African American History

African American Education

$8.95
More Info
Today all children are required to attend school, but there was a time when all Americans did not enjoy the right to an education and the chance to improve their situation in life. In the nineteenth century, it was against the law in some areas of the United States to teach African Americans. The laws were rooted in the slave system of the South. In this book, we trace the history of African American education before and after the Civil War, from secret schools to well-established universities.
product image

Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views

$29.95
More Info

The Emancipation Proclamation is the most important document of arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. Now, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, and Harold Holzer -- eminent experts in their fields -- remember, analyze, and interpret the Emancipation Proclamation in three distinct respects: the influence of and impact upon African Americans; the legal, political, and military exigencies; and the role pictorial images played in establishing the document in public memory. The result is a carefully balanced yet provocative study that views the proclamation and its author from the perspective of fellow Republicans, antiwar Democrats, the press, the military, the enslaved, free blacks, and the antislavery white establishment, as well as the artists, publishers, sculptors, and their patrons who sought to enshrine Abraham Lincoln and his decree of freedom in iconography.Medford places African Americans, the people most affected by Lincoln's edict, at the center of the drama rather than at the periphery, as previous studies have done. She argues that blacks interpreted the proclamation much more broadly than Lincoln intended it, and during the postwar years and into the twentieth century they became disillusioned by the broken promise of equality and the realities of discrimination, violence, and economic dependence. Williams points out the obstacles Lincoln overcame in finding a way to confiscate property -- enslaved humans -- without violating the Constitution. He suggests that the president solidified his reputation as a legal and political genius by issuing the proclamation as Commander-in-Chief, thus taking the property under the pretext of military necessity. Holzer explores how it was only after Lincoln's assassination that the Emancipation Proclamation became an acceptable subject for pictorial celebration. Even then, it was the image of the martyr-president as the great emancipator that resonated in public memory, while any reference to those African Americans most affected by the proclamation was stripped away.This multilayered treatment reveals that the proclamation remains a singularly brave and bold act -- brilliantly calculated to maintain the viability of the Union during wartime, deeply dependent on the enlightened voices of Lincoln's contemporaries, and owing a major debt in history to the image-makers who quickly and indelibly preserved it.

Encyclopedia of African American History 3 Volume Set

$50.00
More Info
It is impossible to understand America without understanding the history of African Americans. In nearly seven hundred entries, the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 documents the full range of the African American experience during that period - from the arrival of the first slave ship to the death of Frederick Douglass - and shows how all aspects of American culture, history, and national identity have been profoundly influenced by the experience of African Americans.

The Encyclopedia covers an extraordinary range of subjects. Major topics such as "Abolitionism," "Black Nationalism," the "Civil War," the "Dred Scott case," "Reconstruction," "Slave Rebellions and Insurrections," the "Underground Railroad," and "Voting Rights" are given the in-depth treatment one would expect. But the encyclopedia also contains hundreds of fascinating entries on less obvious subjects, such as the "African Grove Theatre," "Black Seafarers," "Buffalo Soldiers," the "Catholic Church and African Americans," "Cemeteries and Burials," "Gender," "Midwifery," "New York African Free Schools," "Oratory and Verbal Arts," "Religion and Slavery," the "Secret Six," and much more. In addition, the Encyclopedia offers brief biographies of important African Americans - as well as white Americans who have played a significant role in African American history - from Crispus Attucks, John Brown, and Henry Ward Beecher to Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, Sarah Grimke, Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner, Phillis Wheatley, and many others.

All of the Encyclopedia's alphabetically arranged entries are accessibly written and free of jargon and technical terms. To facilitate ease of use, many composite entries gather similar topics under one headword. The entry for Slave Narratives, for example, includes three subentries: The Slave Narrative in America from the Colonial Period to the Civil War, Interpreting Slave Narratives, and African and British Slave Narratives. A headnote detailing the various subentries introduces each composite entry. Selective bibliographies and cross-references appear at the end of each article to direct readers to related articles within the Encyclopedia and to primary sources and scholarly works beyond it. A topical outline, chronology of major events, nearly 300 black and white illustrations, and comprehensive index further enhance the work's usefulness.

F.H.M. Murray First Biography of a Forgotten Pioneer for Civil Justice

$15.00
More Info
Co-founder of the Niagara Movement (the first civil rights movement of the twentieth century) at Harpers Ferry, Freeman Henry Morris Murray was an African American activist for civil rights who risked his life and the lives of others to fight for what he knew would lead to the advancement of his people. He was a successful and knowledgeable man and this biography details his many talents based on years of research and family interviews. Paperback, 288 pages. 
product image

Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army

$26.99
More Info
On October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of eighteen raiders descended on Harpers Ferry. In an ill-fated attempt to incite a slave insurrection, they seized the federal arsenal, took hostages, and retreated to a fire engine house where they barricaded themselves until a contingent of US Marines battered their way in on October 18.
The raiders were routed, and several were captured. Soon after, they were tried, convicted, and hanged. Among Brown's fighters were five African American men--John Copeland, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, and Osborne Perry Anderson--whose lives and deaths have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader and who, even today, are little remembered. Only Anderson survived, later publishing the lone insider account of the event that, most historians agree, was a catalyst to the catastrophic American Civil War that followed.
Five for Freedom is the story of these five brave men, the circumstances in which they were born and raised, how they came together at this fateful time and place, and the legacies they left behind. It is an American story that continues to resonate.
product image

Freedom Struggle The Anti-Slavery Movement in America 1830-1865

$7.95
More Info
In 1860, slavery in America was older than the country itself. At that time, nearly four million black people were slaves in the United States. Slavery's morality was rarely publicly questioned. A small but determined few began an anti-slavery movement that would eventually change the face of the nation.In taking on slavery, abolitionists fought a deeply ingrained system of slavery. Learn about the hidden force of the Underground Railroad, how slavery divided a nation, the path to war, and the experiences of determined men and women black and white, such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The early African-American struggle for equality created a starting point for a system of justice in American society -- Freedom Struggle is the story.
product image

Guanya Pau A Story of an African American Princess

$25.95
More Info

The first book of long fiction by an African to be published in English, this novel tells the story of a young woman of the Vai people in Liberia.

product image

Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington D.C.

$21.99
More Info

Images of America African Americans of Jefferson County

$21.99
More Info
Jefferson County can proudly claim a large number of firsts when it comes to African Americans in national history. The raid to free slaves that served as a catalyst for the Civil War was led by abolitionist John Brown in Harpers Ferry. The first man wounded in the rebellion was Heyward Shepherd, a free African American and a Jefferson County resident. Pres. Abraham Lincoln appointed Jefferson County native Martin Robison Delany as the first African American field officer of the Civil War. In 1906, the Niagara Movement, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), held its first meeting on American soil on the Storer College campus. The first woman to become the coach of a menÂ’s college basketball team was also an African American from Jefferson County. Additionally, the Colored Horse Show held in Charles Town was the first of its kind for African Americans.

In the Watchfires: The Loudoun County Emancipation Association, 1890-1971

$12.00
More Info
product image

Lincoln and Emancipation

$19.95
More Info
In this succinct study, Edna Greene Medford examines the ideas and events that shaped President Lincoln's responses to slavery, following the arc of his ideological development from the beginning of the Civil War, when he aimed to pursue a course of noninterference, to his championing of slavery's destruction before the conflict ended. Throughout, Medford juxtaposes the president's motivations for advocating freedom with the aspirations of African Americans themselves, restoring African Americans to the center of the story about the struggle for their own liberation.Lincoln and African Americans, Medford argues, approached emancipation differently, with the president moving slowly and cautiously in order to save the Union while the enslaved and their supporters pressed more urgently for an end to slavery. Despite the differences, an undeclared partnership existed between the president and slaves that led to both preservation of the Union and freedom for those in bondage. Medford chronicles Lincoln's transition from advocating gradual abolition to campaigning for immediate emancipation for the majority of the enslaved, a change effected by the military and by the efforts of African Americans. The author argues that many players--including the abolitionists and Radical Republicans, War Democrats, and black men and women--participated in the drama through agitation, military support of the Union, and destruction of the institution from within. Medford also addresses differences in the interpretation of freedom: Lincoln and most Americans defined it as the destruction of slavery, but African Americans understood the term to involve equality and full inclusion into American society. An epilogue considers Lincoln's death, African American efforts to honor him, and the president's legacy at home and abroad.Both enslaved and free black people, Medford demonstrates, were fervent participants in the emancipation effort, showing an eagerness to get on with the business of freedom long before the president or the North did. By including African American voices in the emancipation narrative, this insightful volume offers a fresh and welcome perspective on Lincoln's America.
product image

Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leader

$12.00
More Info

In "Lincoln Lessons," seventeen of today s most respected academics, historians, lawyers, and politicians provide candid reflections on the importance of Abraham Lincoln in their intellectual lives. Their essays, gathered by editors Frank J. Williams and William D. Pederson, shed new light on this political icon s remarkable ability to lead and inspire two hundred years after his birth.

