Michigan State University

RCAH master guide

Black Panther Party

Our holdings

Publications by and about the Black Panther Party. 100+ items.

How to find

Use the MSU Library Catalog Advanced Search.

  • Limit your search to Special Collections.
  • Do a subject or keyword search for black panther party. This will retrieve secondary sources about the BPP as well as primary sources by the BPP.
  • Do author searches for principal members of the Black Panther Party. Most of the results will be about the Black Panther Party (retrieved in the search above) but there will be a few more on related topics in civil rights and activism.
    • Abu-Jamal, Mumia
    • Acoli, Sundiata
    • Brown, Elaine, 1943-
    • Cleaver, Eldridge, 1935-1998
    • Forbes, Flores H.
    • Newton, Huey P.
    • Seale, Bobby, 1936-
    • Shakur, Assata

National civil rights organizations

  • Author search congress of racial equality
  • Author search national association for the advancement of colored people
  • Author search southern christian leadership conference
  • Author search student nonviolent coordinating committee

Local civil rights cases & organizations

Only a small percentage of the actual number of civil rights abuses received national attention; many only received local attention. We have rare copies of pamphlets and newsletters concerning lesser known cases:

African American labor groups

  • Author search american negro labor congress
  • Author search united black workers
  • Subject search united packinghouse workers of america
  • Keyword search league of revolutionary black workers
  • Keyword search national negro labor council
  • Keyword search african americans and labor unions
  • Keyword search communist party and harlem (the Harlem local unit of the Communist Party was sometimes called the Harlem Division and sometimes the Harlem Section; this search will retrieve both)

Civil rights solidarity organizations

  • Author search anpo solidarity committee
  • Author search southern student organizing committee
  • Author search institute for southern studies
  • Author search southern conference educational fund
  • Author search radical education project
  • Author search students for a democratic society

Contemporary African American cookbooks

Our holdings

MSU's Cookbook Collection (25,000 volumes) is strong in contemporary cooking of the Americas, African American cooking, Caribbean and Latin American cooking, and the influence of West African food and diet on the Americas.

We have more than 200 African American cookbooks published since 1960.

Unlike the earlier time periods, you can safely assume that a book on African American cooking written after the civil rights movement is by an African American author.

How to find

Search the MSU library catalog.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • Keyword search african american cooking.
  • Sort your results by date

(Note that your results will include a few recent reprints of older works.)

Hip hop in the 1970s

  • Right On! magazine about African American music: scattered issues between 1971 and 1981.
  • Hip hop clippings file
  • Author search last poets (group)
  • Author search scott-heron, gil
  • Author search van peebles, melvin
  • Keyword search kool herc (do not limit to SPC)
  • Keyword search rap music
  • Keyword search afrika bambaataa (do not limit to SPC)
  • Keyword search grandmaster flash (do not limit to SPC)

BONUS: Hollywood film scripts 1930s-1990s

Our holdings

We have scripts from about 160 Hollywood films. The bulk are from the years 1937 to 1996, with a few more recent examples.

How to find

  • Use the MSU library catalog Advanced search
  • Limit to Special Collections
  • Subject search motion picture plays

(Be sure to limit to Special Collections. Otherwise, this heading will also retrieve about 600 titles from the circulating collection on the topic of screenwriting -- rather than actual scripts.)

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 Arts Movement: Third World Press

The Third World Press was founded in Chicago in 1967 by Haki R. Madhubuti, Carolyn Rodgers, and Johari Amini. It is now the largest Black-owned publisher in the U.S.

Our holdings

The majority of our holdings are in Main, with about 25 early titles in Special Collections.

How to find

Search the MSU library catalog.

Keyword search "third world press" (use quotation marks to get the phrase instead of the separate words)

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: notable figures

Many authors, critics, and theater professionals were associated with the Black Arts movement. The list below is from Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism, and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States. Links are provide for authors whose work we have in Special Collections.

Institute of Positive Education

The Institute of Positive Education was founded in Chicago in 1969 and provides African-centered learning for grades K-8. MSU has 11 papers published by the IPE on a variety of social and cultural topics.

African Americans and education, 1960s-1970s

  • Title search struggle for freedom and rights basic facts
  • Title search from plan to planet life studies
  • Title search education to govern a philosophy
  • Author search afrikan free school
  • National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools clippings file

African American students at MSU

  • People's Choice - "a black oriented newspaper at Michigan State University"
  • Grapevine Journal - "a news publication produced by minority students at Michigan State University"
  • Michigan State University Black Liberation Front clippings file
  • Michigan State University Black Student Alliance clippings file

African American Periodicals, 1825-1995

American Black Journal

American Black Journal (formerly Detroit Black Journal) began broadcasting in 1968. The weekly tv program discusses African American history, culture, and current affairs.

Our archive has files on individual broadcasts between 1976 and 1994, research files used for topic selection and production, correspondence and business files. 22 boxes of material.

American popular songs, 1850-1945

Our holdings

About 225 examples of sheet music for popular songs from 1850 to 1945.

How to find

Unlike the commercial recipe booklets, ethnic stereotypes were not specifically tagged in this collection, but they are evident from many of the titles and first lines given in the catalog record.

Use the MSU library catalog advanced search.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • Search for popular music (in the first search box) and african americans in the second.
  • Limit the dates to after 1850 and before 1945.

Some of the items you find will be songs performed by popular Black performers like Duke Ellington or sheet music for African American spirituals like Go Down, Moses. However, you'll be able to easily pick out titles with racist content.

Hollywood film scripts 1940-1985

Our holdings

Within our collection of about 600 Hollywood film scripts, about 50 from the years 1940-1985 were cataloged with "African Americans" as a subject heading. That means the film is in some way about African Americans, but the majority are by white screenwriters. Do they demonstrate the same ethnic stereotypes seen in popular songs and recipe pamphlets?

How to find

Black Arts Movement


We have significant holdings from The Broadside Press (Detroit) and the Third World Press (Chicago) which were instrumental in bringing many Black writers to national attention.

Search the MSU library catalog.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • Keyword search "broadside press"
  • Keyword search "third world press"


Other publications

In addition to the Midwest-based Broadside Press and Third World Press, we have scattered holdings of several other prominent magazines of the Black Arts movement.

Search MSU library catalog.

  • Title search cricket black music in evolution
  • Title search journal of black poetry
  • Title search soulbook
  • Title search black dialogue magazine
  • Title search negro digest


Prominent artists and critics from the Black Arts Movement

Author search will retrieve items by these individuals. Subject search will retrieve items about these individuals.

  • Amiri Baraka
  • Ed Bullins
  • Jayne Cortez
  • Tom Dent
  • Henry Dumas
  • Addison Gayle Jr.
  • Nikki Giovanni
  • David Henderson
  • Calvin Hernton
  • Woodie King
  • Ron Milner
  • Larry Neal
  • David Rambeau
  • Ishmael Reed
  • Sonia Sanchez
  • Ed Spriggs
  • Lorenzo Thomas
  • Askia Touré
  • Marvin X
  • the Last Poets

List from Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism, and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States, edited by Bill V. Mullen and James Smethurst. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003) Find at MSU

Michigan State University