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From Civil Rights to Black Liberation: Home
"As the civil rights struggle widened into a national liberation struggle, many activists began looking for political strategies that went beyond the integrationism of mainstream civil rights groups." Liberation School
In today's current political and cultural climate, it's crucial that everyday Americans are engaging in important conversations about race, bias, discrimination, and privilege. For people of color, these conversations are nothing new; they are a requirement in communities where experiences of racism, bias, and bigotry are a part of everyday life. But for many white people who have never been burdened by a system built specifically to keep us down, these conversations can seem confusing, uncomfortable, and awkward, which is makes them even more necessary. If you're not sure how to talk about issues of race in America, try picking up one of the many incredible books about race instead of asking people of color to explain it to you.
Senior slavery scholars of color community-sourced this short guide to share with and be used by editors, presses, museums, journalists, and curricular projects as well as with teachers, writers, curators, and public historians. Considering the legal, demographic and other particularities of institutions of slavery in various parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and also considering how slavery changed over time, this guide is a set of suggestions that raises questions and sensitivities rather than serving as a checklist that enforces any set of orthodoxies.
DCPL Resources: E-mail Ms. Harley for login assistance
Search over 88,000 images dealing with the Justice Department's and its Federal Bureau of Investigation's widespread investigation of those deemed politically suspect. The collection covers Malcom X, Thurgood Marshall, Black Panthers and many others.
Full historic content from three major black newspapers: The Chicago Defender (1909-75), The New York Amsterdam News (1922-93) The Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003) and The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988).
Contains full text for thousands of history encyclopedias, reference books, leading periodicals and other sources. Features nearly 57,000 historical documents, more than 77,000 biographies of historical figures, more than 37,400 historical photos and maps, and more than 80 hours of historical video.
New York Times (full text backfile to 1980, Book Review and Magazine are included in PDF format), Los Angeles Times (full text backfile to 1985), Wall Street Journal (full text backfile to 1984), Christian Science Monitor (full text backfile to 1988) and The Washington Post (full text backfile to 1987). Search as a group or individually.
Covers the hottest social issues from terrorism to endangered species, stem cell research to gun control. Brings together all the information that's needed to fully understand an issue: pro and con viewpoint articles, reference articles that provide context, 140 full-text magazines, academic journals, and newspapers, primary source documents, government and organizational statistics, multimedia, including images and podcasts, and links to hand-selected Web sites.
Search over 700 transcriptions of interviews of individuals who made history in the struggles for voting rights, against discrimination in housing, for the desegregation of the schools, to expose racism in hiring, in defiance of police brutality, and to address poverty in the African American communities.
Magazines, newspapers, reference books and encyclopedias provide information on current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, sports, history and more. Tools to help students think about their ideas and organize their information are included.
Capital City Library Resources
Assata by Assata Shakur; Angela Y. Davis (Foreword by); Lennox S. Hinds (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 1999-11-01
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X; Alex Haley (As told to)
Publication Date: 1992-09-29
Black Against Empire by Joshua Bloom; Waldo E. Martin
Publication Date: 2016-10-25
The Black Panthers by Bryan Shih; Yohuru Williams; Peniel E. Joseph (Introduction by)
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
Blood Brothers by Randy Roberts; Johnny Smith
Publication Date: 2016-02-02
Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement by Barbara Ransby
Publication Date: 2005-02-28
Florynce Flo Kennedy by Sherie M. Randolph
Publication Date: 2015-10-05
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis; Frank Barat (Editor); Cornel West (Preface by)
Publication Date: 2016-02-09
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeang-Yamahtta Taylor
Publication Date: 2016-02-23
I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin; Raoul Peck
Publication Date: 2017-02-07
IDA-A Sword among Lions by Paula J. Giddings
Publication Date: 2009-03-03
The John Carlos Story by Dave Zirin; John Wesley Carlos; Cornel West (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2011-10-04
Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph
Publication Date: 2012-02-07
A People's History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin
Publication Date: 2009-09-15
Power to the People: the World of the Black Panthers by Stephen Shames (Photographer); Bobby Seale
Publication Date: 2016-10-18
Revolutionary Suicide by Fredrika Newton (Introduction by); Ho Che Anderson (Illustrator); J. Herman Blake; Michael Eric Dyson (Introduction by); Charles E. Jones (Introduction by); Huey P. Newton
Publication Date: 2009-09-29
Sisters in the Struggle by Bettye Collier-Thomas (Editor); V. P. Franklin (Editor)
Publication Date: 2001-08-01
A Taste of Power by Elaine Brown
Publication Date: 1993-12-01
Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford; Ekua Holmes (Illustrator)
This guide is a tool to facilitate dialogue and deepen understanding of the complex topics in the film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. It is an invitation not only to sit back and enjoy the show, but also to step up and take action. It raises thought-provoking questions to encourage viewers to think more deeply and spark conversations with one another. We present suggestions for areas to explore in panel discussions, in the classroom, in communities, and online. We also include valuable resources and connections to organizations on the ground that are fighting to make a difference.
Black History of the White House
The Black History of the White House by Clarence Lusane
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Bad Blood by James H. Jones
Publication Date: 1992-12-05
One of the Fathers of Black History Was Afro-Puerto Rican
There’s a building in Harlem that houses, some say, the largest collection of Black history in the world. At the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, you can see and touch original documents like the Malcolm X papers and the Nate King Cole papers. The center also holds specialized exhibits, film screenings, and panel discussions. The center is named after Arturo Schomburg, who sold his personal collection of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and data to the New York Public Library in 1926.
Just a year before his assassination, at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff retreat in May 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: I think it is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights…[W]hen we see that there must be a radical redistribution of economic and political power, then we see that for the last twelve years we have been in a reform movement…That after Selma and the Voting Rights Bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution…In short, we have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.
SNCC focused on voter registration and on mounting a systemic challenge to the white supremacy that governed the country’s entrenched political, economic and social structures. Young activists and organizers with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC (pronounced “SNICK”), represented a radical, new unanticipated force whose work continues to have great relevance today. For the first time, young people decisively entered the ranks of civil rights movement leadership. They committed themselves to full-time organizing from the bottom-up, and with this approach empowered older efforts at change and facilitated the emergence of powerful new grassroots voices…
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner” has provoked a national conversation about athletes, protest, and patriotism. We share resources below for learning more about the history of protest in sports, the Star-Spangled Banner, and the Movement for Black Lives.
Kaepernick explained why he will not stand for the anthem,
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color… There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust [that] people aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something this country stands for—freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now."
Kaepernick is the latest in a long line of athletes speaking out against injustice.
In 1967, Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. Army, saying,
"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?"
Jackie Robinson wrote in his 1972 biography,
"I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a Black man in a white world."
In 1968, John Carlos and Tommie Smith famously raised their fists in a Black Power salute, with Peter Norman in solidarity, on the Olympic medal stand. Smith and Carlos’ famous gesture of resistance was part of an effort organized by amateur Black athletes who formed the Olympic Project for Human Rights. Carlos said,
A lot of the [Black] athletes thought that winning [Olympic] medals would supersede or protect them from racism. But even if you won a medal, it ain’t going to save your momma. It ain’t going to save your sister or children. It might give you 15 minutes of fame, but what about the rest of your life?
From the killings of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; to the suspicious death of activist Sandra Bland in Waller Texas; to the choke-hold death of Eric Garner in New York, to the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida and 7 year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit, Michigan—-#blacklivesmatter has emerged in recent years as a movement committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies.
Black Lives Matter Syllabus is the intellectual property of instructor Frank Leon Roberts. This means that material compiled in this syllabus should not be duplicated without proper citation and attribution. Duplicating this syllabus verbatim or nearly-verbatim (i.e. its description, subject headings, weekly topics, or configuration of reading material) without proper attribution is an act of intellectual dishonestly.