Collected here are glimpses into Lincoln s unique ability to transform enemies into steadfast allies, his deeply ingrained sense of morality and intuitive understanding of humanity, his civil deification as the first assassinated American president, and his controversial suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. The contributors also discuss Lincoln s influence on today s emerging democracies, his lasting impact on African American history, and his often-overlooked international legendhis power to instigate change beyond the boundaries of his native nation. While some contributors provide a scholarly look at Lincoln and some take a more personal approach, all explore his formative influence in their lives. What emerges is the true history of his legacy in the form of first-person testaments from those whom he has touched deeply.

"Lincoln Lessons" brings together some of the best voices of our time in a unique combination of memoir and history. This singular volume of original essays is a tribute to the enduring inspirational powers of an extraordinary man whose courage and leadership continue to change lives today.

Contributors

Jean H. Baker

Mario M. Cuomo

Joan L. Flinspach

Sara Vaughn Gabbard

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Harold Holzer

Harry V. Jaffa

John F. Marszalek

James M. McPherson

Edna Greene Medford

Sandra Day O Connor

Mackubin Thomas Owens

William D. Pederson

Edward Steers Jr.

Craig L. Symonds

Thomas Reed Turner

Frank J. Williams"

product image

More Than Freedom Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889

$12.99
More Info
"A major new narrative account of the long struggle of Northern activists-both black and white, famous and obscure-to establish African Americans as free citizens, from abolitionism through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and its demise "

Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is generally understood as the moment African Americans became free, and Reconstruction as the ultimately unsuccessful effort to extend that victory by establishing equal citizenship. In "More Than Freedom," award-winning historian Stephen Kantrowitz boldly redefines our understanding of this entire era by showing that the fight to abolish slavery was always part of a much broader campaign to establish full citizenship for African Americans and find a place to belong in a white republic.

"More Than Freedom" chronicles this epic struggle through the lived experiences of black and white activists in and around Boston, including both famous reformers such as Frederick Douglass and Charles Sumner and lesser-known but equally important figures like the journalist William Cooper Nell and the ex-slaves Lewis and Harriet Hayden. While these freedom fighters have traditionally been called abolitionists, their goals and achievements went far beyond emancipation. They mobilized long before they had white allies to rely on and remained militant long after the Civil War ended.

These black freedmen called themselves "colored citizens" and fought to establish themselves in American public life, both by building their own networks and institutions and by fiercely, often violently, challenging proslavery and inegalitarian laws and prejudice. But as Kantrowitz explains, they also knew that until the white majority recognized them as equal participants in common projects they would remain a suspect class. Equal citizenship meant something far beyond freedom: not only full legal and political rights, but also acceptance, inclusion and respect across the color line.

Even though these reformers ultimately failed to remake the nation in the way they hoped, their struggle catalyzed the arrival of Civil War and left the social and political landscape of the Union forever altered. Without their efforts, war and Reconstruction could hardly have begun. Bringing a bold new perspective to one of our nation's defining moments, "More Than Freedom" helps to explain the extent and the limits of the so-called freedom achieved in 1865 and the legacy that endures today.

My Folks Don't Want Me to Talk About Slavery

$8.95
More Info

In the midst of the Great Depression, the Federal Writer's Project assigned field workers to interview ex-slaves. More than 2,000 former slaves contributed their personal accounts and opinions, and their oral histories were deposited in the Library of Congress.

The former slaves describe the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the houses they lived in, the type of work they did, and the treatment they received. They tell their impressions of Yankee soldiers, the Klan, their masters, and their new-found freedom.

Because the interviews were conducted during the Great Depression, some of the narratives provide insights that are at times surprising. These interviews have preserved a valuable source of information about the institution of slavery in the United States and the effect it had on the people involved.

"One day Grandpappy sassed Miss Polly White, and she told him that if he didn't behave hisself that she would put him in her pocket. Grandpappy was a big man, and I ask him how Miss Polly could do that. He said she meant that she would sell him, then put the money in her pocket. He never did sass Miss Polly no more."--Sarah Debro

These eloquent words come from former slaves themselves--an important but long-neglected source of information about the institution of slavery in the United States. Who could better describe what slavery was like than the people who experienced it? And describe it they did, in thousands of remarkable interviews sponsored by the Federal Writers Project during the 1930's

Over 2,000 slave narratives that are now housed in the Library of Congress. More than 170 interviews were conducted in North Carolina. Belinda Hurmence pored over each of the North Carolina narratives, compiling and editing 21 of the first-person accounts for this collection.

These narratives, though artless in many ways, speak compellingly of the joys and sorrows, the hopes and dreams, of the countless people who endured human bondage in the land of the free.

