February is African American History Month, also referred to as Black History Month or Afro-American History Month. It is a federally designated month-long celebration of the considerable and varied accomplishments and contributions of Blacks and African Americans to the United States throughout our history. A great way to honor African American History Month is to visit the Library of Congress African American History Month research guide which presents the legislative and executive documents that are the underpinnings of our federal observance.
Another great way to celebrate is by consciously seeking out information about African American contributions to our life in the United States in every scholarly activity you engage with throughout the month. That might seem daunting, but the library has many resources that might help you in this endeavor.
The Fordham Libraries provide access to collections of historical documents, current news, scholarly articles and books, data, images, maps, biographies, streaming video, sound records, and more that focus on black culture, heritage, experience, thought, perspective, innovation, leadership, and faith. Below, you will find a selection of recommended information sources to help start or expand your research.
Resources for Black History Research
Please note: you may be prompted to log in using your Fordham credentials in order to access certain databases.
- Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Challenges and Triumphs in the Pursuit of Equality provides access to select primary sources that document the experiences and perspectives of African Americans throughout their ongoing struggle against racial injustice in the U.S.
- Black Life in America provides expanded news media coverage of the African American experience, as it was written. The library has subscribed to content for the dates of 1976 to today, and has secured a trial until March 4th of the years from 1878 to 1975.
- Black Studies Channel – Academic Videos Online (AVON) provides access to streaming videos on a wide variety of Black Studies topics.
- Historical Newspapers: Black Newspapers provides access to 10 of the most distinguished African American newspapers in the U.S. dating back to 1893.
- In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience (AAME) provides African American history through the lens of migration, and includes text, maps, images, and lesson plans sponsored by the Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library.
- Music Online: Jazz Music Library provides access to thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres.
- National Archive – African American Heritage. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration holds a wealth of material documenting the Black experience. This page highlights these resources online, in programs, and through traditional and social media.
- National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) 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.
- Oxford African American Studies Center provides the full text of Oxford University Press reference books on African Americans, including the entire contents of the Dictionary of African Biography and The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought.
All of these sources, and more, are included in the Fordham Libraries African American Studies research guide. The guide also includes pages on Hip Hop, African American Religion, and the Harlem Renaissance — whatever your interests, you are sure to find sources that reveal how African Americans have shaped our history, enhanced our experience, expanded our knowledge, and contributed to the progress and achievements of our country.
Need help using the resources above or have other questions about library resources? Contact us 24/7 through the Ask a Librarian chat service.
More Black History Month at Fordham
There are a number of upcoming virtual events organized by Fordham groups, including the Office of Multicultural Affairs, WFUV, and the Department of African and African American Studies. The list of events will be continually updated with more details and dates, so be sure to check back often.
The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer has also released two lists of resources focused on antiracism, self-care, and inclusive pedagogy:
Dr. Tyesha Maddox, an Assistant Professor in Fordham’s African and African American Studies Department, is one of the creators of This is Not A Riot, a reading list for the history of racial injustice in the U.S., systemic racism, and activism. It is a great starting point for self-education with resources curated to address common questions and misunderstandings.
Finally, for content all year long, follow these Fordham groups on social media: