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.
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
Civil War/Reconstruction :
Civil Rights :
Post-Civil Rights :
* Books used in the exhibit cases.