Happy African American History Month! For most of us, this is a time to hear brief biographies of black pioneers and innovators, and experience a slice of American history that can often be overlooked. It reminds us of the universality of human achievement. And the library can help with this – sources like Biography in Context offer great overviews of the lives of famous leaders and innovators. But perhaps this year, you’d like to dig deeper into the African American experience.
One great source for this is the database Black Thought and Culture – including interviews, essays, pamphlets, letters, and speeches, in addition to journal articles, it offers a rich and textured look at primary documentation – black history from an African American perspective. It includes more than 100,000 pages of material.
Another is African American History Online, which covers more than 500 years of the African American experience. It includes extensive multimedia for any learning style – includes dozens of videos and hundreds of pictures (all of the illustrations used here were drawn from this database). AAHO is rich in primary source material like letters and speeches, as well as secondary sources like biographies, timelines, maps and charts, and more. You can search it by keyword or phrase, or browse by topic and by time period – AAHO splits the American experience into eight historical periods relevant specifically to African American history.
Or, dip into ebooks with such titles as Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939 by Robert Harris, History and Memory in African-American Culture by Genevieve Fabre, or From Du Bois to Obama : African American Intellectuals in the Public Forum by Charles Banner-Haley. Books are available on many specialized facets of the African American experience, from science to sports to religion to activism.
Regardless of how deeply you want to explore African American history, the library has the right sources for you!
And if you need help, just ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org