New Online Resources for the Study of African American History and Culture

Online resourcesThe online exhibit The African-American Mosaic accompanies a publication by the same name that guides visitors to the Library of Congress’s African American collections. Covering the nearly 500 years of the black experience in the Western Hemisphere, the exhibit consists of books, periodicals, prints, photographs, music, film, and audio recordings. It samples the materials and themes covered by the Library’s collections in four main areas: Colonization, Abolition, Migrations, and the WPA. These topics illustrate well the richness of the LOC’s black history collections and present in interesting ways their many interconnections. For example, the “back-to-Africa” movement is linked to the abolitionists who opposed it, while the northward migration of African Americans is documented by participants in New Deal projects.

The Africans in America Web site is a companion to the six-hour PBS television series that chronicles the history of racial slavery in the United States. It also explores the paradox of American democracy, which expanded even as the oppression of slavery continued. Africans in America examines the contributions of African people and their descendants to the transformation of the United States. The four-part structure of the site corresponds to the time periods covered by the episodes of the companion television series. Each part provides a historical narrative and links to a resource bank. The resource bank is made up of more than 400 items—in-depth biographies and historical notes, annotated primary sources, audio commentaries excerpted from interviews, and more. A Teacher’s Guide facilitates classroom use of both the Web site and the TV series.

Related Links

  • African-American Mosaic
    The Library of Congress’s rich online resource for the study of African American history and culture features Web pages devoted to the abolition of slavery, migration, Back-to-Africa colonization, the New Deal’s WPA, and more.
    (Source: Library of Congress, July 23, 2010)
  • Africans in America
    This Public Broadcasting System site is based on a TV series that presents a four-part “journey through slavery” from the Terrible Transformation of the slave trade to Judgment Day and the Civil War; features historical narratives, image banks, primary source documents, biographies, and commentaries.
    (Source: PBS; accessed August 31, 2010)
  • Black History Month
    The site titled “Black History Month” is just an entry point into’s online resources, which are among the best available, and are accessible year-round; includes videos, photo galleries, speeches, with a More to Explore feature with links to related individuals, groups, themes, events, and topics.
    (Source:; accessed August 31, 2010)
  • Black Facts
    This Web page presents Today in Black History, with selected facts from African American history updated daily, and features a searchable database of information.
    (Source:; accessed August 31, 2010)

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