If you are planning on adopting this syllabus for a course of your own:
Be sure to include the following disclaimer statement at the top of your syllabus: “This syllabus is an adoption of the course, “Black Lives Matter” designed by Frank Leon Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) at BlackLivesMatterSyllabus.com.”
At the top of each of the pages in the syllabus, include the link: BlackLivesMatterSyllabus.com.
Send a courtesy email to email@example.com, notifying us of your intention to adopt this syllabus.
University instructors who attempt to adopt this course without proper attribution should expect to be contacted and reported to their Provost and/or the Department Chair at their home institution.
Roberts, Frank Leon Roberts. Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance, and Populist Protest. 2016. Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, New York, NY. Microsoft Word File.
Roberts, Frank Leon Roberts. (2016). Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance, and Populist Protest. [Syllabus]. New York, NY: Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University.
Ella Josephine Baker (Dec. 13, 1903 – Dec. 13, 1986) developed a sense for social justice early in her life. As a girl growing up in North Carolina, Baker listened to her grandmother tell stories about slave revolts. An enslaved woman, her grandmother had been whipped for refusing to marry a man chosen for her by the slave “owner.”
Baker studied at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a student she challenged school policies that she thought were unfair. After graduating in 1927 as class valedictorian, Baker moved to New York City and began joining social activist organizations. In 1930, she joined the Young Negroes Cooperative League, whose purpose was to develop black economic power through collective planning. Baker also involved herself with several women’s organizations. She was committed to economic justice for all people and once said, “People cannot be free until there is enough work in this land to give everybody a job.”
“More than 40 years after Tommie Smith and John Carlos ignited the sports world with their black-gloved fists raised on the victory stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Carlos says, ‘I still feel the fire.’ Any doubts that time and age have somehow diminished the passion that fueled his track and field career are dispelled with the publication of The John Carlos Story.” —Neil Amdur, New York Times, October 10, 2011 (Full review.)
The image of John Carlos and Tommie Smith with their fists in the air at the 1968 Olympics is recognized around the world. Yet, as with so much of history, we know about the event but not the story of the organizing by athletes leading up to the Olympics, nor what happened to Carlos and Smith afterward.
Read this beautifully written book and you will realize that the full story is as powerful and gripping as the photo.
The Montgomery bus boycott inspired Black students in Greensboro, North Carolina to organize sit-ins in segregated spaces. After centuries of enslavement and decades of Jim Crow inequality, the Black community seized upon the first opportunity to fight the system, throw off the yoke of legal segregation and finally achieve formal democratic rights. Consequently, great numbers of Black people entered into the civil rights movement.
Alongside the civil rights movement, the 1950s also witnessed the rise of the Nation of Islam, which advocated a separatist agenda. The NOI kept its distance from the non-violent, direct action of integrationist groups. Malcolm X came to embody this second current of the liberation movement, which emphasized the common heritage, identity and destiny of Black people. The Nation of Islam encouraged the Black community to take control of its own institutions, to support Black businesses and to disengage from the political happenings of the nation at large.
A People’s History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”
Welcome to the Black Power resource guide. This guide is designed to complement the Black Power! exhibition which is on view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture through December 2017. The acclaimed catalog of the exhibition, Black Power 50, is edited by Sylviane A. Diouf and Komozi Woodard. Resources on this guide have been selected to provide further information about each of the nine different sections of the exhibition: Organizations, Education, Popular Culture, Political Prisoners, Coalitions, The Look, Black Arts Movement, Spreading the Word, and Black Power International. The guide highlights easily accessible resources intended for general audiences. The items are available to read at the Schomburg Center, other branches of the New York Public Library, or online. It also includes written and audiovisual works created by key figures during the Black Power movement and more recent works that look back on the movement and reflect on the lasting impact it has had across the world.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library is generally recognized as the world’s leading research library devoted exclusively to documenting the history and cultural development of peoples of African descent worldwide. From its founding in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance, the Center has amassed vast collections of over 10 million items. Resource materials are organized by format into five distinct divisions: Research and Reference; Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books; Photographs and Prints; Moving Image and Recorded Sound; and Art and Artifacts. A cultural center as well as a repository, the Schomburg Center sponsors a wide array of interpretive programs, including exhibitions, scholarly and public forums and cultural performances.
“Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?” Mississippi sharecropper Fannie Lou Hamer asked, gripping the nation with her televised testimony of being forced from her home and brutally beaten for attempting to exercise her constitutional right to vote. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) arrived at the Democratic National Convention held Aug. 24-27, 1965, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to force the nation as a whole to live out its uncashed promise of “one man, one vote.”
In support of the Movement for Black Lives, we share this collection of teaching ideas and resources. The Movement for Black Lives challenges the ongoing murders of African Americans by the police and the long history of institutionalized racism. This resource collection was originally published in August of 2014, after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
In the spirit of #Charlestonsyllabus, Dara Vance (@divafancypants), a PhD candidate in History at the University of Kentucky, expressed the need to create the #blackpanthersyllabus to better contextualize the history of the Black Panthers and offer nuanced perspectives on Black Power. With the help of Shawn Leigh Alexander (@S_L_Alexander), Robyn Spencer (@racewomanist), Shannon Hanks ( from The Black Scholar) and other several scholars on Twitter, Dara and I began compiling the list and soliciting reading suggestions using the hashtag. AAIHS blogger Ashley Farmer (@drashleyfarmer), a historian of Black Power, selected the final texts and organized the readings based on key themes and subfields. Special thanks to everyone on Twitter who contributed suggestions. Please be sure to view #blackpanthersyllabus for additional reading suggestions and resources.
Black LGBTQ History: Teachers Must Do a Better Job
Our curricula should not present a narrow, monolithic narrative about black history that omits certain voices and identity groups, such as LGBTQ individuals. It is important for educators to combat the tokenization of Black History Month. Students deserve to learn about and engage in black history and narratives throughout the year, not just encounter them in supplemental material relegated to one month. Equally important: ensuring that our curricula do not present a narrow, monolithic narrative about black history that omits certain voices and identity groups. One way to avoid such neglect is to teach about black LGBTQ people’s lived experiences, stories and contributions to our nation.
Carter G. Woodson — the co-creator of “Negro History Week,” which later became Black History Month — believed the teaching of black history was of utmost importance because without it, black people in America stood no chance of survival. “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” he said.
There are links to suggested lessons, films, books, readings, and general teaching guides. Themes connecting to the 13 principles of the Movement for Black Lives or the demands for the week of action are listed in parentheses where appropriate.
When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History week in 1926, he realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of the public. The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention important developments that merit emphasis. For those interested in the study of identity and ideology, an exploration of ASALH’s Black History themes is itself instructive. Over the years, the themes reflect changes in how people of African descent in the United States have viewed themselves, the influence of social movements on racial ideologies, and the aspirations of the black community.
The Black Feminism Introductory Research Guide highlights works by Black women within the Schomburg Center's collection and the broader New York Public Library. These works specifically engage in the Black feminist tradition of working towards the inclusion of Black female narratives, and is meant to highlight Black women's involvement in Black liberation and gender equality movements. The Black feminist tradition looks to examine the experiences of being both Black and a woman. This guide is meant to serve as an introduction.
This research guide was produced by Amara Green, a Pre-Professional at the Schomburg Center in the Jean Blackwell Huston Research and Reference Division. Amara, in her blog post Black Feminism Introductory Research Guide states, "I was driven to create this guide to form a digital location which specifically highlights the work of black women within the collections of the Schomburg Center and the New York Public Library. This guide is reflective of my own academic and personal interests, and has allowed me to further explore topics that I am passionate about at both the Schomburg Center and NYPL."
National Museum of African American History & Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:
It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
The NMAAHC is a public institution open to all, where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American history and culture. In the words of Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Museum, “there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history.”