Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Discovering African American History Online

African American History Online is an excellent database for learning about the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history. If you have questions about the Middle Passage or Reconstruction, or you want to learn about the lives of civil rights leaders such as Homer Plessy and Rosa Parks, this database is filled with authoritative information.

To log in, click here or go to our library web site,, and click on Research on the black navigation bar that runs from left to right at the top of the screen. From the Research dropdown menu, click Databases by Name, and look under "A" for African American History Online. If you are in one of the Terrebonne Parish Libraries, the database will automatically open. If you are using a computer not in one of our libraries, you will be asked for your library card number.  No pin required!
The African American History Online database is well organized and is easy to navigate. As the image below shows, it is divided into six sections.

The Biographies section helps users discover important civil rights leaders, scientists, and others who have made substantial contributions to African American history. Browse Events and Topics to explore significant movements and subjects in African American history. The Primary Sources feature allows one to view documents significant to African American history, including the Emancipation Proclamation and other key documents.
If you need to know what happened when, you can browse the Timelines feature by topic or by time period. African American History Online also includes hundreds of videos and images. For example, there are images of African Americans protesting America’s involvement in Vietnam, as well as images of Dr. Martin Luther King’s boyhood home. One can also watch videos of African Americans protesting at lunch counter sit-ins, or watch the civil rights march in the nation’s capital in 1963.
If you want to take a more visual approach to history, then browsing the Maps & Charts feature is an excellent place to begin.

Although February is a month set aside as Black History Month, black history is American history and is interwoven in the mosaic that defines our nation. Like every other ethnic group, African Americans have played a pivotal role in our nation’s history and achievements. African-American History Online is an excellent resource that can help students and researchers learn more about the rich cultural heritage and historical achievements of African Americans
-Carlos Crockett, Reference Associate

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