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A New Literary Timeline of African American History

The New York Times asked 16 writers to bring consequential moments in African American history to life. Here are their poems and stories.

African American Literature: A Timeline (Cultural Front)

Created by Kenton Rambsy, Associate Professor of African American Literature and Digital Humanities at Howard University, and Howard Rambsy II, Distinguished Research Professor of Literature at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The Black Arts Movement

A timeline created by the Washington University in St. Louis University Libraries.

Givens Collection of African American Literature (University of Minnesota)

The Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature consists of over 10,000 books, magazines, and pamphlets by or about African Americans.

Princeton University African American Studies

Browse primary and selected secondary sources for research in African American Studies at Princeton University.

Southern Connecticut State University’s African American Literature Resources

A guide containing books, periodicals and databases in Buley Library, as well as websites on African American Literature.

The Black Heritage Reference Center

The Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County is located at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center. It contains approximately 40,000 volumes of material about and related to Black culture.



Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971

The digital home of the Academy Museum’s landmark 2022 exhibition, which explored the rich history of Black participation in American cinema, from its beginnings to just beyond the Civil Rights Movement.

A new exhibit in LA explores the complicated history of Black Cinema

This NPR article talks about the Regeneration exhibition.

Looking (and Looking Again) at Black Film History (Library of Congress)

A guest blog post by Allyson Nadia Field, Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Chicago, and Cara Caddoo, Associate Professor of Cinema & Media Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: 50 Years Cultural Ambassador to the World: Online Exhibition

Information about the iconic choreographer Alvin Ailey.

Louis Armstrong House Museum

The Louis Armstrong House Museum—based in Armstrong’s home on 107th Street in Corona, Queens—sustains and promotes the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong. The Louis Armstrong Center, which is home to a performance space and a permanent 60,000-item archive, opened across the street from the Museum in 2023.

National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM)

NMAAM is the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans.

Museum of African American Dance (MAAD)

MAAD conserves, explores, interprets, exhibits, and promotes African and African American dance in the African Diaspora for current and future generations.

Universal Hip Hop Museum

The Universal Hip Hop Museum's mission is to celebrate and preserve the history of local and global hip hop music and culture.

QPL Hip Hop Programs

Our Hip Hop Programs at Queens Public Library recognize and promote the artistic evolution and growth of the hip hop community.

Musical Life at HBCUs

An exploration of the musical legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Timeline of African American Music

Carnegie Hall’s interactive website presents the remarkable diversity of African American music, revealing the unique characteristics of each genre and style, from the earliest folk traditions to present-day popular music.

Gospel on PBS: Virtual Townhall

Join Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 7 PM ET, for a special National Zoom Townhall about the new PBS documentary series Gospel, an exploration of gospel music.



Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.

Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally, and internationally, and for work that has been inspired and influenced by Black culture.

The African American Heritage Museum of Southern, New Jersey: An Interactive Atlantic City Archive

Watch this YouTube video from WHYY Philadelphia.

International African American Museum (IAAM)

IAAM tells the unvarnished stories of the African American experience across generations—the trauma and triumph that gave rise to a resilient people.

A walk through the new International African American Museum in Charleston

Watch this YouTube video from WCNC Charlotte.

National Gallery of Art

Explore a selection of works by African American artists included in the collection of the National Gallery of Art.

List of Museums Focused on African Americans

Visit this Wikipedia compilation.



Design @ NMAAHC

The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) collects and exhibits in the areas of decorative arts, craft, and design.

A Heritage of Design

NMAAHC’s design collections encompass graphic design, furniture design, fashion design, and architectural design, among other fields.

Fashion Icon Jay Jaxon's Celebratory Exhibition Event, August 10, 2019

Queens Public Library hosted this exhibition of Jaxon’s work, curated by fashion designer and historian Rachel A. Fenderson. Watch the YouTube video.

Dapper Dan of Harlem

The official website of the Harlem fashion icon.



Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures

The digital home of NMAAHC’s 2023-2024 exhibition, which covers more than a century of Afrofuturism’s rich history of expression and investigates its impact and broad influence on American culture.

What Is Afrofuturism?

Smithsonian Magazine talks about the Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures exhibition.

Afrofuturism in the Stacks

An article about the collection of Afrofuturist books at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Thomas J. Watson Library.


Computer Science and Engineering 

Black Data Processing Associates

BDPA is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in information technology, computer science, and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.  

Influential Black Computer Scientists

Learn about leaders in the field of computer science including educators, computer scientists, rock scientists, computer engineers, and more.   

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Founded in 1975, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. 


Philosophy and Psychology  

8 Black Psychologists Who Made History

A resource highlighting Black psychologists who have made the field of psychology what it is today. 

