Tag Archives: black history

Library of Congress Online Exhibit – African American History Month

Carter G. Woodson, historian and founder of Black History Month in America; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Carter G. Woodson, historian and founder of Black History Month in America; courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

If your’e looking for resources for Black History Month, the Library of Congress has published an extensive online repository “African American History Month.” It focuses on the history of African Americans in popular culture, sports, politics, Civil Rights, art, and more.

You can view written documents, images, audio collections, and video as it pertains to different areas of study and focus. To access content, simply visit here.

iTunes U – Civil Rights: Voices of a Movement


Martin Luther King, Jr. - Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

American RadioWorks, a subset of American Public Media, has published 10 free iTunes U episodes “Civil Rights: Voices of a Movement.”

“For much of the 20th Century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as U.S. citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal. Hear the voices from the heart of the Civil Rights revolution describe life before, during and after Jim Crow, Freedom Summer and Brown vs. the Board of Education.”

The accounts include transcripts, recordings, and other important artifacts of the Civil Rights movement. You can subscribe for free here.

iTunes U: Behind the Veil – Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crowe South

Separated "Whites" and "Colors" cafe in Durham, NC. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Separated “Whites” and “Colors” cafe in Durham, NC. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

iTunes U is an amazing, free repository for educational material for primary, secondary, and college level learning. Duke University’s Library has posted its collection, “Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crowe South.”

The collection includes more than 300 digitized recordings of interviews with African Americans that lived through segregation throughout the south, with a focus on the Charlotte-Durham-Enfield regions on the state of North Carolina.

You can learn more about the production and the full collection here and download the contents via iTunes U here.

Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Teaching Civil Rights

Today marks the anniversary of the landmark case, Brown vs. Board of Education. On this day in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation of races for education under the “separate but equal” clause was unconstitutional. The case would begin the unwinding of separate but equal institutions throughout the country (a process that would take decades). In honor of the 59th anniversary, here are a great list of resources for teaching this topic:

National Park Service – The NPS hosts a series of online and real life tours, catalogues  artifacts, images, videos, and more. Check out the website for the Brown v. Board of Education case.

Library of Congress – The Library of Congress highlights Brown v. Board of Education along with a series of other landmark cases, arguments, studies, etc on the issue of Civil Rights in American history. You can explore the LOC online as well as in person.

Ourdocuments.org – Explore high resolution images of the Brown decision as well as other documents related to Civil Rights and the landmark Supreme Court decision.


Smithsonian Institution Brown v. Board of Education

Smithsonian Institution Brown v. Board of Education

Separate is Not Equal: Smithsonian Institution – the Smithsonian commemorates the landmark case with an in depth online exhibit that explore segregation in the United States.

National Archives – The National Archives hosts high resolution images of landmark papers, including the Supreme Court deciding and dissenting opinion on the Brown v. Board of Education case.

Library of Congress Electronic Exhibit – African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

The Woolworth sit-in, LOC

The Woolworth sit-in, LOC

In honor of Black History Month, the Library of Congress is hosting the electronic exhibit “African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship.” The exhibit displays more than 240 artifacts, including documents, images, videos, and more.

The exhibit “explores black America’s quest for equality from the early national period through the twentieth century.”

This is a rich, multimedia exploration into the experience of African Americans in this country for over 200 years.

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln

Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863Today is the 204th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is one of America’s most celebrated Presidents, having served during the Union’s darkest time – the Civil War. His problematic tenure in office saw the United States nearly torn apart, the abolition of slavery, and the beginnings of our reunification. His assassination at Ford’s Theatre in April 1865 ensured he would not live to see the survival of his beloved country.

To learn more about Abraham Lincoln, visit the website for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the National Park Service’s Lincoln Memorial.

The Origins of Black History Month

February is Black History Month – a time when Americans focus on the history, achievements, and contributions that African Americans have made. While it is not the only cultural heritage or focused history month, it is the oldest and often viewed as the most controversial. Black History month has been a unique and growing entity among not only American cultural history, but throughout the world (Canada and the UK most markedly).

Carter Woodson

Carter Woodson

In the United States, historian Carter Woodson (often called the “Father of Black History”) and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History proposed that the second week of February be recognized as “Negro History Week.” The date was chosen due to its proximity to the birthdates of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. He wanted Americans to focus on an celebrate the achievements of Black Americans with the ultimate goal of it being weeded out as Black History became a part of the American Historical curriculum:

“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” — Carter Woodson

“What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.” — Carter Woodson

The celebration of Black History week was hugely popular and spurred several Black History Clubs, interest from educators, and grew in importance with the Civil Rights movement. In 1976, the Federal Government recognized the expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month. In 1987, Black History month was celebrated for the first time in the United Kingdom. In 1995, Canada’s government officially recognized Black history month in Canadian curriculum.