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African American Communities: One Hundred Years of Struggle and Creativity

October 7, 2015

Personal accounts revealing a century of racial tension published online for the first time

(Marlborough, October 2015) Award-winning publisher Adam Matthew announces the publication of African American Communities: the latest digital primary source collection in their growing portfolio of resources for the humanities and social sciences.

Featuring multiple perspectives on the daily challenges faced by African Americans between 1863 and 1985, African American Communities highlights the tensions in race relations that dominated their social, political, cultural and religious lives during the period.

The prevalent challenges of racism, discrimination and integration are illustrated through personal diaries, scrapbooks, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, correspondence, oral histories and official records.  The unique African American culture that developed over this turbulent century is expressed in exclusive video interviews by the very artists, writers, dancers, actors and musicians who created it.

“With this database we now have the capacity to write new histories and understand the formation of African American communities in entirely new and innovative ways.” – D. L. Baldwin, Trinity College, Connecticut.

The collection is comprised of material sourced from six contributing archives and focuses predominantly on the four cities of Atlanta, Chicago, New York and St Louis, with additional material on towns and cities in North Carolina.

Featured topicsinclude: Education; Urban renewal; Desegregation; Crime, police brutality and community relations; Civil Rights; Healthcare; Domestic migration; the role of the Church.

Highlights include:

  • The Chicago Urban League Papers, c1916-1985
  • A special exhibition on the African American community of Weeksville in Brooklyn
  • A complete run of The Messenger, 1925-1928 – a popular civil rights magazine
  • Family papers, including rich photographic collections
  • Materials relating to the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing project

African American Communities complements a number of Adam Matthew titles, including: American History, 1493-1945; Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975; and Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, as well as other African American Studies collections available.

Free trials can be requested by visiting


Adam Matthew, an imprint of SAGE, is an award winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences. Sourced from leading libraries and archives around the world, their unique research and teaching collections cover a wide range of subject areas from medieval family life to 20th century history, literature and culture.



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