african american history

african american history

Black Archives and Special Collections

Black Archives and Special Collections

Celebrate Black History Month by remembering and reflecting on the many people and groups who participated in the fight for civil rights. These Black Archives and Special Collections offer a range of materials from primary source documents to newspaper archives and podcasts. The New York Public Radio Archives & Preservation celebrates Black History Month by assembling a collection of their leading preservation work, series, and sonic artifacts focusing on African American history. Listen to opera singer Marian Anderson, who in 1955 was the First African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House, addresses some of the prejudice and segregation she experienced. One instance that Anderson recounts is when she received the Key to the City from the Atlantic City’s … Continued
Black History at Home

Black History at Home

When we contemplate Black History Month, the names of historic giants come to mind – inventors and businesspeople, ministers and activists, musicians and politicians – the kind of people who redirect the flow of history and inspire millions.  The people that have the most influence, though, are often the nearest – local people who tirelessly build up their communities, mentor others, and give younger people their first role models. This local community has been fortunate to have many nearby heroes who have improved and shaped the city and county to the betterment of all.  And this has been true from the very beginning.  For example, Rev. James M. Townsend, born in 1841, became an ordained minister by the age of … Continued
Black Contemporary Science Fiction

Black Contemporary Science Fiction

In the wake of Octavia Butler’s groundbreaking work in the 1970s, including the Patternfinder series and Kindred, Black science fiction has taken on social justice, culture and history to create one of the freshest and most exciting art forms in contemporary literature.  In this blog, we’ll explore some of the biggest names in the field, covering everything from magical realism to postapocalyptic fiction. Nnedi Okorafor Dr. Okorafor was born in Cincinnati to parents of Nigerian descent,and grew up in Illinois.  Her writing career began with tragedy when an operation for scoliosis left her paralyzed from the waist down.  While recovering, a friend loaned her a copy of the Isaac Asimov classic I, Robot, which Okorafor marked up with notations in … Continued
African Heritage and Health Week features food traditions

African Heritage and Health Week features food traditions

As Black History Month begins, African Heritage & Health Week focuses on food traditions from Africa which have enriched the world.  Championed by the nonprofit group Oldways, which educates on heritage-based diets from many world cultures, traditional African dishes and ingredients are highlighted, such as the use of millet, peanut stews, yucca root, and leafy greens.  While anyone can benefit from this cuisine, African Americans suffer disproportionately from health issues like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease which can be mitigated by a traditional diet. Oldways offers health studies, recipes, and food preparation guides on their website.  The Campus Library offers many valuable, vetted resources as well.  Several of our databases focus on African American issues, such as African-American History Online … Continued
Celebrating Pride and African American Music Appreciation Month

Celebrating Pride and African American Music Appreciation Month

June celebrations are myriad and interesting, with lots of opportunities for discovery and learning.  This month, we celebrate both African American Music Appreciation Month and LGBTQ Pride Month.  African American LGBTQ musicians have contributed some of the most recognizable songs in American history, as well as serving as examples of successful artists who in many cases lived their truths openly.  Here, we profile a handful of artists spanning over 100 years of recorded music. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey Ma Rainey was born in 1886 with the full name of Gertrude Melissa Nix Pridgett, likely in Columbus, Georgia.  Her potent version of the blues was confrontational and influential, and she worked with some of the most famous artists of her (and any … Continued