Afro-Americana Imprints


Now Available on Video: “Still Reading the Silences: African American Women’s History in the Digital Age”

Erica Armstrong Dunbar holds many titles—scholar, historian, professor—and, as dozens of academic librarians recently learned, spellbinding storyteller.

Speaking at a special breakfast event at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference, Dunbar—Director of the African American History Program at The Library Company of Philadelphia—unraveled the fascinating tale of Ona Judge Staines, a slave who escaped from George Washington’s family in 1796. Philadelphia was an appropriate setting for such a story. The executive mansion at 524-30 Market Street, where Judge lived, served, and from which she ultimately escaped, stands just four blocks from where we met for Dunbar’s talk.

Through Dunbar’s extensive research into Judge’s life, the audience came to understand the enslaved young woman’s unique circumstances and why she so feared a move to Mount Vernon after Washington’s retirement from the presidency. As I listened to Ona’s story, I yearned to see the face of this woman who, despite Washington’s ongoing attempts to find her, evaded capture for the rest of her life.

Now Available on Video: “Still Reading the Silences: African American Women’s History in the Digital Age”

Attend a Webinar on African American Studies

Readex will offer a live webinar on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, for librarians, faculty and students who have an interest in African American studies.

This in-depth session will explore the content, features and functionality of three acclaimed Archive of Americana collections:

Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
African American Periodicals, 1825-1995

Attend a Webinar on African American Studies

Ironies of a Race-Riven Society: Selected Recent Items from Afro-Americana Imprints

A Southern eccentric defends slavery as a form of socialism, a Southern abolitionist and her mixed-race nephew fight racism, and a great writer helps a New Hampshire boy win the approval of the South. Through recently released items like these, Readex’s Afro-Americana Imprints helps students of history explore the ironies of a race-riven society. And for fun, there are those tricksters Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox…

Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings: The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation (1881)

By Joel Chandler Harris. With illustrations by Frederick S. Church and James H. Moser

 

The Chronicles of Aunt Minervy Ann (1889)

By Joel Chandler Harris. Illustrated by A.B. Frost

(Recent releases of Afro-Americana Imprints include 15 works by Joel Chandler Harris, including several that feature Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit. Less well known are Harris’ fictional sketches of post-emancipation Negro life in Georgia, notably the vivid and hilarious Aunt Minervy Ann.)

Ironies of a Race-Riven Society: Selected Recent Items from Afro-Americana Imprints

Scholarly Fights for the Souls of Black Folk: Recent Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints

African-American intellectual life, vibrant despite the odds against it, is notable among the themes of the works in the September 2013 release of Afro-Americana Imprints. Frederick Douglass makes a reasoned academic argument against racial pseudoscience. W.E.B. Du Bois undertakes careful sociological studies, from which he drew much that became The Souls of Black Folk.

The achievements of these thinkers, another imprint reminds us, are all the more impressive in the context of a Southern society so threatened by the prospect of literate African Americans that even Southern women could be jailed for the crime of teaching free Black children to read.

A few titles of interest found in last month’s release: 

The claims of the Negro, ethnologically considered. An address, before the literary societies of Western Reserve College, at commencement, July 12, 1854. By Frederick Douglass (1854)
This was the first commencement speech by an African-American at a major American University. In it, Douglass takes aim at the notion that Negroes are a separate species from Caucasians - a major underpinning of the then-emerging scientific racism used to defend slavery.

Scholarly Fights for the Souls of Black Folk: Recent Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints

The centerpiece of African American studies

The digital edition of Afro-Americana Imprints, one of the world’s preeminent collections for African American studies, is available as a single complete collection, or in one or more of the following modules, organized by historic era:

I. Discovery and Colonization, 1535-1771

A. Exploration and Establishment of Slavery and the Slave Trade (1535-1728)
Exploration and colonization of Africa and Americas; establishment of trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery in Americas


B. Prelude to Revolution and Abolitionism (1729-1771)
Rise of trans-Atlantic antislavery literature; slave revolts in U.S. and Caribbean; Enlightenment ideals of human rights

The centerpiece of African American studies

Afro-Americana Imprints: A Small Sample of Newly Released Titles (April 2013)

Upon completion, Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia will provide researchers with more than 12,000 printed works on diverse aspects of African American history, literature and culture. Among the more than 1,300 items in the April 2013 release are these six:

• Hotel keepers, head waiters, and housekeepers' guide. By Tunis G. Campbell. Published in 1848 (Imprint #1992)

[Campbell, a freeborn African-American, and later an important figure in Reconstruction, wrote this guide while he was a hotel steward. His system for running a high-class dining room calls for military-style drills, but also insists that employers treat waitstaff with dignity. Nearly half the book is devoted to recipes, including eel soup, stewed hare and orange puffs.]

• The life of Africaner, a Namacqua chief, of South Africa. By the Rev. J. Campbell. Published in 1825 (Imprint #1974)

Afro-Americana Imprints: A Small Sample of Newly Released Titles (April 2013)

Freedom Bound: The Sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation

By Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Associate Professor of History, University of Delaware, and Director of the Program in African American History, Library Company of Philadelphia

In 2013, people across the United States will celebrate the sesquicentennial of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. As the country approached a third year of bloody civil war, President Abraham Lincoln issued what has become the most symbolic of mandates. Although limited in many ways, the Proclamation stands as a centerpiece in the long struggle to end racial slavery in America, an institution that spanned more than two centuries and brought death and despair to millions of people of African descent.
Freedom Bound: The Sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation

Attend a Webinar on African American Studies

This in-depth webinar will explore the content, features and functionality of three acclaimed Archive of Americana collections: African American Newspapers, 1827-1998; African American Periodicals, 1825-1995; and Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia

Date and Time:

Thursday, Oct. 11, 1 to 2 pm EST

Attend a Webinar on African American Studies

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