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Black American History

Truth burns up error. ~ Sojourner Truth

African American History
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All Members
discussion about mainly about black American history, Africa and the Diaspora
"I think knowing one's history leads one to act in a more enlightened fashion. I can not imagine how knowing one's history would not urge one to be an activist."
March 1994 - Professor John Hope Franklin, PhD

All people who love history are welcome to post here! While conversation is encouraged, please bear in mind that this community is not a forum for deeper examination of members' privilege. Instead, please consider joining debunkingwhite, ap_racism or racism_101. Thank you!

On-line resources:

The Malcolm X Museum: "History is a people's memory and without a memory man is demoted to the lower of animals." Malcolm X

Separate Cinema On-line resource archiving posters that chronicles the historic journey of black film. Also organizes touring exhibits.

The African Presence in Mexico On-line resource with touring exhibit in the US Charts the history of the relationship between Mexicans and African Americans given the shared history between the US and Mexico.

Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco CA Using objects of art and culture as catalysts to tell the story of the African Diaspora past and present, MoAD is a virtual crossroads for people around the globe.

The History Makers: A national 501 (c)(3) non-profit video oral history archive headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The HistoryMakers is dedicated to preserving African American history as the missing link in American history. Focused on American history, oral history and education in general and more specifically on African American history, education, music, law, the arts, science, technology, media, medicine, entertainment, fashion & beauty, business, the military, politics and sports, The History Makers is a combination archive, library, museum, stock footage collection, on-line educator and educational PBS/TV programming. Its topics include but are not limited to African American organizations and associations, slavery, reconstruction, the labor movement, the civil rights movement and black authors.

African Slave Markers in Colonial Newport, Rhode Island Also has excellent links to other local history groups and relevant books.

Sundown Towns by James W Loewen; From Maine to California, thousands of communities kept out African Americans (or sometimes Chinese Americans, Jewish Americans, etc.) by force, law, or custom.

Race: The Power of an Illusion : Produced by PBS, a good on-line resource for those unfamiliar with racism, white privilege and how the United States was built on maintaining white supremacy.

Slavery in New York The New York Historical Society's first of two exhibits exploring the 'peculiar institution'. Exhibit's up until March 5, 2006.

Common Place a "common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks--and listens--to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900". Dig around for some great articles on black history.

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century From the Digital Schomburg Collections at the New York Public Library. Essays, poems, narratives--some pictures too.

John Woolman (1720-1772) One of the first abolitionists in the Colonies--wrote an influential and personal Journal

National Park Service's National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program

Martha's Vineyard African American Heritage Trail : The storied island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a deep history relating to people of color.

The Royall House Slaves, Medford MA Learn about some colonial black Americans. Check out Belinda Royall who sued for reparations and won after forty years of servitude.

Stanford University's Dime Novel and Penny Dreadful Images for African-Americans Warning: Images are heavily racist and stereotyped and could be triggering.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of 1963 Website for the book: The Civil Rights Movement A Photographic History 1954-1968 by Steven Kasher

The African American Registry Largest black history website!

'Negro Membership in the Society of Friends' Parts 1-3 with Footnotes An out of print article from the Journal of Negro History detailing black membership in Quaker history.

Without Sanctuary Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America, Graphic Imagery

Facing History, Facing Ourselves Excellent non-profit that focuses on racial, religious and ethnic histories and the often uncomfortable realities they present.

Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia A 'real' virtual museum housed at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Images are of racial stereotypes, could be triggering.

EServer Reference material, essays, etc. addressing race and ethnicity in U.S.

HipHop Archive By Harvard's W.E.B. DuBois Institute

Les Gens de Couleur Libres The Free People of Color of New Orleans A fascinating site detailing Creole history from colonial days to the present.

In Memoriam: Henry Hampton Tribute and Film Collection at Washington University Executive Producer of Eyes on the Prize and founder of Blackside Productions, originally based in Boston, MA.

The Black Loyalists Heritage Society Preserving History for future generations. Detailing the history of those who sided with the British in exchange for their freedom.

The Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia Another Black Loyalist site.

The Kendall Institute at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Start with "Heroes in the Ships: African-Americans in the Whaling Industry"under Popular Research Topics.

