African American History

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Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole: A Photographic History of African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio

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A remarkable visual record of Cleveland's African American community spanning five decades

During the Great Depression, photographer Allen Eugene Cole posted a sign in front of his studio in Cleveland's Central neighborhood: somebody, somewhere, wants your photograph. An entrepreneurial businessman with a keen ability to market his images of Cleveland's black experience, Cole was deeply immersed in civic life. A founder and treasurer of the Progressive Business League, Cole was an officer of the Dunbar Life Insurance Co., a member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, and active in the Elks and Masons. For years he was the only black member of the Cleveland Society of Professional Photographers. Well into the 1960s his photographs appeared regularly in the Call & Post, Cleveland's African American weekly newspaper.

A migrant to Cleveland in 1917, Allen Cole developed an interest in photography while employed as a waiter at the Cleveland Athletic Club. By 1922 he had opened his first studio at home, enlarging it over the years. It was in this studio that he photographed Perry B. Jackson, Ohio's first African American judge.

The images of Jackson and the hundreds of other African Americans included in this volume were chosen from the thousands of photographs in the Allen Cole Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society. They illustrate the diverse experiences among Cleveland's vibrant African American community. Social organizations, women's and men's clubs, civic and church groups, schoolchildren and teachers, businessmen, and politicians are all included in this charming and unique collection. In the accompanying text authors Samuel Black and Regennia Williams place Cole and his comprehensive visual catalog in the context of African American history and the Great Migration.

Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole mines Cole's exceptional midtwentieth-century photographic chronicle of African American life and will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in American history, as well as specialists in African studies, history, sociology, urban affairs, and the photographic arts.

Timeless Count Basie CD

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Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Abolitionist Movement

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Traces the process and influences behind the writing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which was published when the nation was torn over the issue of slavery and headed toward Civil War.
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Under the Freedom Tree

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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.
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Underground Railroad (We the People)

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Describes the Underground railroad, which was a secret network of people who operated in the dark of the night, helping African-Americans escape from slavery in the southern United States.

Up From Slavery

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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.

Ruth and the Green Book

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Ruth was so excited to take a trip in her family's new car! In the early 1950s, few African Americans could afford to buy cars, so this would be an adventure. But she soon found out that black travelers weren't treated very well in some towns. Many hotels and gas stations refused service to black people. Daddy was upset about something called Jim Crow laws . . .

Finally, a friendly attendant at a gas station showed Ruth's family The Green Book. It listed all of the places that would welcome black travelers. With this guidebook--and the kindness of strangers--Ruth could finally make a safe journey from Chicago to her grandma's house in Alabama.

Ruth's story is fiction, but The Green Book and its role in helping a generation of African American travelers avoid some of the indignities of Jim Crow are historical fact.

Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass

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The inspirational, true story of how Frederick Douglass found his way to freedom one word at a time.

This picture book biography chronicles the youth of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African American figures in American history. Douglass spent his life advocating for the equality of all, and it was through reading that he was able to stand up for himself and others. Award-winning husband-wife team Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome present a moving and captivating look at the young life of the inspirational man who said, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."

Niagara Movement Commemorative Program

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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 Silver Medallion

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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.

Pin with Ribbon Niagara Movement Lapel

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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.