jazz, 1950 to 1970” by Carissa Kowalski Dougherty, Design Issues (2007) 23:1

International Security: 

White Supremacy, Terrorism, and the Failure of Reconstruction in the United States” by Daniel Byman, International Security (2021) 46:1 

Journal of Cold War Studies:

Building a Black Bridge: China’s Interaction with African-American Activists during the Cold War” by Hongshan Li, Journal of Cold War Studies (2018) 20:3

Journal of Interdisciplinary History:

Mapping Working-Class Activism in Working-Class St. Louis” by Elizabeth Belanger, Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2020) 51:3

Visualizing the Middle Passage: The Brooks and the Reality of Ship Crowding in the Transatlantic Slave Trade” by Nicholas Radburn and David Eltis, Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2019) 49:4

The African-American Labor Supply after Reconstruction: Added Worker Effects in Urban Families” by John E. Murray and Werner Troesken, Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2013) 44:2

Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal:

Nothing But the Music: Documentaries from Nightclubs, Dance Halls & a Tailor’s Shop in Dakar” by John F. Barber, Leonardo (2021) 54:4

Sonic Commentary: Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?” by Andy Meyerson, Leonardo Music Journal (2020) 30:120

Repainting the Walls of Lunda: Information Colonialism and Angolan Art; The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics” by Mike Mosher, Leonardo (2017) 50:3

Skype, Code and Shouting: A Digitally Mediated Drama between Egypt and Scotland” by Shabina Aslam and Eleanor Dare, Leonardo (2015) 48:3

Astro Black Morphologies: Music and Science Lovers” by Flow Motion, Leonardo (2006) 39:1

Creating Space: Web Art Practice” by Wayne Dunkley, Leonardo (2005) 38:4

Stereo Types: The Operation of Sound in the Production of Racial Identity” by Christopher Hight, Leonardo (2003) 36:1

Too Many Notes: Computers, Complexity and Culture in Voyager” by George E. Lewis, Leonardo Music Journal (2000) 10:33-39

The New England Quarterly:

“A Convenient Seat in God’s Temple”: The Massachusetts General Colored Association and the Park Street Pew Controversy of 1830” by Marc M. Arkin, The New England Quarterly (2016) 89:1

‘Good Mother, Farewell’: Elizabeth Freeman’s Silence and the Story of Mumbet” by Sari Edelstein, The New England Quarterly (2019) 92:4

The “Abolition Riot” Redux: Voices, Processes” by Lyndsay Campbell, The New England Quarterly (2021) 94:1

“Where the great serpent of Slavery … basks himself all summer long”: Antebellum Newport and the South” by Richard C. Rohrs, The New England Quarterly (2021) 94:1

Lost Years Recovered: John Peters and Phillis Wheatley Peters in Middleton” by Cornelia Dayton, The New England Quarterly (2021) 94:3


On Black Affective Forms: A Conversation with Garrett Bradley” by Huey Copeland, October (2021) 178

Rest Notes: On Black Sleep Aesthetics” by Josie Roland Hodson, October (2021) 176

Aaron Douglas and Aspects of Negro Life” by Leah Dickerman, October (2020) 174

D37” by Cameron Rowland, October (2019) 168

A Questionnaire on Monuments” by Lucia Allais, Noel W. Anderson, Andrew Weiner, et. al., October (2018) 165

Legal Implications: Cameron Rowland’s Rental Contract” by Eric Golo Stone, October (2018) 164

Afrotropes: A Conversation with Huey Copeland and Krista Thompson” by Leah Dickerman, David Joselit, and Mignon Nixon, October (2017) 162

Explore more from the MIT Press journals, and learn about our Grant Program for Diverse Voices