Exploring Black History Month with U-M Experts

This special series of Michigan Minds features University of Michigan faculty leading research in racial and ethnic identity development, academic motivation, and academic achievement, and removing the barriers to Black History Month programming in public libraries.

Learn more and tune in to each episode below:

Exploring how imposter feelings relate to mental health and academic outcomes among minoritized students

As a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor of Psychology, Kevin Cokley’s recent research examines the degree in which feeling like an imposter contributes to the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health outcomes among ethnic minority college students. He joins Michigan Minds to discuss his research in the area of African American psychology, and reflects on the history of Black History Month and its growth from the first observance. 

“It’s really an opportunity to just reflect and to celebrate all of those wonderful achievements that African Americans, that Black folks have made to this country, and they are many. We don’t often have an opportunity to really talk about, reflect on and celebrate those achievements, and Black History Month gives us an opportunity to do that.”

Examining Black History Month programming in public libraries

Deborah Robinson is a research investigator at the Institute for Social Research Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD), where she serves as the Assistant Director of International Projects for the Program for Research on Black Americans (PRBA). She is also the Faculty Administrative Coordinator for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR).

Robinson shares preliminary findings from the PRBA’s Black History Month Programming in Public Libraries project regarding the barrieriers to Black History Month programming, and offers suggestions on how libraries can make improvements. 

“So in this grant, we’re really trying to develop a model of Black History Month programming. In terms of service area factors, we’re looking at things such as region, urbanicity and the percentage of African Americans in the service area. In terms of library organizational factors, we’re looking at the budget, the number of full-time staff they have, whether there’s an African American on the staff. And in terms of individual librarian factors, another previous study identified nine key programming competencies.”

This series is ongoing throughout February 2023. Subscribe to Michigan Minds for more episodes.