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Michigan State University

RCAH 292B, Spring 2016, Dr Austin Jackson. Educational Interventions for Adolescent At-Risk Black Males: Primary sources in Special Collections

Primary vs. Secondary

What's the difference between primary and secondary sources?

  • Primary sources give first-hand evidence of an event, a person's life, or a period of history.
  • Secondary sources give an author's interpretation of what the first-hand evidence means.

For more on this, see this 4-minute video, Understanding Primary Sources. (It's the second video on the list. You can skip the first video by just clicking on the title Understanding Primary Sources below the video window.)

African Americans and the Vietnam War

Roughly 25 years after World War II, African American soldiers were among those serving in the Vietnam War. How had the Civil Rights movement and nascent Black Power movement changed attitudes?

Blacks in the Military: The Myth of Equal Opportunity. Center for National Security Studies, 197-?

Black Marines Against the Brass. Radical Education Project, 197-?

The Black Man's Stake in Vietnam. Eldridge Cleaver. Black Panther Party [?], 197-?

Brothers, Black Soldiers in the Nam. Stanley Goff et al. Berkley Books, 1982.

Kangaroo Court-Martial: George Daniels and William Harvey, Two Black Marines Who Got 6 and 10 Years for Opposing the Vietnam War. Committee for G.I. Rights, 1969.

Uncle Sam Wants YOU, Nigger. Harlem Progressive Labor Club, 196-?

War, Racism, the Movement: As We See It. Jarvis Tyner. W.E.B. Du Bois Clubs of America, 1968.

A White Man's War: Race Issues and Vietnam. Vietnam Generation, 1989.

American Black Journal Archive

American Black Journal web banner

American Black Journal is a weekly television program on African American arts, culture, and community issues, which has been produced in Detroit since 1968.

It was originally called Colored People's Time, but the title was soon changed to Detroit Black Journal. The show was renamed American Black Journal in 1988.

Production files from the first 34 years of the program (1968 to 2002) were given to Special Collections by Detroit Public Television.

Anti-Apartheid Movements

Our African Activist Archive collects material from American groups and individuals who opposed apartheid in South Africa. (MSU is actually part of a worldwide network of libraries documenting this topic.)

Beauty culture

Book cover for Accent African

The period from 1940-1980 saw dramatic changes in how many African Americans dressed and styled their hair, reflecting the changing Black identity.

Black Arts movement - Background

The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry (2013) has a brief summary of the Black Arts Movement.

The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2013) has a longer introduction.

Larry Neal's essay "The Black Arts Movement" (published in Drama Review in 1968) was one of the first to recognize the new direction in Black creative work.

Black arts movement: other publications

In addition to strong holdings of the Broadside Press and Third World Press (described above), we have scattered holdings of several other publications of the Black Arts movement.

Black Arts movement: Broadside Press

The Broadside Press was founded in Detroit in 1965 by Dudley Randall. It was instrumental in bringing many Black poets to national attention.

Our holdings

We have about 100 items issued by the press, many of which are actual broadsides. (This term means poetry or prose printed on a single sheet, so it can be framed or posted.)

How to find

Search the MSU library catalog.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • Keyword search "broadside press" (use quotation marks to get the phrase instead of the separate words)

Black Feminist Movement

Cover of Our Women Keep Our Skies From Falling

Selected key documents in the Black Feminist movement:

Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism

The Black Power movement emerged in the later years of the Civil Rights movement. Black Power encompassed diverse visions and goals, including:

Pan-Africanism and solidarity between African countries and African Americans:

Exploration of common goals between Black Nationalism and Socialist and Communist organizations:

Interest in Afro-centric culture, including creation of the Kwanzaa holiday:

Black nationalism and the establishment of a separate nation for African Americans within the territory of the United States:

Black Power movement - Background

The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2013) provides background on the Black Power Movement.

The Encyclopedia of African American History: 1896 to the Present (2009) has an introductory article on the Black Power Movement.

Black Power Movement periodicals

We have selected issues of several periodicals associated with the Black Power movement:

Longer runs of these periodicals are available online or in the Main Library collection.

Black student newspapers

1971-1975 - The Grapevine Journal

1976-1978 - People's Choice


1994 - Speak


1998-2001 - The Legacy


PLUS: The University Archives & Historical Collections have a Grapevine Journal Archive, which includes issues of the paper plus extensive office files.

Emory Douglas and the Black Panthers

Cover image for Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory DouglasEmory Douglas was the Minister of Culture for the Black Panthers from 1967 to the 1980s, and a talented artist.

Many of the back-page illustrations of the Black Panther newspaper were by Douglas. These could be detached and used as posters.

Rizzoli published Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas in 2007.

History texts by African American authors

These titles range from books for elementary-age children to histories for adult readers.

1893 - A School History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1890... revised edition, by Edward A. Johnson.

1902 - Progress of a Race: Or, the Remarkable Advancement of the American Negro... by J.W. Gibson and W.H. Crogman.

1928 - Negro Makers of History, by Carter G. Woodson

1933 - The Negro in America, by Alain Locke

1938 - The Negro American Series (four volumes) by Emma E. Akin

1938 - Negro Folk Tales for Pupils in the Primary Grades, by Helen Adele Whiting

1938 - Negro Art, Music, and Rhyme for Young Folks, by Helen Adele Whiting

1943 - The Negro, Too, in American History, by Merl R. Eppse

1947 - Little Journeys into Storyland: Stories that Will Live and Lift, by Louis B. Reynolds and Charles L. Paddock

1956 - A Pictorial History of the Negro in America, by Langston Hughes and Milton Meltzer

1959 - The Story of the Negro Retold, by Carter G. Woodson and Charles H. Wesley

1969 - Afro Americans, Then and Now, by Jane Hurley and Doris McGee Haynes.

1971 - The Struggle for Freedom and Rights: Basic Facts about the Negro in American History. "To be used in connection with classroom texts for grade 8."

LGBTQ African Americans

Our LGBTQ collections include many newsletters and books from Black and multiracial LGBTQ organizations. Several examples:

  • Black Lines. "Expressions from black gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered life." MSU has issues from 1996-2003.
  • Kick! Magazine for African American gay men and lesbians in Michigan. MSU has issues from 1995-1999.
  • Color Life. "The lesbian, gay, two-spirit & bisexual, people of color magazine." MSU has issues from 1993-1994.
  • The Griot Press. "Minority owned and published lesbian and gay magazine." MSU has issues from 1992-1995.
  • National Association of Black and White Men Together Quarterly Newsletter. "A gay multiracial organization for all people." MSU has issues from 1989-1996.

Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Essex Hemphill, ed. Alyson Publications, 1991.

Afrekete: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Writing. Catherine E. McKinley and L. Joyce Delaney, eds. Anchor Books, 1995.

Raising black children in a racist society

Works by African American authors:

And: Children of Crisis: A Study of Courage and Fear. (Robert Coles. Little Brown, 1967.) Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist and is white. MSU Special Collections has Coles' papers and work files, spanning about 50 years, including documents about his interactions with Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South.

Terri L. Jewell Papers

Terri L. Jewell (1954-1995) was an African American, lesbian-feminist  author and activist. She grew up in Louisville but attended MSU and lived in Lansing as an adult.

She was the editor of The Black Woman's Gumbo Ya-Ya: Quotations by Black Women (Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1993) and published poetry and essays in dozens of publications.

Her personal papers are held in Special Collections, as well as a bibliography of her work.

United Farm Workers

We have an extensive collection on the United Farm Workers, especially primary source materials from the UFW strikes against grape, lettuce and strawberry growers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

We also have many examples of the promotional items the UFW distributed to share its message, like buttons and bumper stickers.

Search by keyword for United Farm Workers.

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