If the problem of the twentieth century was, in W. E. B. Du Bois’s famous words, ‘the problem of the color line,’ then the problem of the twenty-first century is the problem of colorblindness, the refusal to acknowledge the causes and consequences of enduring racial stratification.
— Naomi Murakawa, Princeton University
African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa. In the United States, the terms are generally used for Americans with at least partial Sub-Saharan African ancestry.
Most African Americans are the direct descendants of captive Africans who survived the slavery era within the boundaries of the present United States, although some are—or are descended from—immigrants from African, Caribbean, Central American or South American nations. As an adjective, the term is usually spelled African-American.
African American history starts in the 17th century with indentured servitude in the American colonies and progresses onto the 2008 and 2012 election of Barack Obama, an African American, as the 44th President of the United States. Between those landmarks there were other events and issues, both resolved and ongoing, that were faced by African Americans. Some of these were: slavery, reconstruction, development of the African-American community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, racial segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement.
African Americans and their contributions to American society and culture are honored each February with Black History Month. Black Americans make up the single largest racial minority in the United States and form the second largest racial group after whites in the United States.
"Meet Hercules, One of America's Early Celebrity Chefs". Daniel Crown, Atlas Obscura, February 21, 2018. Heralded for his food, the enslaved cook headed the first presidential kitchen and might be considered the first American celebrity chef. Needless to say, he was a slave who eventually fled, seeking his freedom.
African American Sites in the Digital Collections of the Library of Congress: Contributions by African Americans to the arts, education, industry, literature, politics and much more are well represented in the vast collections of the Library of Congress. The digital collections are no exception. American Memory, the flagship of the Library's digital collections, online exhibits and other areas of the Library's Web site provide a broad range of digitized materials pertaining to the African American experience.
African-Americans - Biography, Autobiography and History : a compilation of resources by the Avalon Project sponsored by the Yale Law School.
Business and Professional Life
Much of this material was originally compiled by Erik Ponder, African Studies Librarian at Michigan State University.