Digital Library of the Week: Guide to Black History

For the month of February, let’s celebrate Black History Month by exploring a few of the best digital collections about the culture and contributions of African Americans. A great place to begin learning about African American history is the Encyclopedia Britannica’s Guide to Black History.

Start with a timeline of African culture from the 2nd century through to the present. You can read biographies on everyone from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Kanye West; browse by subject and learn about African and African American Visual Arts, Music and Dance, and Comedy, Film, Television, and Theatre. Finally, Encyclopedia Britannica has developed an Internet Guide to help you further explore Black History Month online.

President-elect Barack Obama waving to the crowd at a massive election night rally in Chicago's Grant Park on Nov. 4, 2008. With him are (from left) his daughters, Sasha and Malia, and his wife, Michelle
President-elect Barack Obama waving to the crowd at a massive election night rally in Chicago's Grant Park on Nov. 4, 2008. With him are (from left) his daughters, Sasha and Malia, and his wife, Michelle

The University Libraries has so much information on African and African American history, culture, and the visual and performing arts! Let’s just look at two online reference sources this week (if you are off campus, you’ll have to enter your name and library barcode before accessing these sources). From the Libraries homepage, under the heading Online Resources, you’ll find Reference Sources.

First up is African American Music Reference which has resources covering blues, jazz, slave and civil rights songs, gospel, and more. The Libraries also offers Black Drama: 1850-Present. This is a collection of over 1,000 full-text plays including The Piano Lesson by August Wilson and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange.

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