From communal struggle to creative outpourings: uncover the everyday lives of African Americans spanning two turbulent centuries.
Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina this collection presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records and in-depth oral histories, revealing the prevalent challenges of racism, discrimination and integration, and a unique African American culture and identity. Also featured is a rich selection of visual material, including photographs, maps and ephemera.
Key themes covered include
- Desegregation – focusing on schools, hospitals, transport and other areas of public life. Documents show legal battles and campaigns in favour of integration and public reaction.
- Urban renewal and housing problems – featuring papers on housing and race relations, planning records and papers of neighbourhood councils.
- Civil rights activities and protests – from material on Atlanta’s police department to Chicago riots and student protests at Washington University in St. Louis.
- Race relations and community integration – featuring documents charting increased African American home ownership in Chicago and the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis.
African American culture – documents showcasing an eclectic array of creative expression from artists and actors, to writers and musicians.