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Black History Month is a time to celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans. The library has put together this guide to showcase just a few of the many resources available both in the library and online.
Photo of Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Gwendolyn Brooks from the 1982 Yellow Jacket Annual.
Black Film Archive celebrates the rich, abundant history of Black cinema. We are an evolving archive dedicated to making historically and culturally significant films made from 1915 to 1979 about Black people accessible through a streaming guide with cultural context.
Academic Video Online provides access to hundreds of films that document Black History. Be sure to sign in with your Randolph-Macon credentials to view films in their entirety.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is an award-winning six-part Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) public television series written and presented by Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. It aired for the first time in the fall of 2013.
An intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism. After Lewis petitioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, King sent “the boy from Troy” a round trip bus ticket to meet with him. From that meeting onward, Lewis became one of King’s closest allies. He organized Freedom Rides that left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in the historic marches on Washington and Selma. He never lost the spirit of the “boy from Troy” and called on his fellow Americans to get into “good trouble” until his passing on July 17, 2020.
"The National Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the African American experience. Explore our records documenting African American History and help transcribe these records to make them more searchable and discoverable in the Catalog."
"The African American story is central to our nation’s history. Collections documenting the contributions of African Americans in countless fields, along with the struggles and achievements inherent to their stories, can be found in the records of every Smithsonian museum. Help us make these collections more accessible through transcription."
"The names of millions of African Americans--free and enslaved--who lived, worked, worshiped, loved, and died in Virginia, are buried deep in the archival records and manuscript collections housed at the Library of Virginia. Virginia Untold: African American Narrative seeks to find these long silent voices. Whether contained in local court and state government records, private papers and business records, or newspapers and journals from the time, the untold narrative of a people is waiting to be discovered."