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Black History Month 2021: Digital Resources

Learn more about National Black History Month, Feb. 1 - Feb. 28

Digital Collection

Visit our Digital Collection for this topic OR click on the e-books in the slideshow below!

E-books

African American Cinema Through Black Lives Consciousness

African American Cinema through Black Lives Consciousness uses critical race theory to discuss American films that embrace contemporary issues of race, sexuality, class, and gender. Its linear history chronicles black-oriented narrative film from post-World War II through the presidential administration of Barack Obama. Editor Mark A. Reid has assembled a stellar list of contributors who approach their film analyses as an intersectional practice that combines queer theory, feminism/womanism, and class analytical strategies alongside conventional film history and theory.

The African American Experience in Cyberspace

There is so great a flow of information that it is necessary to have a tool for guiding one to the best and most reliable sources. This important new guide to the African American experience in cyberspace fills this need for people in all areas of Black Studies and Multiculturalism. The first section covers every aspect of African American history, while a second section deals with a diverse set of topics covering society and culture. Each chapter has a brief essay, extensively annotation on the five best sites for each topic, and then a group of good sites and a short bibliography. This book is designed for a course at the high school or college level. This book should be kept near every home computer that people use to surf the web for Black content. M

African American Family Life

This volume brings together leading experts from different disciplines to offer new perspectives on contemporary African American families. A wealth of knowledge is presented on the heterogeneity of Black family life today; the challenges and opportunities facing parents, children, and communities; and the impact on health and development of key cultural and social processes. Comprehensive and authoritative, the book critically evaluates current policies and service delivery models and offers cogent recommendations for supporting families' strengths.

African American Lives

African American Lives offers up-to-date, authoritative biographies of some 600 noteworthy African Americans. These 1,000-3,000 word biographies, selected from over five thousand entries in the forthcoming eight-volume African American National Biography, illuminate African-American history through the immediacy of individual experience. From Esteban, the earliest known African to set foot in North America in 1528, right up to the continuing careers of Venus and Serena Williams, these stories of the renowned and the near-forgotten give us a new view of American history. Our past is revealed from personal perspectives that in turn inspire, move, entertain, and even infuriate the reader. Subjects include slaves and abolitionists, writers, politicians, and business people, musicians and dancers, artists and athletes, victims of injustice and the lawyers, journalists, and civil rights leaders who gave them a voice. 

African Art

African Art invites you to explore the dynamic origins of the vast artistic expressions arising from the exotic and mystifying African continent. Since the discovery of African art at the end of the nineteenth century during the colonial expositions it has been a limitless source of inspiration for artists who, over time, have perpetually recreated these artworks. The power of Sub-Saharan African art lies within its visual diversity, demonstrating the creativity of the artists who are continuing to conceptualize new stylistic forms. From Mauritania to South Africa and from the Ivory Coast to Somalia, statues, masks, jewelry, pottery and tapestries compose a variety of daily and ritual objects springing from these richly varied societies.

Black History

Some of the most interesting people and events of the past often get bypassed in a classroom. This includes a large number of African-Americans who helped build this country. Black History: More Than Just A Month pays tribute to these forgotten individuals and their accomplishments. Some of the people included are war heroes, inventors, celebrities, athletes, etc. This book is a great supplement to any history class.

Black Orpheus

The legendary Greek figure Orpheus was said to have possessed magical powers capable of moving all living and inanimate things through the sound of his lyre and voice. Over time, the Orphic theme has come to indicate the power of music to unsettle, subvert, and ultimately bring down oppressive realities in order to liberate the soul and expand human life without limits. The liberating effect of music has been a particularly important theme in twentieth-century African American literature. The nine original essays in Black Orpheus examines the Orphic theme in the fiction of such African American writers as Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, James Baldwin, Nathaniel Mackey, Sherley Anne Williams, Ann Petry, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Gayl Jones, and Toni Morrison. The authors discussed in this volume depict music as a mystical, shamanistic, and spiritual power that can miraculously transform the realities of the soul and of the world. 

Exhibiting Blackness

In 1927, the Chicago Art Institute presented the first major museum exhibition of art by African Americans.   In Exhibiting Blackness, art historian Bridget R. Cooks analyzes the curatorial strategies, challenges, and critical receptions of the most significant museum exhibitions of African American art. Tracing two dominant methodologies used to exhibit art by African Americans an  ethnographic approach that focuses more on artists than their art, and a recovery narrative aimed at correcting past omissions?

Harlem

Focusing on the contributions of civic reformers and political architects who arrived in New York in the early decades of the 20th century, this book explores the wide array of sweeping social reforms and radical racial demands first conceived of and planned in Harlem that transformed African Americans into self-aware U.S. citizens for the first time in history. When the first slave escaped bondage in the American South and migrated to the Northeast region of the United States, this act of an individual started what became known as the "great migration" of African Americans fleeing the feudal South for New York and other Northern cities. 

