The National Archives holds a wealth of materials documenting the African American experience, and the contributions of African Americans to United States history and culture.
In 1984, to support the growing demand for knowledge of African American history, Dr. Debra Newman Ham, with the help of several other colleagues, took on the responsibility of compiling a guide to Black history records at the National Archives.
With the publication of Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives, NARA became recognized as an important source for African American historical documents. Here you will find records, information, research tools and resources on topics such as Civil Rights, Education, Diaspora, Women, and more.
In addition, the African American History research page provides archives resources, blog posts and articles, featured records, public programs, subject portals, and more. Subject portals on topics such as Black Power, Voting Rights, and the First World War highlight selected records, guidance for researchers, and additional resources for further study.
For the latest updates, subscribe to the Rediscovering Black History blog. You can also learn more about the vast amount of records at the National Archives and Presidential Libraries related to the African American experience.
For those looking to conduct research on African American History, browse recent posts and questions in History Hub’s African American Records Community:
History Hub is a support community for researchers, genealogists, history enthusiasts, and citizen archivists. You can ask questions, share information, work together, and find help based on experience and interests. Researchers can ask — or answer — questions on History Hub, or search to see if a question has been asked before.
The National Archives will present African American History Month programs throughout the month of February. All programs are free and open to the public and available for viewing on the National Archives YouTube channel.
Photos courtesy National Archives: Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., member Tuskegee Airmen, signs a canopy modeled after his P51 D Mustang during a reception following unveiling ceremonies, 5/18/1996; and a photograph of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in France, 5/27/1945.