If Digital History is “using new technologies to enhance research and teaching,” as the excellent website from the University of Houston puts it, then African American history is being well-served digitally. In honor of African American History month, I survey here one enormous and useful website that gives us all access to a very wide variety of materials.
Moviegoers who recently flocked to cinemas around the country to take in George Lucas’ World War II aviation blockbuster, Red Tails, may be unaware of the long and checkered history of black servicemen in the American military in the decades before the ascendance of the now famous Tuskegee Airmen.
The past decade has witnessed an explosion of books examining African American beauty culture from various angles.
Bernice Robinson, a forty-one year old Charleston beautician, was surprised when she was asked to become the first teacher for the Highlander Folk School’s Citizen Education program in the South Carolina Sea Islands, for she had neither experience as a teacher nor a college education. This did not present a problem for Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander School.
The Book of Negroes is an extraordinary historical resource, a meticulous list drawn up by the British authorities between May and November 1783, in which they recorded the personal details of some 3,000 African Americans evacuated from New York.
Michele Mitchell’s Righteous Propagation is a fascinating study of the tactics African Americans used to bolster racial uplift after Reconstruction. Mitchell presents the book as a social history, revealing moments when African Americans shared ideas on ways to advance the race during the Progressive Era at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.