The African-American Experience:
The collections on this list provide a fairly full account of the history and struggles of African Americans in the United States through the lens of their speeches, letters and personal stories. The more comprehensive collections also include laws issued by state governments that affected the status of African Americans, and proclamations or statements by civil rights organizations.
For authoritative overviews of the events and people central to the history of African Americans and the civil rights movements, consult the following works:
- Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, Edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Oxford University Press, 2d ed., 2005. 5 vols.) [REF 960.03 AFRICANA 2005]
- Substantially larger than the first edition (1999), and with expanded references and indexing, this five-volume set covers a vast geographic area and encompasses the complex histories of Africans in Africa and the Americas.
- Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas, Edited by Colin A. Palmer (Macmillan Reference USA, 2d ed., 2006. 6 vols.) [REF 973.0496073 ENCYCLOPE 2006]
- A comprehensive reference work features three hundred entries focusing on the experience of African Americans throughout North and South America and includes biographical profiles of political and public figures as well as artists, writers, and musicians.
COMPREHENSIVE HISTORICAL SOURCES
- A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States. Edited by Herbert Aptheker. Carol Publishing Group, 1990-1993. 6 vols. [973.00496 D659]
- Contemporaneous writings illuminating the struggles and achievements of African Americans since the seventeenth century. Historical notes are included.
- The Negro in American History. Edited by Charles Van Doren. Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation. Rev. ed. 1972. 3 vols. [REF 973.0496073 NEGRO]
- Primary sources covering black Americans from 1928 - 1971, the Civil War and post war period, and the slavery era from 1567 to the antebellum period.
- Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived It. Compiled by Herb Boyd. Doubleday, 2000. [973.0496073 AUTOBIOG]
- First person narratives by such figures as Phyllis Wheatley Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and others.
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS
- Eyes on the Prize: Civil Right Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle, 1954-1990. Edited by Clayborne Carson and others. Penguin Books, 1991. [973.0496073 E97]
- This volume is one of several produced in conjunction with the 14-part PBS Eyes on the Prize television series. It is a collection of over 100 court decisions, speeches, interviews, and other documents on the civil rights movement from 1954 to 1990.
- Black Protest: History, Documents, and Analyses: 1619 to the Present. Edited by Joanne Grant. 2d ed. Ballantine Books, 1983. [323.1196073 B561 1983]
- Documentary history by Movement activist Joanne Grant of three and one half centuries of black American protest and agitation.
- Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices of Resistance, Reform, and Renewal: An African American Anthology. Edited by Manning Marable and Leith Mullings. Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. [973.0496073 LET NOBO]
- Writings, speeches, proclamations and legal documents, such as the North Carolina statute entitled "Slaves are Prohibited to Read and Write By Law."
- O'Reilly, Kenneth. Black Americans: The FBI Files. Carroll & Graf, 1994. [323.1196073 O66b]
- Reproduces documents compiled by the FBI on African-Americans active in civil rights movements, from Marcus Garvey and Fanny Lou Hamer to the sixties.
- Reporting Civil Rights. Library of America, 2003. 2 vols. [323.1196073 REPORTIN]
- Newspaper and magazine articles recording the events of the civil rights movements from 1941 to 1973.
- Historic Speeches of African Americans. Edited by Warren J. Halliburton. F. Watts, 1993. [815.0108896 H629]
- Excerpts from important speeches beginning with “Walker's Appeal…to the Colored Citizens of the World” (1829) and ending with Jesse Jackson's “We Must Dream New Dreams” (1980)
- Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence, 1818-1913. Edited by Alice Moore Dunbar. Dover Publications, 2000 (reprint with slight alterations of 1914 ed.) [815.0108896 MASTERPI]
- Over 50 speeches by famous and not-so-famous African Americans.
- Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches. Edited by Josh Gottheimer. Basic Civitas Books, 2003. [323.173 RIPPLES
- A stirring collection of civil rights speeches includes a never-before-published speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., in a volume that captures the civil rights movements of African Americans, gays, Asian Americans, women, and Hispanic Americans.
- Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900. Edited by Philip S. Foner and Robert J. Branham. University of Alabama Press, 1998. [973.0496073 L626]
- An anthology comprising 150-plus selections, making accessible the orations of both well-known and lesser-known African Americans. Each speech is presented with an introduction that sets the context. Many are previously unpublished, uncollected, or long out of print.