Skip to main content

Black History Month

2007 - From Slavery to Freedom

This year's Black History Month theme, From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas, "represents one of the major themes in the history of the African Diaspora in the Americas. Under and against the rule of various powers, Africans experienced emancipation during the course of the nineteenth century. In Jamaica and Brazil, freedom came peaceably, but bloodshed also accompanied slavery’s death. In the United States, the rebirth of freedom resulted from what was at the time the world’s most destructive civil war, a war in which liberated slaves and free Blacks played a vital role in determining the victor and securing their own liberty. In Saint Domingue, the slaves, under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture, engaged in violent revolution and won their freedom and independence, establishing Haiti, the world’s first Black republic. Regardless of the path to freedom, African peoples in the New World had to continue to struggle for liberation. Where ex-slaves formed the majority, the quest for sovereignty, independence, and equality remained elusive or hollow. Elsewhere they rarely enjoyed equal citizenship and the untrammeled right to pursue happiness."[from: Association for the Study of African American Life and History ]

The Perry Library has mounted an exhibit of text, photographs, and books dipicting the struggles of African Americans from slavery to freedom. The exhibit, researched and created by Nakheia McFarland and Edison Simmons, will be on display for the month of February, 2007. Numerous books and Web sites can be consulted for more information on this theme.

Selected Web Sites

Africans in America, PBS

From Slavery to Civil Rights: A Timeline of African-American History

The Journey: An Interactive Timeline on Black History

The Lynching Calendar

Lynching in the United States

On the Web: African American History

Slavery and the Making of America, PBS

Slavery in America

Exhibit Photo

Bibliography: Books in the ODU Perry Library


  • Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem. Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement. New York: Perennial, 2000.*
  • Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.
  • Hughes, Langston, Milton Meltzer, and C. Eric Lincoln, Eds. A Pictorial History of Blackamericans. 4th rev. ed. New York: Crown Publishers, 1973.
  • Madison, James H. A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America. New York: Palgrave, 2001.


  • Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. New York: Amistad, 2005.
  • Eltis, David. The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.*
  • Hadden, Sally E. Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.
  • Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press, 1987.*
  • Johnson, Charles Richard. Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1999.*
  • Jones, Howard. Mutiny on the Amistad: the Saga of a Slave Revolt and its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • Lovejoy, Paul E. Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.*
  • Rawley, James A. The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A History. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.*
  • Redpath, James. The Roving Editor, or, Talks with Slaves in the Southern States. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.*
  • Reynolds, David S. John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.*
  • Robertson, David. Denmark Vesey. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.*
  • Schwartz, Marie Jenkins. Born in Bondage: Growing Up Enslaved in the Antebellum  South. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
  • Slavery and the making of America. Dir. Danté J. James, et al. Perf. Morgan Freeman, et al. 2005. DVD. Ambrose Video Pub., 2005.*
  • Smith, Mark M. Stono: Documenting and Interpreting a Southern Slave Revolt. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2005.*
  • Switala, William J. Underground Railroad in New Jersey and New York. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2006.*
  • White, Deborah G. Ar'n't I a woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South. New York: Norton, 1999.*

Jim Crow/Segregation:

  • Cameron, James. A Time of Terror. Baltimore, MD: Black Classic Press, 1994.*
  • Meyer, Stephen Grant. As Long as They Don't Move Next Door: Segregation and Racial Conflict in American Neighborhoods. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2000.
  • Tumin, Melvin Marvin. Desegregation: Resistance and Readiness. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1958.
  • Waldrep, Christopher. Lynching in America: A History in Documents. New York: New York University Press, 2006.*
  • Woodward, C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.*
  • Wormser, Richard. The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003.

Civil War/Reconstruction :

  • Foner, Eric. Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
  • Kingseed, Cole C. The American Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.
  • Lewis, Earl. In their own interests : race, class, and power in twentieth-century Norfolk, Virginia. Berkeley : University of California Press, c1991, pp. 202-204. F234.N8L48 1991
  • Middleton, Stephen. Black Congressmen During Reconstruction: A Documentary Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002.*
  • Woodworth, Steven E. Cultures in conflict--the American Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Civil Rights :

  • Arsenault, Raymond. Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggles for Racial Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Branch, Taylor. At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
  • Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1988.
  • Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1998.*
  • Chalmers, David Mark. Backfire: How the Ku Klux Klan Helped the Civil Rights Movement. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.
  • Crawford,Vicki L., Jacqueline Anne Rouse, and Barbara Woods, Eds. Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
  • Feldman, Glen, Ed. Before Brown: Civil Rights and White Backlash in the Modern South. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2004.
  • James v. Almond - January 19, 1959 - 170 F. Supp. 331 (court case to re-open Norfolk's public schools)*
  • King, Richard H. Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Kirk, John A. Martin Luther King, Jr. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman, 2005.*
  • Lyon, Danny. Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

Post-Civil Rights :

  • Gray, Farrah. Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 2004.*

  * Books used in the exhibit cases.

chat loading...