Documenting American Culture: Historical Black Newspapers!

Are you studying the Harlem Renaissance? Or, are you writing a paper on the Civil Rights Movement? Or, on any aspect of our country's history, for that matter! Check out the historical black newspapers in our collection for great primary sources documenting important events in American history and culture. We now have access to the New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002), Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), and Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005). All these newspapers, along with the Baltimore African-American (1893-1988) and Chicago Defender (1910-1975), are cross-searchable via the ProQuest platform.

With these newspapers, you can find important primary source materials for African-American history. Several articles related to the African-American history, arts, politics and culture are available that can be easily downloaded in PDF format. Besides articles, you can also search for editorials, editorial cartoons, obituaries, comics, and other sorts of material. For example, you can find articles published in the 1950s related to Rosa Parks’ active participation in the rallies protesting injustice and inequalities against African-Americans. You can also read articles to learn about how Martin Luther King led the boycott of buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Likewise, there are many articles about Malcom X’s role as an ardent advocate of the rights of African Americans. Apart from these newspapers, you can also consult the Africana Studies and the History subject guides for additional scholarly resources, such as books and journal articles.

To supplement what you find in our research guides, there are many online resources available on the Internet for free. These include the African American Mosaic, African-American History Collections, African-American Sheet Music, Civil Rights Digital Library, African-American Women, Archives of African-American Music and Culture, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the New York Public Library’s Africana and Black History Collection.

About Chella Vaidyanathan

Curator of 19th-21st Century Books & Manuscripts and Liaison Librarian for History, Africana Studies & Latin American Studies

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