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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

#FromMarginToCenter: Pan-Africanism in Art and Literature: About

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Ricker Library of Architecture & Art
208 Architecture Building
608 East Lorado Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-0224
Subjects: Art & Architecture

About this Guide

For this guide, Pan-Africanism is defined as the idea that peoples of African descent have common interests and should be unified. Pan-Africanism can take shape as political, cultural, artistic, and literary movements. 

This guide provides information on the Pan-Africanist Movement and its influence on Black History, with an emphasized focus on art. This guide links to resources such as books, websites, articles, and media pertaining to the topic. The people highlighted in this guide are related to Pan-Africanism in a myriad of ways including, but not limited to, being a member of a Pan-African organization, noting Pan-African intellectuals as inspiration, or participating in a movement that formed because of Pan-African Unification theory. 

This guide does not represent a comprehensive list of all the important artists, figures, and texts of the Pan-African Movement and the movements it influenced. The highlighted people and resources were selected using library materials, popular press articles, and museum websites; these sources are included in the Further Research page. If you need help finding additional information or would like to nominate an individual or group to be included in this list, please email us. 


About #FromMarginToCenter

#FromMarginToCenter is born out of the clear need to draw attention to marginalized voices, not only across our society, but specifically in our library. We need to acknowledge that nondominant experiences are not well represented in our collections and resources, and, further, we need to do something about it.


  • Create a growing body of resources designed to highlight contemporary artists and designers across a broad range of identities. Our selection criteria combine staff expertise and interest, current events, and providing a balanced range of resources, knowing that this is an emerging body of material that will evolve and take different shapes over time.

  • After putting in the work to create a resource guide, we amplify those voices. We highlight specific creators in our social media, look for ways to collect more material about or by the person in question, and find ways to embed references to these folks in our more general use guides, as well as our teaching, outreach, reference, and other activities.


For more information, see the #FromMarginToCenter Initiative page on our website.

Fair Use Guidelines

Materials accessed in this guide are provided for personal and/or scholarly use.  Users are responsible for obtaining any copyright permissions that may be required for their own further uses of that material.  For more information about fair use please refer to the College Art Association Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts.