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The Atlantic City Free Public Library
Atlantic City African American History
African Americans are Atlantic City's largest racial group. Many great African American performers and entertainers, sports professionals, and business professionals spent time in Atlantic City. Resources about African Americans in Atlantic City are found in this guide on African American History in Atlantic City. Also see the book The Northside; African Americans and the creation of Atlantic City.
Brown v. Board of Education
"In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right that must be made available on equal terms."
- Chief Justice Earl Warren, Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
On May 17, 1954, the Court unanimously ruled that "separate but equal" public schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional. The Brown case served as a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement, inspiring education reform everywhere and forming the legal means of challenging segregation in all areas of society.
After Brown, the US made great strides toward opening the doors of education to all students. With court orders and active enforcement of federal civil rights laws, progress toward integrated schools continued through the late 1980s. Since then, many states have been resegregating and educational achievement and opportunity have been falling for minorities. This site provides a great list of resources for this historic decision.
Brown versus Board at 62: Marching back into the future
Sixty-two years after the Brown decision, American schools are collapsing under the weight of an antiquated system of school finance, pockets of poverty, and a ‘Black and Browning’ urban core. This article focuses on the march backwards to the de facto re-segregation of our nation’s public schools. In 2016, the racial and ethnic divides that plagued previous generations persist, but we have become less willing to talk openly about them. Education is where we must start. The first step in producing quality schooling for all is to have candid discussions that link the inequalities of the past to the conditions of the present. Until we do that, we will continue to spin our wheels, wondering why, over 62 years after Brown v. Board of Education, we can still point to many schools that are separate and unequal.
Separate is not Equal- Brown v Board of Education- Web Resources
Even though this Smithsonian exhibit is no longer being displayed, the great bibliography and list of Web Resources is still very useful.
Milestones in African American Education
Find information on black history and the major milestones in African-American education, including the first institute established for black students, the first black law school in the United States, and the end of segregation in public schools.
African American History Month
African American History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
Black History Month from the History Channel.
Videos, speeches, photos, and timeline from The History Channel.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
Use these resources in the library as a guest or from any internet connection with your library card.
Use Ebscohost:to obtain articles on African American History Month and other important topics in African American history, arts and culture.
DVDs, Ebooks, and Audio Books
Boss: The Black Experience in Business
Publication Date: PBS 2019
The documentary seeks to illuminate, educate, and inform, by examining more than 150 years of African-American men and women, from those bound by bondage to moguls at the top of multimillion-dollar empires.
Freedom Riders by
From May until December 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South. Determined to test and challenge segregated travel facilities, the Freedom Riders' were greeted with mob violence and bitter racism, sorely testing their belief in non-violent activism. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Freedom Riders features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters; the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand. Based on Raymond Arsenault's acclaimed book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, the two-hour documentary comes to PBS in May 2011, marking the 50th anniversary of the historic Rides.
A Kind of Freedom by
Publication Date: 2017-08-15
Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of black society, and when she falls for no-name Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves. In 1982, Evelyn's daughter Jackie is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband's drug addiction. Just as she comes to terms with his abandoning the family, he returns, ready to resume their old life. Jackie must decide if the promise of her husband is worth the near certainty that he will leave again. Jackie's son T. C. loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He finds something hypnotic about training the seedlings, testing the levels, trimming the leaves, and drying the buds. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn't survive the storm, and in its wake he was changed too. Now, fresh out of a four-month stint for possession with the intent to distribute, he decides to start over―until an old friend convinces him to stake his new beginning on one last deal. For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. A Kind of Freedom is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.
The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club) by
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her, but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he's ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he's enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram's resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.
The Black Cabinet by
Publication Date: 2020-05-12
The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt
In the early 20th century, most African Americans still lived in the South, disenfranchised, impoverished, terrorized by white violence, and denied the basic rights of citizenship. As the Democrats swept into the White House on a wave of black defectors from the Party of Lincoln, a group of African American intellectuals-legal minds, social scientists, media folk-sought to get the community's needs on the table. This would become the Black Cabinet, a group of African American racial affairs experts working throughout the New Deal, forming an unofficial advisory council to lobby the President. But with the white Southern vote so important to the fortunes of the Party, the path would be far from smooth.
Most prominent in the Black Cabinet were Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator close to Eleanor Roosevelt, and her "boys": Robert Weaver, a Harvard-educated economist who pioneered enforcement standards for federal anti-discrimination guidelines (and, years later, the first African American Cabinet secretary); Bill Hastie, a lawyer who would become a federal appellate judge; Al Smith, head of the largest black jobs program in the New Deal at the WPA; and Robert Vann, a newspaper publisher whose unstinting reporting on the administration's shortcomings would keep his erstwhile colleagues honest. Ralph Bunche, Walter White of the NAACP, A. Philip Randolph, and others are part of the story as well. But the Black Cabinet was never officially recognized by FDR, and with the demise of the New Deal, it disappeared from history.
