Black Collegian Online
Vibrant and well-designed online version of this well-known publication that focuses on education and career information for African American students. Includes full-text articles, plus a job bank, résumé services, African American issues, and many helpful features. Includes article archives dating back to February 1997. Highly recommended. See published review from C&RL News, back in June 2000.
Black Press USA
Excellent online news service provides current national and local news articles on this website sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the Black Press. Billed as "your independent source of news for the African American community," the website includes links to Black Press online newspapers organized by state, a history section, press releases, and a search engine. A bit slow loading (as of 6/18/01), but highly recommended.
Abstracts (not full text) of selected articles and features from current issue only. Abstracts function as a sort of expanded table of contents meant to lead the online reader to subscribe or otherwise seek out the physical magazine to continue reading the article of interest. No archived issues or articles, no search engine, no full table of contents or index.
Full text digitized copies of the nation's first African American owned and operated newspaper, 1827-1829. The first 20 issues are currently (6/00) available free online, with the remaining 80 some issues scheduled to follow. Adobe Acrobat reader necessary, and available online for downloading if needed. From the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library, a leader in the collection, preservation, and promotion of African American periodicals.
Digital Schomburg: Images of African Americans from the 19th Century
One of many noteworthy projects from the Schomburg Center, this digital photo album is searchable by broad category (such as "family," "education," "civil war," or by keywords. Also included are brief essays that give an introduction to the photographs, as well as the broader topic of searching the past.
Flashbacks: African American Education
From the archives of the Atlantic Monthly magazine, historic essays from W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington on the topic of African American education. Also includes Bernard W. Harleston's 1965 essay "Higher Education for the Negro," Claude M. Steele's 1992 "Race and the Schooling of Black Americans," and Nicholas Lemann's 1993 "Philadelphia: Black Nationalism on Campus."
Flashbacks: Black History, American History
More from the archives of the Atlantic Monthly, a number of important, full-text essays including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "The Negro is your brother" (popularly known as the "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), a number of essay debates between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois (including "The Awakening of the Negro," "Strivings of the Negro People," and others), plus an interview with Du Bois.
Flight to Freedom
Interesting interactive "game" allows users to "experience" the escape from pre-Civil War slavery, through the online personal narratives of a number of escaped slaves and other prominent individuals. Developed by Bowdoin history professor Dr. Patrick Rael and the Bowdoin Educational Technology Center. An unusual and unique web-based teaching tool.
The African American Coal Miner Information Center
This site provides information on African American coal miners and coal mining families. It also includes a synopsis of African American coal mining experience and a growing list of miners in alphabetical order by last name, many with the place of birth.
The Blue Highway
Website and narrative devoted to the country blues developed way back in 1995 by web pioneer Curtis Hewston. Now includes a chat room, search engine, sound files, and more. Musicians profiled include Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, B.B.King, Buddy Guy, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Bukka White, and many others.
African-American History and Culture
The Manuscript Division has one of the nation's most valuable collections for the study of African-American history and culture. The Library's holdings include information about slavery and the slave trade as well as other aspects of plantation life. Papers of slaveholders provide one view of slavery, and slave narratives give another. Diaries and journals further illuminate lives spent in slavery and freedom. The manuscripts of black and white abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Salmon P. Chase describe the efforts of those who attempted to alleviate the plight of slaves, and the records of the American Colonization Society detail the saga of African Americans who left the United States and established the West African nation of Liberia in the mid- nineteenth century. Papers relating to black participation and victimization in the Civil War abound, and African-American history during Reconstruction is reflected in collections pertaining to newly elected black officials such as John Mercer Langston, Blanche K. Bruce, Hiram R. Revels, and Francis L. Cardozo.
Abraham Lincoln's preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was shown to his Cabinet in July 1862. [Page 2] In it, Lincoln warns that if the rebellion is not ended in four months, as a "necessary military measure" he will "order and declare . . . all persons held as slaves within any state or states, wherein the constitutional authority of the United States shall not be practically recognized, submitted to, and maintained, shall then, thenceforward, and forever be free." (Abraham Lincoln Papers)
Efforts by African-Americans to educate themselves and find meaningful employment can be traced in the papers of historian Carter G. Woodson and educator Nannie Helen Burroughs. Also available are the papers of the first three presidents of Tuskegee Institute--Booker T. Washington, Robert Russa Moton, and Frederick D. Patterson. The papers of Gen. Noel F. Parrish--the white World War II commander of the Tuskegee air base where black airmen were trained by the army air corps for the first time--reveal how blacks and whites worked together to dispel racist presumptions of black inferiority. Information on the training of black aviators and the establishment of the Tuskegee flight school may also be found in the diaries of historian Rayford W. Logan, who in the early 1940s was acting chair of the Committee on Participation of Negroes in the National Defense Program.
