Booker T. Washington


Celebrating the Remarkable Life and Work of Frederick Douglass through America’s Historical Imprints

This year’s Black History Month marks 200 years since the birth of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential Americans of the 19th century. While America’s Historical Newspapers includes The North Star, the forceful anti-slavery newspaper Douglass began publishing in Rochester, New York, in 1847, America’s Historical Imprints contains a wealth of primary source material recording, remembering, and celebrating his remarkable life and work.


 

Narrative Title Page.jpg

In his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, found in Black Authors, 1556-1922: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia, Frederick writes of his parents.

My mother was named Harriet Bailey. She was the daughter of Isaac and Betsey Bailey, both colored, and quite dark. My mother was of a darker complexion than either my grandmother or grandfather.

My father was a white man. He was admitted to be such by all I ever heard speak of my parentage. The opinion was also whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness of this opinion, I know nothing; the means to knowing was withheld from me. My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant – before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age.

He continues, describing his relationship with his mother:

Celebrating the Remarkable Life and Work of Frederick Douglass through America’s Historical Imprints

“How to Solve the Race Problem” and other Highlights from Black Authors, 1556-1922

The February release of Black Authors, 1556-1922 includes a work on class and race in Philadelphia published during the Antebellum Period, an examination of the post-Reconstruction South by a Barbados-born lawyer, and an early 20th-century solution to the race problem “by eminent men of both races and in every walk of life.” Among the African American leaders who convened at the 1903 Washington Conference on the Race Problem in the United States were the 18 whose photographs appear below.


Sketches of the Higher Classes of Colored Society in Philadelphia (1841) 

By A Southerner  

Joseph Wilson, using the pseudonym A Southerner, wrote about his adopted city in hopes of proving to the white community that the African American community also contained an upper echelon and to offer advice to the privileged members of that class. Wilson’s work is particularly notable because it is a very early account of class and race in Philadelphia, predating W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Philadelphia Negro by half a century.  

“How to Solve the Race Problem” and other Highlights from Black Authors, 1556-1922

Press Release: Announcing Afro-Americana, 1535-1922 -- the online edition of the Library Company's unparalleled collection

Today we distributed this news release:

Readex to Launch Digital Edition of the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Unparalleled Collection of Afro-Americana

More than 12,000 searchable books, pamphlets, and broadsides will stimulate new research on centuries of African American history, literature, and life 

Source: Library Company of Philadelphia/Afro-Americana Collection

Press Release: Announcing Afro-Americana, 1535-1922 -- the online edition of the Library Company's unparalleled collection

Key Titles in African American Periodicals, 1825-1995: Part One of Three

African American Periodicals, 1825-1995, reflects more than a century and half of the African American experience. The first collection in Readex’s new America’s Historical Periodicals series, this wide-ranging resource features more than 170 titles from 26 states. Below is a brief description of seven of these publications. For descriptions of fourteen others, please visit the Key Periodicals page on the Readex website.

The Voice of the Negro (Atlanta, Georgia)

Key Titles in African American Periodicals, 1825-1995: Part One of Three


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