Jill Watts's The Black Cabinet is a dramatic full-scale examination of a forgotten moment that speaks directly to our own.
Daughter of the Boycott by
Publication Date: 2020-05-05
In 1950, before Montgomery, Alabama, knew Martin Luther King Jr., before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger, before the city's famous bus boycott, a Negro man named Hilliard Brooks was shot and killed by a white police officer in a confrontation after he tried to board a city bus. Thomas Gray, who had played football with Hilliard when they were kids, was outraged by the unjustifiable shooting. Gray protested, eventually staging a major downtown march to register voters, and standing up to police brutality.⍾⍾Five years later, he led another protest, this time against unjust treatment on the city's segregated buses. On the front lines of what became the Montgomery⍾⍾bus boycott, Gray withstood threats and bombings alongside his brother, Fred D. Gray, the young lawyer who represented Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the rarely mentioned Claudette Colvin, a plaintiff in the case that forced Alabama to desegregate its buses.⍾⍾An incredible story of family in the pivotal years of the civil rights movement, Daughter of the Boycott is the reflection of Thomas Gray's daughter, award-winning⍾⍾broadcast journalist Karen Gray Houston, on how her father's and uncle's selfless actions changed the nation's racial climate and opened doors for her and countless other African Americans.
The Mis-Education of the Negro by
Publication Date: 2018-01-13
“The Negro, whether in Africa or America, must be directed toward a serious examination of the fundamentals of education, religion, literature, and philosophy as they have been expounded to him. He must be sufficiently enlightened to determine for himself whether these forces have come into his life to bless him or bless his oppressor. After learning the facts in the case the Negro must develop the power of execution to deal with these matters as do people of vision.” ~ Carter G. Woodson.
Publication Date: 2018-11-13
Publisher Annotation: From the former First Lady, a memoir starting with her childhood on Chicago's South Side and leading to her life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where she raised her children gracefully while representing the United States to the world. 400pp., 2M
If Beale Street Could Talk by
Publication Date: 2018-10-30
In this honest and stunning novel, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Barry Jenkins, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin's story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions-affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by
Publication Date: 2018-09-04
The compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the first woman to ever serve in the US Army "Here's the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my Mama never let me forget it." Missouri, 1864 Powerful, epic, and compelling, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen shines light on a nearly forgotten figure in history. Cathy Williams was born and lived a slave until the Union army comes and destroys the only world she's known. Separated from her family, she makes the impossible decision, to fight in the army disguised as a man with the Buffalo Soldiers. With courage and wit, Cathy must not only fight for her survival and freedom in the ultimate man's world, but never give up on her mission to find her family, and the man she loves. Beautiful, strong, and impactful, Cathy's story is one that illustrates the force of hidden history come to light, the strength of women, and the power of love"-- Provided by publisher.
Praise Song for the Butterflies by
Publication Date: 2018-08-28
McFadden, writer of great, imaginative novels for years now (including Sugar and Gathering of Waters ), is back with one of her best yet. Exploring ritual sacrifice in contemporary West Africa, Praise Song offers a fascinating, painful glimpse into a world beyond America's shores, filled with tragedy and love and hope." --Entertainment Weekly
Publication Date: 2018-07-24
Named one of TIME 's 100 Most Influential PeopleThe first female Muslim American to medal at the Olympic GamesThe first woman in hijab to compete for the United States in the Olympics Growing up in New Jersey as the only African American Muslim in hijab in town, at school, and on the playing fields, Ibtihaj Muhammad always had to find her own way. When she discovered fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the wealthy and white, once again she had to defy expectations and make a place for herself in a sport she grew to love. Even though Ibtihaj would start fencing later than most, at 13 years old her talent was undeniable. From winning state championships with her high school team to three-time All-America selections at Duke University, Ibtihaj was poised for success, but the fencing community wasn't ready to welcome her with open arms.Ibtihaj Muhammad's path to Olympic greatness has been marked with opposition and near-debilitating challenges because of her race, religion, and gender. As the only woman of color and the only religious minority on the U.S. women's saber team, again Ibtihaj had to push past stereotypes, misconceptions, and negativity to find her own path to success and Olympic glory. Proud is the inspiring story of how Ibtihaj rose above it all with grace and compassion. She provides an unflinching and honest portrayal of how she managed to stay true to herself and still play by the rules. A coming-of-age story, a hero's journey, and a moving memoir from one of the nation's most influential athletes.
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