A Selection of African-American History Web Sites
Avalon Project at Yale Law School
African American Biography, Autobiography, and History. A searchable database with complete copies of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech,” Frederick Douglass’ My Bondage and Freedom, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, and Up From Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington..
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
This database has information about almost 36,000 slaving voyages between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. You can search for particular voyages or names of Africans captured in slaving raids.
In Motion: The African American Migration Experience
An interesting approach to the creation of new African American communities resulting from the migration experiences: transatlantic slave trade, runaway slaves, Haitian immigration, northern migration, domestic slave trade, Great Migration (1916-1930), Second great Migration 1940-1970) and more. The site include a large number of images and maps.
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
This PBS site has useful timelines, interviews and personal narratives, and links to important legislation and events that shaped segregation in America.
African-American Mosaic Exhibition
The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. This is an online guide to an ongoing exhibit at the library. Includes text and pictures from the exhibit.
Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism
Thousands of communities across the country restricted the rights of African Americans (and other minorities). Called “sundown towns” because some posted signs that stated something like “N*****, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On You In______.” This site has maps and useful links about these towns.
Mississippi State University African American History Archive
The Mississippi State University African American History Archive is a great place to start for pointers to African-American history sites, as well as an excellent repository of African-American history primary documents. The site is divided into 3 sections: articles, e-books and links. Each section has a great diversity of information and the site makes for interesting browsing.
The Frederick Douglass Papers
Part of the American Memory collection, this site contains more than 2000 items including 1600 images concerning “Douglass’s life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public servant.”
The Forced Migration of Enslaved People
The University of Richmond has created this site which follows the forced migration of enslaved people in the American South between 1810 and 1859. The site includes an interactive map, a timeline tool, migration statistics, the location of cotton and sugar plantations and some personal narratives.
Daniel A.P. Murray Pamphlet Collection
This collection, a part of the Library of Congress American Memory site, presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love.
Besides the useful external links, this site includes timelines, reserch guides, lists of major newspapers, journals and magazines plus an extensive collection of primary documents from 1724 – 2009
Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project 1936 – 1938
More than 2300 first person accounts of slavery and 500 images. Database is searchable keyword, state, and name. You might also look at the Voices from the Days of Slavery.
Martin Luther King Papers Project
“The Martin Luther King Papers Project,” an on-line archive at Stanford University of primary documents written during King’s life and secondary documents written about him. Links to articles, biographical material, a chronology of events, and the full text of some of his speeches. Also, information on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.
African American Bibliography: History.
Developed by the University of the State of New York, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Library.
Afro-American Sources in Virginia: A Guide to Manuscripts
The publication, edited by Michael Plunkett, has the distinction of being the first book published on the Internet by a university press. In addition to detailed descriptions of the holdings of twenty-six collections in Virginia, this guide includes 18 historical photographs and images of key manuscripts.
Third Person, First Person
Subtitle, is “Slave Voices From The Special Collections Library Broadside Collection, Special Collections Library, Duke University.” Based on an exhibit at Perkins Library, Duke University, in November and December, 1995.
American Slave Narratives
Developed by the University of Virginia, brings to the Internet transcripts of interviews conducted in the 1930s by writers employed by the Works Progress Administration. The material here represents a small sample of the 2,300 interviews conducted by the WPA writers.The complete transcripts are available in printed form in The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, edited by George P.Rawick (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972-79). For a more complete list of narratives you might want to look at American Memory or DocSouth.
Freedom Narratives: Testimonies of West Africans from the Era of Slavery
Searchable database of more than 2000 testimonies about the forced migration of enslaved Africans.
Documenting the American South
This is a great site for primary documents and researching everyday life of slaves. Sponsored by the Academic Affairs Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, DAS is “a collection of sources on Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.” More than 1,000 books and manuscripts dealing with slavery, literature, education, and religion in the South are divided into categories that include: First-Person Narratives of the American South; Library of Southern Literature; North American Slave Narratives; The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865; The Church in the Southern Black Community; and The North Carolina Experience, Beginnings to 1940
Quarterly Black Review of Books
The Quarterly Black Review of Books is a site that reviews the latest in black fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s books. It also includes a feature section, as well as a guide to black classics by author, a listing of works of significant black writers including W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker.
National Civil Rights Museum Web Site
Basic information about the museum, located in the Lorraine Motel, Memphis. Among the more useful sections: “Virtual Tour,” and “About the Museum.” Also has a link to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. You might also want to look at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Black Facts Online
At this site, produced by Inner City Software, one can look up black history facts for every day of the year, perform full-text searches for black history information, find out what black people were born on one’s birthday, etc. Claims to be “Your Internet Resource for Black History Information.”
Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery
Based on the PBS series of the same name. There are four topics: “The Terrible Transformations,” “Revolution,” “Brotherly Love,” and “Judgment Day.” Each topic is subdivided into a narrative section, a resource bank, and a teacher’s guide. The resource bank is divided into “People and Events,” Historical Documents,” and “Modern Voices” (interpretive essays).
Harriett Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Text of this famous memoir, plus other information about Jacobs, her times, slavery, etc.
Boston Abolitionists 1831-1865
This site includes 7 different sections which include useful manuscripts, photos, issues of William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and other interesting artifacts.
Goin’ North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia
Oral histories of Black Americans who migrated from the South to Philadelphia between 1910 and 1930. There are also images, newspaper articles and more.