Black Heritage Trail Boston's Museum of Afro-American History located on Beacon Hill

1863 New York City Draft Riots What Gangs of New York was REALLY like---

African and Indian connections A common cultural connection.

The Schomburg Research Center for Black Culture Excellent resource based in New York City.

Photos of 19th Century Free African American Families from the South

Black Wall Street, Tulsa Oklahoma Northern Californian non-profit founded in 1999 to aid black-owned businesses. Also has information on the 1921 Massacre of 'Black Wall Street' that left 3,000 dead.

Works Progress Administration:

Black Printmakers and the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration

Dox Thrash Innovative Depression era Artist that pioneered carborundum printmaking process.

Ex-Slave Narratives General overview of ex-slave narratives.


Malcolm X: Make It Plain American Experience marks the 40th anniversary of his death with "Malcolm X --- Make It Plain." This in-depth film portrait goes straight to the heart, mind and message of one of the modern era's most complex figures. Actress Alfre Woodard narrates the special.

Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters: Produced by Northern Lights Productions This feature-length special features stories about slave catchers and slave resistance, from the colonial era through the Civil War and its aftermath. Slavery was built on a brutal system of slave policing--enforced by armed community patrols, paid slave catchers, and federal law.

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till In this documentary directed by Keith Beauchamp, a family's agony will finally be told revealing the truth surrounding the Till case by the people who were there.

These American Lives Informative article on the lives of Jefferson's slaves at Monticello--part of a greater piece called "Unearthing Secret America". Great stuff on day-to-day living, diets, and how Monticello is designed for 'maximum productivity and minimal slave interactions'.

A Place of Our Own A man's personal history around Oak Bluffs, a vacation spot on Martha's Vineyard for affluent African-Americans.

Partners of the Heart The PBS documentary of Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas' medical innovation at Johns Hopkins during segregation.


In Small Things Forgotten: In his completely revised and expanded edition of In Small Things Forgotten, Deetz has added new sections that more fully acknowledge the presence of women and African Americans in Colonial America. Among Deetz's observations: The excavation of a tiny community of freed slaves in Massachusetts reveals evidence of the transplantation of African culture to North America.

Black Images in the Comics: A Visual History Noble savage, Uncle Tom, Mammy--these are just three of the stereotypical images of African Americans that Stromberg examines in this insightful book. The author tends to allow the artwork to speak for itself; his commentary primarily provides historical and cultural context and, in general, does not set out to impart a specific agenda.

Slavery Remembered An article reviewing Paul Escott's book as well as the validity of using the narratives as a primary source.

Captain Paul Cuffe's Logs and Letters A Black Quaker's Voice from Within the Veil Also has an excellent introduction by Rhett S. Jones on the beginnings of American colonial racial stratification.

Black Jacks by W. Jeffrey Bolster Few Americans, black or white, recognize the degree to which early African American history is a maritime history. W. Jeffrey Bolster shatters the myth that black seafaring in the age of sail was limited to the Middle Passage.

Charles Benson: Mariner of Color in the Age of Sail (1830-1881) A career spanning two decades, he was well acquainted with the common privations and tribulations of life at sea. But as a black man, Benson faced even greater challenges, especially when it came to his duties, his shipboard status, and his interactions with the other men on board.


Jean Michel Basquiat 1960-1988 Enfant terrible of the artistic world, Basquiat became in a short span of time the symbol of the newyorkese multiethnic culture of the Eighties.

James Hampton: Outsider Artist, Visionary Sculptor of The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly, exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American Art in Washington.

Keith Washington Online exhibition at the National Center for Afro-American Artists of mural paintings about memory and lynching in America

Kara Walker Contemporary artist working in cut paper and silhouettes. This link leads you to the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle and has some controversial images.

Damali Ayo Creator of Rent-a-Negro Performance Artist, also has done exhibits on the racial caricature of the "Golliwog"


Negro Space Program The Untold Story


Black People Love Us!

Scholarship Opportunity:

Paul Cuffe Memorial Scholarship Fellowship at Mystic Seaport for the study of minorities in American Maritime History
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