If I Can Cook/You Know God Can

An expanded edition of a celebrated book that travels throughout the African diaspora to savor the timeless joy of black cuisine and culture. A hidden gem by the author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Some Sing, Some Cry, Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and Betsey Brown, a delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. This edition, with delectable illustrations, features additional recipes--including two vegan dishes--that connect the culinary past to the present and welcomes a new generation of readers. With recipes such as "Cousin Eddie's Shark with Breadfruit" and "Collard Greens to Bring You Money," Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz of Duke Ellington, and shared by generations across the African diaspora. Rich with personal memories and historical insight, 

Keep on Pushing

The marriage of music and social change didn't originate with the movements for civil rights and Black Power in the 1950s and 1960s, but never before and never again was the relationship between the two so dynamic. In Keep On Pushing , author Denise Sullivan presents the voices of musician-activists from this pivotal era and the artists who followed in their footsteps to become the force behind contemporary liberation music. Joining authentic voices with a bittersweet narrative covering more than fifty years of fighting oppression through song, Keep On Pushing defines the soundtrack to revolution and the price the artists paid to create it. Exclusive interviews with Yoko Ono, Richie Havens, Len Chandler, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Michael Franti, Solomon Burke, Wayne Kramer, John Sinclair, Phranc, plus musician-activist Elaine Brown on the Black Panthers, Nina Simone collaborator Al Schackman, Penelope Houston and Debora Iyall on San Francisco punk rock, Ed Pearl on the L.A. folk scene and the Ash Grove, and other musical and political icons.

Music of the Common Tongue

In clear and elegant prose, Music of the Common Tongue, first published in 1987, argues that by any reasonable reckoning of the function of music in human life the African American tradition, that which stems from the collision between African and European ways of doing music which occurred in the Americas and the Caribbean during and after slavery, is the major western music of the twentieth century. In showing why this is so, the author presents not only an account of African American music from its origins but also a more general consideration of the nature of the music act and of its function in human life. The two streams of discussion occupy alternate chapters so that each casts light on the other. The author offers also an answer to what the Musical Times called the "seldom posed though glaringly obtrusive" question: "why is it that the music of an alienated, oppressed, often persecuted black minority should have made so powerful an impact on the entire industrialized world, whatever the color of its skin or economic status?"

Recipes for Respect

Food studies, once trendy, has settled into the public arena. In the academy, scholarship on food and literary culture constitutes a growing river within literary and cultural studies, but writing on African American food and dining remains a tributary. Recipes for Respect bridges this gap, illuminating the role of foodways in African American culture as well as the contributions of Black cooks and chefs to what has been considered the mainstream. Beginning in the early nineteenth century and continuing nearly to the present day, African Americans have often been stereotyped as illiterate kitchen geniuses. Rafia Zafar addresses this error, highlighting the long history of accomplished African Americans within our culinary traditions, as well as the literary and entrepreneurial strategies for civil rights and respectability woven into the written records of dining, cooking, and serving. 

Shout Because You're Free

The ring shout is the oldest known African American performance tradition surviving on the North American continent. Performed for the purpose of religious worship, this fusion of dance, song, and percussion survives today in the Bolton Community of McIntosh County, Georgia. Incorporating oral history, first-person accounts, musical transcriptions, photographs, and drawings, Shout Because You're Free documents a group of performers known as the McIntosh County Shouters. Derived from African practices, the ring shout combines call-and-response singing, the percussion of a stick or broom on a wood floor, and hand-clapping and foot-tapping. First described in depth by outside observers on the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia during the Civil War, the ring shout was presumed to have died out in active practice until 1980, when the shouters in the Bolton community first came to the public's attention. Shout Because You're Free is the result of sixteen years of research and fieldwork by Art and Margo Rosenbaum, authors of Folk Visions and Voices. 

Sweet Home Café Cookbook

Since the 2016 opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, its Sweet Home Cafe has become a destination in its own right. Showcasing African American contributions to American cuisine, the cafe offers favorite dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, adding modern flavors and contemporary twists on classics. Now both readers and home cooks can partake of the cafe's bounty- drawing upon traditions of family and fellowship strengthened by shared meals, Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook celebrates African American cooking through recipes served by the cafe itself and dishes inspired by foods from African American culture. With 109 recipes, the sumptuous Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook takes readers on a deliciously unique journey. Presented here are the salads, sides, soups, snacks, sauces, main dishes, breads, and sweets that emerged in America as African, Caribbean, and European influences blended together. 

Black History Month

PBS -African American Series