It’s time for readers everywhere to collect texts for African American Read-Ins and Black History Month celebrations. You probably have some great resources in your library, but the Internet expands your options even further. Not only can you find audio and video recordings of authors reading their works, but you'll find rare texts that are not available anywhere else—like oral histories, personal letters, and even sheet music.
For this week’s blog, I’ve gathered a collection of links to resources that range from 18th century poetry to a blog entry written this week. Click away, read, and marvel at these rich resources. There's enough that you can visit a new site every day this month!
General Background Information
- African American History Month, from The Library of Congress
- Black History Month, from Biography.com
- Black History Month, from EDSITEment
- Black History, from The History Channel
- Culture and Change: Black History in America, from Scholastic (includes a video interview with Christopher Paul Curtis)
- A Brief Chronology of African American Literature, from San Antonio College Lit Web
- African American Poets, from Famous Poets and Poems
- African American Women Writers of the 19th Century, from The Schomburg Center at the New York Public Library
- African-American Women, from Duke University Library
- Black History, from Academy of American Poets
- Twenty-Eight Days Later, A Black History Month Celebration of Children's Literature, from The Brown Bookshelf (Check the archive links on the right for celebrations from 2008 & 2009 as well as a poster you can download and print)
- Video Interviews with children's book authors and illustrators, from Reading Rockets (includes an interview with recent Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pickney)
Historical and Nonfiction Texts
- African-American Quotations, from InfoPlease
- African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920, from the Library of Congress
- African American Cultural Heritage Tour, from the Smithsonian Institute
- American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology, from American Studies Hypertexts at the University of Virginia
- The Church in the Southern Black Community, from Documenting the American South
- Electronic Text Center: African American, from the University of Virginia (Note this site includes texts about African Americans as well as by African Americans, so you will need to help students choose wisely to avoid mistakes.)
- In Those Days: African-American Life Near the Savannah River, from the National Park Service
- North American Slave Narratives, from Documenting the American South
- Notable Speeches and Letters by African Americans, from InfoPlease
- Experience War: Stories from the Veterans History Project, from the Library of Congress
- Oral Histories, from the National Visionary Leadership Project, including histories from Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, and Faith Ringgold
- StoryCorps Griot, from National Museum of African American History and Culture
Blogs and More
- Sharon Draper's Blog Read details on the author’s trip to Africa, and comments on her books Just Another Hero and Sassy.
- Nikki Grimes Fan Page Check the Wall for responses from the author to comments posted by her fans.
- Alice Walker’s Blog Find new poems, fiction in progress, and a tribute to Walker’s friend, historian Howard Zinn, who passed away last week.