Black History Resources at UO Libraries

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated February as Black History Month. Black History Month--a time for recognizing their central role 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.

Research Guides

A great "first stop" for any research project, these guides contain a wealth of librarian-reccommended primary and secondary sources.

Special Collections and University Archives

The archives hold a variety of materials related to Black history, and in 2017 the archivists' Documenting UO History Project will be focused on the legacy of African-American experience at our university. Updates and in-depth articles are regularly published to SCUA's blog, Unbound.

Streaming Video Services

Through Kanopy and Docuseek2 all members of the UO community have free access to thousands of award-winning documentaries, training films, and theatrical releases -- including a wealth of titles about Black history and experience worldwide.


    Selected books, articles, and dissertations by current an former members of the UO faculty. (Note: Authentication may be required to access UO catalog records through the links below).

    Other Resources


    African American Newspapers
    This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day, including the Mexican War, Presidential and congressional addresses, congressional abstracts, business and commodity markets, the humanities, world travel and religion. The collection also provides a great number of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements all of which embody the African-American experience.

    19th Century US Newspapers Digital Archive
    Includes additional newspapers published by African Americans and serving African American communities.

    Historic Oregon Newspapers
    Includes digitized content from African-American titles The Skanner, The Portland Observer, The New Age (1896-1905), The Advocate (1923-1933), The Times (1911-1912), the Portland Inquirer (1944-46), the Oregon Mirror (1962), and the Portland Challenger (1952-1953).

    History Vault
    Access to federal documents relating to African-American history and social movements. Includes material from different Presidential administrations, the FBI, and federal agencies such as the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    By recording, preserving and sharing the life stories of thousands of African Americans, from President Barack Obama to the oldest living black cowboy, The HistoryMakers is a leader in helping to educate and enlighten millions worldwide through refashioning a more inclusive record of American history.

    Music Online
    Cross-searches the entire suite of Alexander Street Press music and dance databases: American Song, Classical Music Library, Contemporary World Music, Dance in Video, Jazz Music Library, Popular Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sound. Includes streaming audio and video recordings of classical, popular, and world music, opera, and many styles of dance, as well as select full text from key print resources on world and African American music.

    Chicago Defender (1910-1975)
    Leading newspaper of the black community. The newspaper was a proponent of The Great Migration, the move of over 1.5 million African-Americans from the segregated South to the industrial North from 1915 to 1925. It reported on the Red Summer race riots of 1919, and editorialized for anti-lynching legislation and the integration of blacks into the U.S. military.