Niagara Movement Commemoration Pin

$2.00
More Info

Niagara Movement Commemorative Program

$2.50
More Info
Issued during the August 2006 event on the Storer College campus, this program gives you a history of the formation of the Niagara Movement. Listed is the daily schedule for the three day event along with biographies and colored photographs of the honored guests, speakers and performers. Paperback, 20 pages.

Niagara Movement Educator's Guide CD-ROM

$5.00
More Info
Explore the meaning of the Niagara Movement and it's historic meeting at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Niagara Movement Lapel Pin with Ribbon

$2.95
More Info
This ribbon replicates the ribbons worn in 1906 by the Niagarites. Both pin and ribbon commemorate the Niagara Movement centennial August 18-20, 2006. Ribbon measures approximately 6”x2”. The lapel pin measures 1” diameter.

Niagara Movement Postcard

$0.50
More Info

Niagara Movement Silver Medallion

$34.95
More Info
This is a custom medallion encased in plastic from the Northwest Territorial Mint which comes with a certificate of authenticity that lists the specifications of the following: *Assay .999 Fine Silver *Weight 1 troy Ounce*Size 39mm*Thickness 2.9mm*Strike ProofA velvet lined case for safe keeping is included.

Niagara Unframed Photograph 11x14

$24.95
More Info
Photographed August 20, 2006, on the third day of celebration to honor those who had gathered 100 years before.This photograph was taken to memorialize the centennial of the Niagara Movement in Harpers Ferry, WV. Those that gathered to have their picture taken were duplicating what the original members had done during their 1906 conference. Available unframed size 11” x 14”.

Niagara Unframed Photograph 8x10

$19.95
More Info
Photographed August 20, 2006, on the third day of celebration to honor those who had gathered 100 years before.This photograph was taken to memorialize the centennial of the Niagara Movement in Harpers Ferry, WV. Those that gathered to have their picture taken were duplicating what the original members had done during their 1906 conference. Available unframed size 8” x 10”
product image

Night Boat to Freedom

$6.99
More Info
When Granny Judith asks twelve-year-old Christmas John to row Molly, cook's daughter, across the river from Kentucky to the Free State of Ohio, he's terrified. Bravely, he begins the first of many journeys. Each time he returns, Granny Judith asks what color clothing his passenger wore, for she's had a dream-vision and is making a quilt from squares of these "freedom colors." When there are only two squares left, she tells him, "Dream says we got to get ourselves over the river, 'cause the danger's gonna grow awful."
This compelling story, powerfully and poignantly illustrated, is a memorable celebration of courage, hope, and unselfish love. "Night Boat to Freedom" is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Sage of Tawawa Reverdy Cassius Ransom, 1861-1959

$21.00
More Info
In The Sage of Tawawa, Annetta L. Gomez-Jefferson offers Ransom as a symbol of an era and a larger movement and recalls him to be a man of deep faith and conviction. Educated at Wilberforce University in Ohio (after losing his scholarship from Oberlin College for protesting the segregation of the campus dining halls), Reverdy Cassius Ransom worked with and for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. His duties saw him run for Congress, be elected bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serve as editor of the A.M.E. Church Review, and serve as church historiographer. In July 1941, Ransom received a letter from President Roosevelt appointing him to the Volunteer Participation Committee in the Office of Civilian Defense.

Storer College To Emancipate the Mind and Soul

$14.95
More Info
NEW TITLE! When John Brown came to Harpers Ferry in 1859, organizing a school for enslaved African Americans was illegal. Eight years later, after a bloody Civil War, Storer College did just that—and more. To honor the 150th anniversary of the school’s founding, Harpers Ferry Park Association, in partnership with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, invited park rangers, professors, journalists, and scholars to tell the stories of the teachers, students, and reformers who strove to manifest a new world on the “hill of hope.” This collection reveals tales of courage and conviction, success and defeat, controversy and, above all, hope. 

