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African American Historical & Cultural Resources

Selected Books For Adults:

Alexander, Michelle  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

364.973 ALE


Bennett, Brit  The Vanishing Half



Blight, David W.  Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom



Broom, Sarah M.  The Yellow House

814.6 BRO


Coates, Ta-Nehisi  Between the World and Me and also The Water Dancer

305.8009 COA & FICTION COA


Gyasi, Yaa  Homegoing



Hurston, Zora Neale  Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance



Kendi, Ibram X.  Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

305.8009 KEN


Meacham, Jon  His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope



Skloot, Rebecca  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

616.0277 SKL


Shetterly, Margot Lee  Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

510.9252 LEE


Tipton-Martin, Toni  Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking

641.5929 TIP


Wilkerson, Isabel  The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

304.8097 WIL


Whitehead, Colson  Underground Railroad


Selected Websites (including video and audio):


African American History Month


African American Odyssey, Library of Congress


Archives of African American Music & Culture, Indiana University


Black History Playlist, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive (scroll down to find a playlist of 20 performances)


Images of African Americans from the 19th Century, Digital Schomburg, NYPL


In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL


Music, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture


StoryCorps Griot


Ten Great Talks to Celebrate Black History Month, TED Talks (includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story”)


Understanding Black Experiences, Rochester Public Library


Databases Available through BML

Academic OneFile 

Find an article on almost any topic of African-American history. 

This library edition contains census, marriage, birth, death records, and more. Learn about the roots of African-American families, maybe even your own. (The library edition of is available only inside BML.)


Black Freedom Struggle in the United States  

Historical newspaper articles, legal documents, and more from specific time periods in U.S. history marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom.


Democrat & Chronicle Archive 

Newspapers from 1871-2011, with primary sources of historical events, including Frederick Douglass’s funeral, William Warfield’s first concerts, the 1964 Riots, and the music scene at the Pythodd Room.


Encyclopedia Britannica Academic

Comprehensive knowledge of African-Americans and their history.


Historical Newspapers of the Rochester Region
A variety of newspapers published from1806-1979.


NoveList Plus  

A great source for non-fiction and historical fiction books on the African-American experience.


Rochester History 

These articles cover the history of Rochester and Western New York from 1939 to the present, including slavery in the Genesee Valley, Frederick Douglass, Henry Johnson, and the Liberian experiment.

Rochester Images 

Over 22,000 historical and contemporary images from Rochester and Monroe County, including photos of the Dorsey Home for Dependent Colored Children, Civil War Major F.S. Cunningham, and Civil War era political cartoons.


World Book Student 

Find information for elementary and middle school students on African-Americans and their experiences.

Books for Adults
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