The Association of Black Psychologists

The Association of Black Psychologists was founded in San Francisco in 1968 to actively address the serious problems facing Black psychologists and the larger Black community.   

Influential Black Philosophers

A list of influential Black philosophers who are giants in the field of philosophy, academia, and activism.  



28 of the Most Influential Black Innovators in Tech and Science

From the creator of the GIF to the Hidden Figures at NASA, the contributions of Black innovators can be seen everywhere. Check out this list of some of the most influential Black innovators throughout the history of science and tech. 

The Black Inventor Online Museum

A resource focusing on the ingenuity and accomplishments of the top Black inventors over the last 300 years, providing information for students and others interested in these pioneers of Black History. 

Famous Black Inventors

From colonial times through today, Famous Black Inventors presents an introduction to just a few of the many modern-day African American inventors who have contributed to the advancement of medicine, physics, industrialization, and more throughout American history.  

Lewis Latimer House Museum

Located in Flushing, Queens, the Lewis Latimer House Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting Latimer’s legacy, and the legacy of other innovators of color who made extraordinary contributions to technology and American life.

Black Twitter Remains Unbothered in Elon Musk's X (Wired)

Many Black users who stayed amid the chaos and change on the platform have found a renewed sense of what originally fascinated them: the mundanity in connection.



African American Religion

Explore Rice University’s scholarship on African American religion, including mainstream Christianity, the presence of the Nation of Islam, Santería, and more. 

The Black Church (PBS)

An exploration of the history of Black churches throughout the U.S.

Pew Research Center

A brief overview of Black religious history in the U.S. 


Social Sciences

The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

An exploration of Black America's quest for equity from the early national period through the twentieth century. 

Did Enslaved African Americans Rebel?

Learn about enslaved Africans’ numerous and varied rebellions. 

Resistance and Abolition: Library of Congress

Learn about how American slavery, though it was the law of the land for more than 300 years, was challenged and resisted every day by its victims, by its survivors, and by those who found it morally unacceptable. 



African American Vernacular English (Ebonics)

This page includes information on the background, vocabulary, sounds, grammar, history, attitudes, and use of African American Vernacular English. 

What Is Ebonics (African American English)?

An academic history of African American speech and its cultural roots. 

Black Linguistic Justice

The #BlackLanguageSyllabus’s mission is to celebrate the beauty of Blackness and Black Language, fight for Black Linguistic Justice, and provide critical intellectual resources that promote the collective study of Black Language.  


Learn about this secret reading method created by enslaved Black individuals.

Tutnese: The Lost Language of the Enslaved

Understand more about this language, which developed around 250 years ago by enslaved people to communicate secretively with one another.   

What Is Tutnese?

An informative video on the Tutnese language used by enslaved people. 

The Oxford Dictionary of African American English

Learn about this three-year research project to compile the ODAAE. 

A Dying Language Of Enslaved Africans Lives On At Harvard (NPR)

The Gullah Geechee language is spoken by descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought to the coastal South. Now, the language is being taught at Harvard University.


History and Geography

American Social History Project

This article by the American Social History Project historicizes Black resistance in the United States and includes discussion questions, primary sources and more.

Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Established on September 9, 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History founded Black History Month. ASALH’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public.

Black History Matters to Everyone

This article, written by Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, explains why Black history matters to everyone and is a crucial part of our nations’ story.

Black History Milestones: Timeline

A comprehensive African American history timeline from the History Channel.

Black Past

This comprehensive African American history timeline from includes bibliographies, the full text of major speeches given between 1789 and the present day, and primary documents like court decisions, government reports, executive orders, and laws, all of which help describe the African American past.

Project 1619

Project 1619 is a nonprofit organization that is credited for starting the 1619 Movement. For the past twenty-five-plus years, members of Project 1619 have been the catalyst for changing the narrative about the landing of the first enslaved Africans to arrive in the Virginia colony at Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe, in Hampton, VA.

Whitney Plantation

Whitney Plantation educates the public about the history and legacies of slavery in the United States. 

The International African American Museum’s Center for Family History

The Center for Family History supports IAAM’s goal of becoming a unique center of learning through the development of resources and programs to help individuals and families advance their understanding of their family’s history and the role their ancestors played in shaping American history. 

A Place at the Table: The Influence of Black Cuisine

This reading list, compiled by the staff at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Stone Center Library, highlights books and cookbooks that help illustrate how integral Black cuisine is to American culture.

5 Books About Black Food History You Should Read (Eat This Not That)

These five books explore the evolution of African American cuisine.

The African American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History & Culture

Covering the nearly 500 years of the Black experience in the Western hemisphere, the Mosaic surveys the full range, size, and variety of the Library of Congress's collections, including books, periodicals, prints, photographs, music, film, and recorded sound.