Stories from West Virginia's Civil Rights History: A New Home for Liberty

$7.95
More Info
Why do we call West Virginia "A New Home for Liberty?" What did West Virginia have to do about slavery, in order to become a State in 1863? How did a jury in Tucker County, WV strike a blow for racial equality in the 1890s? Who are the West Virginia heroes J.R. Clifford, Granville Hall, Carrie Williams, and Gordon Battelle and why do we admire them? You can learn the answers to these questions and lots more in this exciting book of stories from West Virginia's civil rights history. The first story in the new book is titled "A New Home for Liberty," and describes the creation of West Virginia through the life of the abolitionist and statehood leader Granville Davisson Hall (1837-1934). Before the Civil War, Hall's father, a tanner in the Harrison County Town of Shinnston (then a part of Virginia), was indicted for distributing anti-slavery literature. The book's second story, "J.R. Clifford and the Carrie Williams Case," tells how Carrie Williams, an African American teacher in a segregated Tucker County school at the head of the Blackwater Canyon, won a landmark equal rights case in the 1890s before the West Virginia Supreme Court. Williams' lawyer was John Robert(J.R.)Clifford, (1848-1933), the State's first African American attorney. As a teenager, Clifford fought for the Union Army in the Civil War, and he is also a character in the "New Home for Liberty" story.

Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown

$16.95
More Info
More than two centuries after his birth and almost a century and a half after his death, the legendary life and legacy of John Brown go marching on. Variously deemed martyr, madman, monster, terrorist, and saint, he remains one of the most controversial figures in America's history. Brown's actions in Kansas and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, provided major catalysts for the American Civil War, actions that continue today to evoke commendation or provoke condemnation.

Through the prisms of history, literature, psychology, criminal justice, oral history, African American studies, political science, film studies, and anthropology, Terrible Swift Sword offers insights not only into John Brown's controversial character and motives, but also into the nature of a troubled society before, during, and after the Civil War. The discussions include reasons why Brown's contemporaries supported him, attempts to define Brown using different criteria, analyses of Brown's behavior, his depiction in literature, and examinations of the iconography surrounding him.

The interdisciplinary focus marshalled by editor Peggy A. Russo makes Terrible Swift Sword unique, and this, together with the popular mythology surrounding the legend of John Brown, will appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in this turbulent moment in American history.Paul Finkelman is Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He is the author of many articles and books, including His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid and the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference Peggy Russo is an assistant professor of English at the Mont Alto Campus of Pennsylvania State University. She has published in Shakespeare Bulletin, The Southern Literary Journal, Journal of American Culture, Shakespeare and the Classroom, and Civil War Book Review.
product image

Under the Freedom Tree

$9.99
More Info
Taut free verse tells the little-known story of the first contraband camp of the Civil War--seen by some historians as the "beginning of the end of slavery in America." One night in 1861, three escaped slaves made their way from the Confederate line to a Union-held fort. The runaways were declared "contraband of war" and granted protection. As word spread, thousands of runaway slaves poured into the fort, seeking their freedom. These "contrabands" made a home for themselves, building the first African American community in the country. In 1863, they bore witness to one of the first readings of the Emancipation Proclamation in the South--beneath the sheltering branches of the tree now known as Emancipation Oak.

Up From Slavery

$5.00
More Info
Born in a Virginia slave hut, Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) rose to become the most influential spokesman for African-Americans of his day. In this eloquently written book, he describes events in a remarkable life that began in bondage and culminated in worldwide recognition for his many accomplishments. In simply written yet stirring passages, he tells of his impoverished childhood and youth, the unrelenting struggle for an education, early teaching assignments, his selection in 1881 to head Tuskegee Institute, and more.
A firm believer in the value of education as the best route to advancement, Washington disapproved of civil-rights agitation and in so doing earned the opposition of many black intellectuals. Yet, he is today regarded as a major figure in the struggle for equal rights, one who founded a number of organizations to further the cause and who worked tirelessly to educate and unite African-Americans.

World of WEB DuBois: A Quotation Sourcebook

$12.99
More Info

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868--1963) was one of the leading public figures of his time -- an African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, author, and editor. He organized, protested, laid out programs, petitioned, and raised questions of long-term strategy and short-term tactics. He also wrote numerous books and articles and was a commanding speaker and a prodigious correspondent.

Meyer Weinberg created The World of W.E.B. Du Bois to provide a short journey through Du Bois's views on virtually all aspects of twentieth-century life. More than one thousand quotations from his published writings and correspondence are included, arranged into twenty topical chapters. Each quotation begins with a heading designed to summarize its main theme. A subject index provides additional access to the ideas of this complex figure.

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the leading public figures of his time—and African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, author, and editor. He organized, protested, laid out programs, petitioned, and raised questions of long-term strategy and short-term tactics. He also wrote numerous books and articles and was a commanding speaker and a prodigious correspondent.Meyer Weinberg created The World of W.E.B. Du Bois to provide a short journey through Du Bois’s views on virtually all aspects of twentieth-century life. More than one thousand quotations from his published writings and correspondence are included, arranged into twenty topical chapters. Each quotation begins with a heading designed to summarize its main theme. A subject index provides additional access to the ideas of this important and complex figure.