Black Excellence in the Name of Resistance: Black History Activities at the King Library

by | Jan 27, 2023 | Campus Life

This spring, San José State University recognizes Black History Month with a series of activities, events, panels and resources provided by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Library. The theme for Black History Month this year is Black Resistance.

“I am happy that the SJSU King Library is able to collaborate in such a great way that really serves our Spartan community as well as our local community,” said Estella Inda, ’08 Sociology,  ’21 MLIS, research services and social sciences librarian at the King Library.

“I hope that people get a sense that the library is more than just a place for books, but really a place that helps educate and honor the diverse community it supports.”

In addition to the library events listed below, San José State’s Black Leadership and Opportunity Center (BLOC) is hosting a wide array of panels, online discussions, film screenings and more throughout the month of February.

Art of The African Diaspora Satellite Exhibition

King Library, Room 113
Jan. 23-Feb. 28
The opening reception and artist panel is on Friday, Jan. 27, from 12-2 p.m. 

The “Art of The African Diaspora” Satellite Exhibition, in collaboration with the San José Public Library and the SJSU Library, is an extension of the “Art of the African Diaspora” exhibit held in the Richmond Art Center, which presents the work of emerging and established Black artists. This amazing exhibit features the works of Kelvin Curry, Stephen Bruce and TheArthur Wright.

“Art of the African Diaspora” is the longest-running event of its kind in the Bay Area. It originated from a salon for African American artists known as Colors of Black that was organized in 1989 by artist and professor Marie Johnson Calloway. Over the next 25 years, the exhibition ensured increased visibility for African American artists in the Bay Area.

In 2018, the Steering Committee, composed of participating artists, presented the exhibition, and in 2019, renamed the organization “Art of the African Diaspora.”

Black Engineers Week: Closing the Digital Divide

King Library, DiNapoli Gallery
Jan. 23-31

Since 2019, Folarin Erogbogbo, professor of biomedical engineering and materials and chemical engineering at SJSU, has connected students and professionals with the purpose of increasing the number of this underrepresented group in Silicon Valley.

By closing the digital divide in Silicon Valley for Black engineers, Black Engineer Week (BEW) aims to bring Black Engineers to the forefront and foster connections amongst the engineering community. BEW creates the best pathways to engineering in the Bay Area and globally by bringing together Black engineering students and seasoned professionals.

A “Read-In” in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

King Library, Room 225
Monday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Come share and listen to some civil rights inspired passages, poems, quotes or messages in reflection of the work done by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or relevant work in the name of resistance, honoring this month’s Black History Month theme. 

Striving for Justice: The History of Anti-Black Racism, Past and Present

King Library, Room 225
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2 – 3 p.m.

Author and SJSU alumna Alessandra Harris speaks on the history of Black incarceration, from the Jim Crow era to modern times.

A Journey through Black Excellence: A Panel of Black Professionals

King Library, Room 113
Thursday, Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

San José Black professionals speak on their personal journeys through breaking barriers in a business world where they are marginalized to succeed and prosper in their communities.


  • Jeronica Macey, Co-Owner of Nirvana Soul
  • Kenneth West, President and CEO of Regional Medical Center
  • Tiffany Bradford-Oldham, San José Public Library Branch Manager


  • Travis D. Boyce, Ph.D, Chair of SJSU’s Department of African American Studies and the Director of SJSU’s Ethnic Studies Collaborative

From the Eyes of Mary McLeod Bethune: A One-Act Play Performed by Tabia African-American Theater Ensemble

King Library 225
Saturday, February 18, 12 – 1 p.m. 

“From the Eyes of Mary McLeod Bethune,” conceived by Sharon Moore and directed by Viera Whye, is a vivid depiction of the epic march of Blacks from slavery to freedom. Bethune (1875-1955), was a pioneer educator, government official, and founder of Bethune-Cookman College. Richly informative and entertaining, the show is relevant to many of the contemporary issues of American democracy. 

A brief discussion about the importance of Black theater will introduce this powerful performance. Sponsored by SJSU’s Department of African American Studies.

Visit the BLOC event calendar to learn more about Black History Month activities this February.