Logan is best known as a historian and professor at Howard University, but like other prominent black educators he was also involved in civil rights activities. The papers of historian Lorenzo J. Greene, who taught for many years at Lincoln University in Missouri, similarly reflect his involvement in the National Urban League (NUL) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), his participation on two different presidential commissions concerning the status of blacks and children, and his authorship of an important study on school desegregation for the United States Civil Rights Commission. The papers of Kenneth Bancroft Clark also reveal a college professor and social psychologist whose concern with the psychology of racism brought him national attention in the post-World War II era, when his research on the detrimental effects of segregation was cited in the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
This manuscript (ca. 1891) of an autobiographical article is in the hand of Frederick Douglass, who prepared it for The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. Douglass was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland, but escaped in 1838 and eventually became a renowned abolitionist, orator, journalist, and public official. In 1845 he published a full-length autobiography and subsequently produced two revised versions. Drafts of these are among his papers held in the Manuscript Division. (Frederick Douglass Papers)
The division's collections are particularly strong for the history of the twentieth-century civil rights movement. The work of individual activists, rights organizations, and jurists is well represented. The NAACP and the NUL were founded in the first decade of the twentieth century and became important vehicles for the advancement of civil rights for blacks in the United States. Both, in turn, selected the Library of Congress as the repository for their records. While the NUL has tended to concentrate its efforts in the area of equal employment opportunities for blacks, the NAACP has moved forward on many fronts and has been most successful in its drive for equal legal protection. The NAACP led the struggle for the abolition of segregation, discrimination, lynching, and other forms of racial oppression.
This photograph of former slave Lucindy Lawrence Jurdon accompanied the transcript of an oral history interview conducted with her during the 1930s as part of the ex-slave narrative program of the Work Projects Administration's Federal Writers Project. In seventeen states WPA workers interviewed hundreds of African Americans born before the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery in 1865. Some of the informants were infants and small children when the Civil War ended, but others were old enough to have experienced and remembered many aspects of slavery. The narratives often are as interesting to historians studying the history of African Americans in the 1930s as to scholars examining the antebellum period. (United States Work Projects Administration, Federal Writers Project Records)
The NAACP headquarters and Washington bureau records include more than two million items, which provide a rich source for the social history of black Americans in the twentieth century. In addition to these organizational records, the division holds the personal papers of some of the individuals who worked closely with the NAACP such as Moorfield Storey, the association's first president; Arthur B. Spingarn, its third president; and Roy Wilkins, longtime administrator and executive director from 1965 to 1977. The division also holds the records of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which was created by the NAACP just before World War II but eventually became independent of the parent organization. The fund's records document its presence at the forefront of the legal struggle for civil rights. Complementing these records are the personal papers of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the special counsel and director of the fund from its creation until 1961, when President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Other important civil rights activists and organizations represented in the Manuscript Division include the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, whose records date from 1920 to 1968, and the union's founder, Asa Philip Randolph, who also served as its president from 1925 to 1968. The papers of Bayard T. Rustin, a close associate of Randolph and an apostle of non-violent action, are also in the division's holdings.
Appearing in the forefront of this photograph of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom are Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Washington lawyer and civil rights activist; Whitney M. Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League (NUL); Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); A. Philip Randolph, founder and head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; and Walter Reuther, president of the United Automobile Workers Union of America (UAW). March participants called on President John F. Kennedy and the Congress to enfranchise African Americans, and give them equal access to public facilities, quality education, adequate employment, and decent housing. Among the division's unparalleled sources for the study of the twentieth-century civil rights movement are the personal papers of Rauh, Wilkins, and Randolph, as well as the organizational records of the NAACP, the NUL, and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. (Prints and Photographs Division)
The papers of two well-known political figures, Patricia Roberts Harris and Senator Edward W. Brooke, illustrate the efforts of African Americans to move into the center of the political arena. Harris, the first black woman to hold a Cabinet position, served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (later called Health and Human Services) under President Jimmy Carter. Brooke was the third black United States senator in the nation's history and the only one elected in this century until Carol Moseley Braun's recent victory.
The division's African-American manuscript collections have served historians well, supporting the much-increased scholarship in black history that began in the 1960s. The NAACP records are annually the most heavily used collection in the division, and other black history collections attract large numbers of scholars, testifying to their importance not only to the Library but to the nation itself.
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