Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive

The PSC Library recently acquired access to a new online research database! The new database, Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive, contains an enormous amount of documents about slavery, the slave trade, emancipation and abolition movements, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. According to the publisher, the archive contains over 12,000 books, 71 manuscript collections, Supreme Court records and briefs in 377 cases, along with chronologies, bibliographies, and more.

To get to the database, first go to the PSC Library website, then click on the “All Databases” link to go to the database list.
Click on "All Databases" on PSC website

Once you are on the databases list page, click on “S,” then on Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive.
Click on S then on Slavery & Anti-Slavery

Once you are in the database, you have a number of options. You could simply type some keywords into the search box, or you could try an advanced search, which will give you options to limit results by publication date, source type, and other categories.

One of the more interesting ways to begin if you don’t have a particular topic already in mind is to start with the Research Tools section.
Research Tools section

Using the Research Tools link, you can learn about the the various collections that make up the databases, which tells you a bit more about their contents. For example, the image above shows the contents of one of the collections, namely documents concerning slavery and its abolition in the Danish West Indies (now known as the US Virgin Islands). If you have any questions about accessing this research database or using it, feel free to contact the PSC librarians!

Martin Luther King, Jr: Library Resources for MLK Day

Check out some of the resources you can find on Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Prairie State College Library!

Books

DVDs

Articles, Speeches, and Letters

Streaming Media

Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress

On September 14, Dr. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th librarian of Congress. aptopixlibrarianofcongress-7b2acThe selection of Dr. Hayden is a landmark appointment; she is the first woman and the first African-American to head the Library of Congress. In addition, Hayden is also only the third career librarian to serve as Librarian of Congress, which has previously been held by historians or other scholars. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library with over 160,000,000 items.

Dr. Hayden grew up in Chicago, attending Roosevelt University and then the University of Chicago Graduate School Library. Her first position out of library school was with the Museum of Science and Industry, where she meet Michelle and Barack Obama. In 1991, Dr. Hayden became second-in-command at the Chicago Public Library. Then in 1993, she was selected as director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. As director, Hayden was selected as Librarian of the Year by the Library Journal, she served as president of the American Librarian Association, and received national praise for keeping the library open during  riots in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s arrest.

Dr. Hayden has been a champion of “Equity of Access” through her entire career. She fought against the Bush Administration and the PATRIOT Act, earning significant praise. As Librarian of Congress, Dr. Hayden has vowed to digitize the Library of Congress’s collection, providing equal access to our nation’s literary and information resources.

In her nomination address, Dr. Hayden said, “I’ve talked for years and cited how slaves were forbidden to read, you could get your hand chopped off, or people who taught slaves to read were punished, that’s Fredrick Douglass’s thing. So to have an African American heading up the world’s largest library is not quite an oxymoron, but it speaks to the history.”

Follow Dr. Carla Hayden on Twitter.

 

 

References

Gross, Daniel. “Carla Hayden Takes Charge of World’s Largest Library.” September 20, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/carla-hayden-takes-charge-of-the-worlds-largest-library.

St. Lifer, Evan, and Michael Rogers. “Hayden leaves Chicago PL to head Enoch Pratt Free Lib.” Library Journal 118, no. 10 (June 1993): 19.Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed September 30, 2016).

Woods, Baynard. “Carla Hayden: New Librarian of Congress Makes History, with an Eye on the Future.” The Guardian. September 15, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/15/carla-hayden-librarian-congress-first-woman-african-american-post-interview.

Black History Month @ PSC Library

On February 10th, 1976, President Gerald Ford, in his statement on the creation of Black History Month, wrote that as a nation we should “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” However, the founding of Black History Month dates back further than President Ford’s “Message” and has a history before the official recognition by the United States government. This Month’s history first began in 1915 and is closely tied with Chicago.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, met with four colleagues at the Wabash YMCA in Chicago to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Through ASNLH and Journal of Negro Life, Dr. Woodson published the scholarly works of Black researchers and intellectuals. In 1925, he used the publishing and organizing power of ASNLH to declare the first Negro History Week in February of 1926.

Starting in the 1940s, Negro History Week began to shift to Black History Month. At his House of Knowledge in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Frederick H. Hammurabi, a community activist, started celebrating Black History Month and emphasized the scholarly pursuit of “African-American history and historic links between African-Americans and African culture and traditions” Hammurabi, who, inspired by his own journey to discover his African roots, helped individuals in Bronzeville discover their own African roots and spread the knowledge of African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean history and culture.

