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African American Studies: Primary Sources

Selected web sites of primary sources

American Memory Project

American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America.

Documenting the American South

“DocSouth  is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes ten thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs" (University of North Carolina).

The Martin Luther King Center Archive

The King Center Imaging Project brings the works and papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to a digital generation.

Mississippi Freedom Summer Project 1964 Digital Collection

In 1964, volunteers gathered at the former Western College for Women (now a part of Miami University) for “Freedom Summer,” to be trained to register African-American voters in Mississippi. Three volunteers were subsequently found murdered in Mississippi. The events of Freedom Summer helped to call attention to racial inequality and serve as a catalyst for change.

List of freely available online African American newspapers

From Marist College in New York.

Robert Penn Warren’s Who Speaks for the Negro?

“In 1965, Random House published Robert Penn Warren’s book titled Who Speaks for the Negro?  In preparation for writing the volume, Warren traveled throughout the United States in early 1964 and spoke with large numbers of men and women who were involved in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. He interviewed nationally-known figures as well as people working in the trenches of the movement whose names might otherwise be lost to history.  In each case, he recorded their conversations on a reel-to-reel tape recorder.  The published volume contains sections of transcripts from these conversations as well as Warren’s reflections on the individuals he interviewed and his thoughts on the state of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.”