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Black Studies

A selective guide to recommended research resources in Black Studies

Just launched

Black Women's Suffrage
From the Digital Public Library of America, this digital collection is a collaborative project to provide digital access to materials documenting the roles and experiences of Black Women in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and, more broadly, women’s rights, voting rights, and civic activism between the 1850s and 1960. The materials in this collection include photographs, correspondence, speeches, event programs, publications, oral histories, and other artifacts.

Canadian and American Research Resources on the Web

African Canadian Online
Produced by the Centre for the Study of Black Cultures in Canada (York University)

Archives of Ontario: Resources Relating to Black history
The Archives of Ontario has numerous records relating to Black History in the province. 

Black History in Canada
Research resources from Library and Archives Canada and more.

Black History in Ontario
OurDigitalWorld's exhibits are made up of materials brought online by a number of community organizations around the province, including libraries, archives, historical societies, museums, galleries, clubs and associations, and other interest groups.

An online reference center that makes available materials on African American history. Includes an online encyclopedia of over 4,000 entries, the complete transcript of more than 300 speeches by African Americans, other people of African ancestry, and those concerned about race, given between 1789 and 2016, over 140 full text primary documents, bibliographies, timelines and six gateway pages with links to digital archive collections, African and African American museums and research centers, genealogical research websites, and more than 200 other website resources on African American and global African history.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938
From the Library of Congress, this collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. 

Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The purpose of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society.

Digital Library on American Slavery
From the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, the Digital Library on American Slavery is an expanding resource compiling various independent online collections focused upon race and slavery in the American South, made searchable through a single, simple interface.

Digital Schomburg
From the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Relying on the expertise of distinguished curators and scholars, Digital Schomburg provides access to trusted information, interpretation, and scholarship on the global black experience. The collection includes exhibitions, books, articles, photographs, prints, audio and video streams, and selected external links for research in the history and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora.

The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and Its Diasporas (York University, Canada)
Part of an international network of research centres committed to overcoming injustice and inequity as a result of slavery. Research focuses on the forced and voluntary movement of African peoples around the world.

The History Makers
An online repository of more than 2,700 video oral histories by African Americans.

National Museum of African American History & Culture 
See the virtual exhibit Slavery & Freedom 1400–1877 

Proclaiming Our Roots Project
A digital archive of Afro-Indigenous people sharing their personal and familial histories.

Slavery and the Law
From California State University Northridge, a searchable and digital collection of legal records documenting slavery and freedom through the Civil War.

The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation
An archive of the activities of an interdisciplinary conference event held at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2014 that brought together artists, curators, academics, students, and multiple public participants to engage in dialogue and, in effect, problematize the histories, current situation, and future state of black diasporic artistic practice and representation in Canada. The site also includes links to important resources such as Canadian Black-owned bookstores, with links to important essays by writers like Lillian Allen, Rinaldo Walcott and Kelsey Adams, among others, as well as links to YouTube and Facebook channels.

Umbra Search: African American History
Search across thousands of digitized collections pertaining to African American history. 

W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, 1803-1999 
From the NEH: "W.E.B. Du Bois stands as one of the twentieth century's deepest thinkers and greatest writers, whose extraordinary gifts as a scholar helped shape modern sociology, and whose social conscience shaped the global movement for civil rights." His complete papers are now freely accessible online via the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. 


Black Canadian Studies Association
The objectives of the Black Canadian Studies Association are to encourage the collection, documentation and preservation of a material culture relevant to the study of Blacks in Canada, to encourage a reassessment and activation of existing material cultural collections (or parts thereof) as relevant to Black Canadian Studies, to foster collective action and to challenge the Eurocentrism of Canadian Studies, and to demonstrate the historical and ongoing relevance of Black populations and experiences in Canada.

Canadian Association of African Studies
The Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) is a community of scholars and other researchers whose objectives are to promote the study of Africa in Canada, to make Canadians more aware of the problems and aspirations of Africans, to inform Canadian policy on and in Africa, and to facilitate exchanges and linkages between the Canadian and African universities and research institutions.

Public Opinion Polls

Black Lives Matter: 80 Years of Black Americans’ Public Opinion and How the U.S. Public Views Black America
The Roper Center, an US archive for public opinion polls, has created a guide related to Black Lives Matter: "In addition to describing the sources on national polling on race over the last 80 years, we also highlight polls of Black Americans and provide a primer on doing research on Black public opinion, list some resources on global public opinion of segregation in the US from midcentury, and offer charts from current polls. All data, topline, reports and other materials referenced on these pages are available to Roper members immediately and will be shared freely with non-members by request."