“We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.” These words are from the front page of Freedom’s Journal, the first African-American newspaper published in the United States, in 1827, a milestone event in the history of an oppressed people. From then on a prodigious and hitherto almost unknown cascade of newspapers, magazines, letters, and other literary, historical, and popular writing poured from presses chronicling black life in America.
The authentic voice of African-American culture is captured in this first comprehensive guide to a treasure trove of writings by and for a people, as found in sources in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. This bibliography of over 6,000 entries is the indispensable guide to the stories of slavery, freedom, Jim Crow, segregation, liberation, struggle, and triumph.
Besides describing many new discoveries—from church documents to early civil rights ephemera, from school records to single-mother newsletters, from artists’ journals to labor publications—this work informs researchers where and how to find them (for example, through online databases, microfilm, or traditional catalogs).