Every February, we celebrate the many contributions that African Americans have made to our society and honor the many struggles and triumphs they have faced over the generations. Infobase has a wide range of educational content that is ideal for researchers and educators at all levels looking for solid sources on African-American history. K–12 students, homeschoolers, college-level researchers, and public library patrons will all find something that will teach them something new about African-American history with Infobase’s products.
Study African-American History with the Best in Reference—Including Brand-New Content
Infobase’s African-American History database covers more than 500 years of the African-American experience, making it the ideal place to start for Black History Month–related research. With Black History Month coming up this February, African-American History is offering a wealth of new content, featuring hundreds of new and updated articles from just-published books, series, and titles.
Foremost among these are articles and chapters from several new volumes from Indiana University Press and University Press of Kentucky:
- Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader
- Black Lives Matter and Music
- Selma to Saigon: The Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War
- The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad
The popular Document-Based Questions in American History series also has numerous titles focusing on African-American history. Each volume in this series features a full narrative background of the topic, a chronology, and a complete set of primary sources, ideal for helping students research and answer document-based questions.
- Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics
- Loving v. Virginia (forthcoming February 2024)
- Madam C. J. Walker and the Rise of Black Beauty Culture
- The Little Rock School Crisis of 1957
- The Murder of Emmett Till
- The Presidential Campaign of Shirley Chisholm
- The Wilmington Coup of 1898 (forthcoming February 2024)
New state titles in the National Historic Landmarks series offer authoritative overview articles on major sites, buildings, and institutions in African-American history and culture. These include notable landmarks in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma, such as:
- 16th Street Baptist Church (Alabama)
- Black Jack Battlefield (Kansas)
- Boley Historic District (Oklahoma)
- Daisy Bates House (Arkansas)
- Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (Alabama)
- Edmund Pettus Bridge (Alabama)
- Fort Des Moines Provisional Army Officer Training School (Iowa)
- Howard High School (Delaware)
- Little Rock Central High School (Arkansas)
- Nicodemus National Historic Site (Kansas)
- Tuskegee National Historic Site (Alabama)
The database has also just published new material from African-American Faith in America, Third Edition, with articles on early African-American religion, important African-American events, African-American faith and culture, African-American faith today and tomorrow, and more. And finally, the just-published African-American Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations, Second Edition, features more than 110 articles on contemporary Black culture and events, including:
- African World Festival in Detroit and Milwaukee
- Black Cowboy Parade
- Crispus Attucks Day
- D.C. Caribbean Carnival
- Emancipation Day
- Festival Sundiata
- Fillmore Jazz Festival
- Founder’s Day/Richard Allen’s Birthday
- Frederick Douglass Day
- Harlem Week
- Ifa Festival and Yoruba National Convention
- MOJA Arts Festival
- Pan-African Bookfest and Cultural Conference
- Rosa Parks Day
- Sugar Grove Underground Railroad Convention
- Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities
African-American History also features a section specifically devoted to Black History Month that brings together keywords related to this year’s theme, “African Americans and the Arts.” Find links to articles, primary sources, images, videos, and more on Louis Armstrong, Nikki Giovanni, Jimi Hendrix, Jacob Lawrence, Toni Morrison, Tupac Shakur, Ida B. Wells, Black Arts Movement, Harlem Renaissance, the blues, jazz, rap, spirituals, the miniseries Roots, and much more.
Users will find a wide variety of entry points on the African-American History platform into the massive amount of content, including featured content sliders on the homepage highlighting primary sources, our proprietary maps and graphs, biographies of notable African Americans (including major musicians, influential writers, and Harlem Renaissance figures) and videos and slideshows. Encourage researchers who are studying a specific subject or era to check out the Topic Centers, which bring together content specially selected by our editors—including articles, sharable slideshows, videos, primary sources, and more—on specific topics including the Underground Railroad, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and much more.
Learn about the Literature of the Harlem Renaissance and More
Are your researchers looking for more information on this year’s Black History Month theme, “African Americans and the Arts”? Direct them to Bloom’s Literature, where they can find:
- A Topic Center on the Harlem Renaissance that brings together a wide range of content selected by our editors—including illustrated articles, videos, content on related writers and works, and more—to give users an easy starting point for research.
