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African American History

African-American Heritage



Ancestry Library
A genealogical and historical research tool that provides access to city directories, U.S. Federal Census records between 1790 and 1930, immigration, vital, military, court, church, and ethnic records. It includes resources for Buffalo & Erie County historical records.  Available at all library locations.

Gale Academic OneFile
Peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sourcesNOVELny Virtual Tour

Gale In Context: Elementary
Gale In Context: Elementary (formerly Kids InfoBits), introduces elementary school students to database searching with resources featuring age-appropriate, curriculum-related content. NOVELny Virtual Tour

Gale In Context: Middle
Resource for students in grades 6 to 8.  It offers magazines, newspapers, primary sources, over 12,000 videos, and more on a variety of topics.  Supports national and state curriculum standards in language arts, social studies, and science. NOVELny Virtual Tour

Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints
Opposing Viewpoints in Context contains a range of perspectives on many important issues, with more than 20,000 pro/con viewpoints and more than 19,000 reference articles and topic overviews. You'll find more than 12,000 charts and graphs along with statistical information. Includes full-text coverage from newspapers and magazines such as National Review, The New York Times, Commentary, and CNN Wire. NOVELny Virtual Tour

HeritageQuest Online
U.S. Federal census records from 1790-1930, family genealogies, local histories, tax lists, city directories, land and probate records, birth, marriage and death records, and genealogical and local history serials from the Periodical Source Index (PERSI).  It includes resources for Buffalo & Erie County historical information.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law  
The slavery in America Collection of HeinOnline brings together all of the known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world, including hundreds of pamphlets and books written about slavery from the collection of the B&ECPL.  Available at all library locationsVirtual Tour



400 Years of African American History Commission
The 400 Years of African-American History Commission develops and facilitates activities throughout the United States, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619.

African American History Month
The Library of Congress celebrates the contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. 

Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
The mission of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

EDSITEment! African American History
EDSITEment is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for the Humanities. This site offers free resources for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality K-12 humanities education materials in the subject areas of history and social studies, literature and language arts, foreign languages, arts, and culture.

Family Search: African American Records and Research
Family Search's African American section provides free access to a variety of historical records and biographical information.  Also included is an index of related African American genealogical research sites.

Library of Congress Research Guides: African American Studies
Research guides to the Library’s collections and subject guides are prepared by Library of Congress staff.

National Archives News: African American History
The National Archives site hosts a section for African American History.  Find featured documents, online exhibits, blogs, video sources, and other resources. It also acts as an educational resource by offering lesson plans and teaching activities.

National Education Association: Black History Month Lessons & Resources 
The National Education Association (NEA) is more than 3 million people—educators, students, activists, workers, parents, neighbors, and friends—who believe in opportunity for all students and in the power of public education to transform lives and create a more just and inclusive society.

National Endowment for the Humanities: African American History
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.

The National Archives: African American Heritage
The National Archives site hosts a section for African-American Resources.  Find digital reproductions of primary historical documents, civilian and military records, historical photos, and a variety of scholarly resources and related links.

The National Museum of African American History and 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.

WHYY Podcast: Real Black History
WHYY presents “Real Black History,” a podcast looking at the struggle for equality.


Community and Local Links

African American Cultural Center
Since 1958, the African-American Cultural Center, Inc. has enabled spirits to soar and offered sanctuary, validation and celebration for the duality of being African and American.

Buffalo AKG Art Museum: The Freedom Wall Mural
The Freedom Wall, installed at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, features portraits of 28 notable civil rights leaders from America’s past and present, created by Buffalo-based artists John Baker, Julia Bottoms, Chuck Tingley, and Edreys Wajed.

Buffalo City Ballet Co, Inc.
The Buffalo City Ballet combines the talents of our pre-professional dancers and guest artists with aspiring students from the Buffalo City Ballet Training School.  BCB has been entertaining theater goers throughout Western New York for over 44 years, offering a repertoire of renowned classical ballet and contemporary works.

Friends of Broderick Park
The park is now called Freedom Park. The Friends of Broderick Park are a group of volunteers who have come together to secure Broderick Park’s recognition as a historical landmark as a destination of the Underground Railroad, to enhance the utilization of the park for recreational, cultural, and educational activities, and to ensure longevity of the park through responsible stewardship.

Juneteenth Festival
In Buffalo, Juneteenth has been commemorated with a festival every year since 1976. It’s held in and around Martin Luther King, Jr. Park near the intersection of Fillmore and Best Streets. It’s highlighted by a parade, musical performances, food vendors, and cultural activities showcasing the diversity of talent found in Buffalo’s Black community.

Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor
The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor is a nationally and internationally recognized Buffalo neighborhood that serves as the focal point of residents’ and visitors’ experience for learning about Buffalo’s rich African American history through its vibrant neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, unique structures, historical markers, people and institutions, as well as its significant impact on local, national and international history.

The Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum
The Colored Musicians Club and the Colored Musicians Club (Jazz) Museum are dedicated to promoting research and preserving the history of African-American music, not only in Buffalo but globally. We aspire to enlighten, encourage, and educate our youth of their musical heritage.

Ujima Theatre
It serves to advance the interest and exposure of the performing arts as created and interpreted by African Americans by providing working opportunities for established artists and training experience for student artists.  Ujima Company, Inc. is dedicated to developing and presenting work by African-American and other Third World artists.

Uncrowned Community Builders
A site devoted to collecting and publicizing biographies of the African American women and men of Western New York who have been identified as community builders. Features include history, biographies, organizations, and events.

Visit Buffalo Niagara: African American Heritage
Experience Buffalo's African-American Heritage with this information from the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Visit the festivals, cultural institutions, historic sites, food, shopping, and nightlife that are integral to African-American Buffalo.

William A. Miles Center for African and African-American Studies 
Housed at the Frank E. Merriweather Public Library, this is the largest resource center in Western New York for African and African-American history.  This collection includes primary source microfilm and photos, an extensive collection of hardcopy books, and several specialized databases designed for both ready reference queries and in-depth research.


Library Materials

Click on the following topics for a quick search in the Library's Catalog.

African American Art
African American Biography
African American History
African American Literature
African American Music
African American Poetry
African American Traditional Cooking
Civil Rights Movement
Slavery and the Slave Trade
Underground Railroad