What Are Some Good Resources for African American History?


Quick Answer

The National Museum of African American History and Culture by the Smithsonian provides exhibits for learning about African-American culture. Additionally, the Library of Congress contains several historical documents for learning about African-American history. Slave narratives, like those by Frederick Douglass, are also strong resources.

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Full Answer

Besides visiting museums that specialize in or showcase African-American history, heritage and culture, there are several online and print resources for learning about African-American history. The websites of such museums, such as the National Museum of African American History's webpage, provide users with a shorter version of the information found in their museums. The Library of Congress' webpage on African-American history includes photos of and information about historical documents related to slavery and civil rights.

Other strong resources include memoirs, slave narratives and African-American literature. Frederick Douglass and Solomon Northup both wrote accounts of their times as slaves that outline the plantation system and describe some of the horrors of slavery as well as an African-American experience. Other writers, such as Charles Chesnutt, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes have written fictional accounts of African-American history that are rooted in real life experiences and events.

Several films and documentaries also examine African American history. The film "Twelve Years a Slave" is based on Solomon Northup's account of slavery, and "Eyes on the Prize" is a documentary outlining the Civil Rights movement between the 1950s and 1960s.

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