With this history, the monthly book display, in part, seeks to explore the history of the Black community and culture in Chicagoland. It is a rich and diverse history. It is a history of labor and the industrialization of the United States. It is a history of art and literature and the Black Renaissance. It is also the history of civil rights and the continued fight for social, economic, and political equality. The history includes musicians, athletes, and a President.

Chicago's South Side Bridges of Memory I've got to make my livin' Black Chicago Renaissance

In addition to the glance on material relating to Chicago, this month’s display also examines African history. The history of the continent is deeply rich and complex. It includes the culture, achievements, and life of many distinct and disparate people and civilizations. It spans millennia; it is the cradle of humankind, the birthplace of art and language, home to great and powerful empires, and origins of modern legal and justice systems.

Africa: A Biography of the Continent African History The Washing Of The Spears A History of West Africa

Sources:

DePaul Digication. “House of Knowledge: Knowledge is Power.” CGCT Bronzeville Community Tour. Accessed February 4, 2016. https://depaul.digication.com/cgct_bronzeville_community_tour/House_of_Knowledge

Ford, Gerald R. “Message on the Observance of Black History Month.” Speech. February 10, 1976. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum. https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/speeches/760074.htm

Scott, Daryl Michael. “Origins of Black History Month.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Accessed February 4, 2016. https://asalh100.org/origins-of-black-history-month/

Original Source Documents: Black Thought & Culture

The Black Thought and Culture database from Alexander Street Press is an impressive electronic resource that gathers together writings and information on a large number of important black thinkers and cultural figures. It includes major works by Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Sammy Davis Jr., Ida B. Wells, Nikki Giovanni, Mary McLeod Bethune, Audre Lord, A. Philip Randolph, Amiri Baraka, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Bayard Rustin, and many, many others.

A large amount of the material you can find in this particular database is previously unpublished or hard to find. Some of this includes the entire run of the Black Panther  newspaper, a transcript of the trial of Muhammad Ali, and many oral histories and interviews with musicians and artists.

If you want to search quickly for a particular author or topic, you can click can mouse over the “Find” menu and click on either “Sources” or “Authors.”

The Find - or advanced search screen

You can also get a year-by-year list of documents by mousing over “Browse” and then clicking on “Years.”

browse by historical events

You can also search by authors, keywords, and more using the this database’s advanced search, which you can find simply by mousing over “Search” and then clicking on “Advanced,” though you can certainly use the simple search if you don’t need all the extra options!

advanced search options

Be sure to ask your librarians if you have any questions about finding anything!

Women of the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is around the time that we begin to reflect on the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement. We highlight the speeches and voices of important male leaders, but seldom focus on the important contributions of women.

Because of the real and present danger of corporeal violence (lynching) against African Americans, Black men in particular, the women were often tasked with being on the front lines of the movement. Women such as Ida B. Wells, Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, and Claudette Colvin were the brains and bodies used to advance the human rights of African Americans in the United States.

Ida B. Wells was a passionate and effective voice for African Americans who were being lynched. Jo Ann Gibson Robinson wrote her memoir, Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, and set it in the midst of the struggle.  And Claudette Colvin, a dark-skinned, pregnant teenager represented African Americans on the bus before Rosa Parks. Parks was not only the face of the bus boycott, but was an advocate for domestic workers who experienced sexual assault. Other female voices often forgotten are Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer. Like Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, Ella Baker was a behind the scenes organizer, the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the person to recruit Martin Luther King, Jr. into the Civil Rights Movement.  And Fannie Lou Hamer, one of 20 children born to sharecroppers, was the voice for laboring African Americans in the southern region of the U.S. Mrs. Hamer joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and worked to teach literacy to African Americans. It was important for African Americans to be able to read and write, as local government agencies used tests as an obstacle to their right to vote.

Lastly, I would like to include an important person behind the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin. As important female voices in the history of the Civil Rights Movement have been suppressed, so to have the voices of the LGBTQ community. Bayard Rustin, a gay Black man, organized the March on Washington. Similar to the ways in which Black women experience interlocking oppressions, Rustin experienced intersectional oppression because of his sexuality.

To learn more about the women of the Civil Rights Movement, check out one of these books from the Prairie State College Library today!

Sources:
http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/ella-baker
http://www.howard.edu/library/reference/guides/hamer/