- A Literary Movements section where users can easily find reference content, literary criticism, and more on Negritude, the Black Arts Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and other frequently researched movements.
- A wealth of content on the most researched African-American authors—including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou—and the most studied works by African-American authors, including Beloved, The Color Purple, Invisible Man, and A Raisin in the Sun.
- And much more!
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Engage Researchers with African-American History Streaming Video Titles
Infobase’s streaming video and media platforms for all institutions—including Learn360 for K–12 schools and districts, Classroom Video On Demand for secondary schools, Just for Kids and Access Video On Demand for public libraries, and Films On Demand for colleges and universities—include a wealth of content on African-American history aimed at a wide range of audiences. Here is just some of the content you can find. (Some of these titles contain mature themes or content; viewer discretion is advised.)
- Jim Crow Laws and the Birth of Civil Rights (History Kids: U.S. History series) (Wonderscape®, 2023, Item #291621; available on Learn360): Learn all about Jim Crow laws and the birth of civil rights in the United States. What were Jim Crow laws? What does “separate but equal” mean? What was the Reconstruction Era and what did the Civil Rights Act of 1875 actually accomplish? What was the significance of Plessy v. Ferguson? What were the contributions of Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, and Martin Luther King Jr.? What were the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965? The answers to all of these questions and more are covered in depth with exciting video and dynamic graphics that reinforce important concepts.
- Notable Firsts in Black American History (History Kids: U.S. History series) (Wonderscape, 2023, Item #291622; available on Learn360): Learn all about notable firsts in Black American history. Who was the “Mother of Black Literature”? Who was the first Black senator? What were the first Black universities and colleges established in the United States? Who was the first Black person to win an Academy Award? Who was the first Black Major League baseball player? The answers to all of these questions and more are covered in depth with exciting video and dynamic graphics that reinforce important concepts.
- History Kids: Celebrating Black History Month (History Kids: World History series) (Wonderscape, 2023, Item #289504; available on Learn360 and Just for Kids): Learn all about why and how we celebrate Black History Month. Who was Carter G. Woodson? How was his research and documentation of Black history beyond their enslavement in the United States important to Black people then and now? Why did history books, newspapers, newsreels, and movies historically record and present only negative stereotypes of Blacks, if any representation at all? How did celebrating Black history inspire recent great Black achievers like Barack Obama, Thurgood Marshall, and Ketanji Brown-Jackson? The answers to all of these questions and more are covered in depth with detailed graphics, exciting video, and diagrams that reinforce important concepts.
- History Kids: 10 Most Influential U.S. Black Leaders—MLK, Harriet Tubman, Katherine Johnson, and More (History Kids: World History series) (Wonderscape, 2022, Item #289503; available on Learn360 and Just for Kids): Learn all about ten Black individuals that are arguably the most influential in the history of the United States. What were the accomplishments and contributions made by each of them? This program spotlights Harriet Tubman, Barack Obama, Ruby Bridges, Frederick Douglass, Claudette Colvin, Thurgood Marshall, Madam C.J. Walker, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Katherine Johnson, and Muhammad Ali.
- Rosa Parks (DK Timelines series) (Makematic, 2022, Item #288559; available on Learn360, Classroom Video On Demand, and Access Video On Demand): This is a timeline of the life of Rosa Parks, a woman who made history with a single act of courage. She refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955, a time when the U.S. was racially segregated. Rosa Parks’s bravery inspired tens of thousands of African Americans to protest by refusing to take the city’s buses in Montgomery, Alabama.
- Amanda Gorman (Untold: Authors That Changed America series) (Makematic, 2023, Item #291448; available on Learn360): Part of a series that explores the lasting legacies of men and women writers from across the country, this video shows how Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in history, introduced a new generation to the lyrical power of poetry. As a young Black woman who writes about a range of themes and issues, she has become a modern-day icon.
- Linda Brown (Untold: Art That Changed America series) (Makematic, 2021, Item #238900; available on Learn360, Classroom Video On Demand, Access Video On Demand, and Films On Demand): Learn how a landmark case known as Brown v. Board of Education thrust Linda Brown, who was just nine years old at the time, into the national spotlight, as she fought—and won—against segregation in the American school system.
- Black Cowboys of the West (Untold: Wild Wild West series) (Makematic, 2021, Item #279961; available on Learn360 and Classroom Video On Demand): This title is part of a series that explores Western expansion across the U.S. and dives into the stories of some of the earliest explorers and pioneers. In this episode, learn how, although the stereotypical image of a White cowboy dominates popular culture, in the 19th century, a quarter of ranch hands were Black!
- AP African American Studies (NewsHour, 2023, Item #291432; available on Learn360, Access Video On Demand, and Films On Demand in the United States and Canada): The school year is coming to a close and, with it, the first year of Advanced Placement African American studies, an interdisciplinary class by the College Board that has attracted praise from professors and also fierce opposition from some Republican politicians. Laura Barrón-López spoke with educators, students, and experts to understand the potential and the politics behind the course.
Public Libraries and Higher Ed:
- The Big Payback (PBS, 2023, Item #290538; available on Access Video On Demand and Films On Demand in the United States and Canada): Evanston, Illinois, Alderwoman Robin Rue Simmons leads the passage of the first tax-funded reparations bill in U.S. history for Black Americans. What follows is conflict as she and her community struggle with the burden of making repair and restitution for Black Americans harmed by centuries of slavery, systemic injustice, and exploitation while racial and social crisis engulfs the country.
- South to Black Power (HBO®, 2023, Item #292027; available on Access Video On Demand and Films On Demand in the United States and Canada): In the documentary South to Black Power, Charles M. Blow, New York Times columnist and best-selling author of The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, sets off across the country on a personal journey. Along the way, he meets with politicians, historians, community activists, colleagues, friends, and family members to test his theory on Black Liberation, which involves a daring strategy for Black Americans to move to southern states to control legislatures and gain greater political power.
- Talking Black in America series (NC State University, 2022, Item #281096; available on Classroom Video On Demand, Access Video On Demand, and Films On Demand): This three-part documentary series explores the most controversial and misunderstood language variety in the United States: African American Language (AAL). With the perspectives of everyday people and the guidance of historians, linguists, and educators, the series showcases the history of the language, the symbolic role it plays in the lives of African Americans, and its tremendous impact on the language and culture of the United States.
- Making Black America series (PBS, 2022, Item #282627; available on Classroom Video On Demand, Access Video On Demand, and Films On Demand): This four-hour series, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., chronicles the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people—beyond the reach of the “white gaze.” Gates takes viewers into an extraordinary world that showcases Black people’s ability to collectively prosper, defy white supremacy, and define Blackness in ways that transformed America itself.
- TEDTalks: David Ikard—The Real Story of Rosa Parks—And Why We Need to Confront Myths about Black History (TED, 2020, Item #209593; available on Access Video On Demand and Films On Demand in the United States and Canada): Black history taught in U.S. schools is often watered-down, riddled with inaccuracies, and stripped of its context and rich, full-bodied historical figures. Equipped with the real story of Rosa Parks, professor David Ikard highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all—and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy.
- Becoming Frederick Douglass (PBS, 2022, Item #283066; available on Access Video On Demand and Films On Demand): Discover how a man born into slavery became one of the most influential voices for democracy in U.S. history. A gifted writer and charismatic orator, it is estimated that more Americans heard Douglass speak than any other 19th-century figure—Black or white. Directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson and Nicole London, the film features the voice of actor Wendell Pierce as Douglass.
- Five Centuries: Taking the Knee series (3DD, 2021, Item #283526; available on Access Video On Demand and Films On Demand in the United States and Canada): This two-part special begins with first years of the European slave trade but fundamentally focuses on the individuals who fought and struggled against colonialism, slavery, and their legacies. Insisting on the importance of individuals and their ability to resist historical conditions—to shoulder burdens and to break down walls—it covers five centuries of intertwining British and American histories. Narrated by Dotun Adebayo MBE.
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Want even more content on African-American history? Check out these other Infobase resources:
- American History
- The World Almanac® for Kids
- Credo Source
- Credo Reference (for higher education institutions and public libraries)
- Issues & Controversies in History