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Black Geographies: Research Resources

Archival Research

Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University documents the Black experience and preserves the legacy of the people of the African diaspora. Its website includes digitized photographs and archival finding aids for collections from significant scholars, political figures, artists and institutions.  

ProQuest Historical Newspapers Black Newspapers offers journalistic accounts and editorial perspectives from prominent African American newspapers in the U.S. The coverage ranges from the late 19th-century to the early 21st and spans major cities in the Southeast, MidWest, and California.

UC Berkeley Library's African American Studies: Collection GuideTopics include reconstruction, segregation and Black migration, business and labor, the arts, and the Black Panther Party.

Black Thought and Culture: A landmark electronic collection of approximately 100,000 pages of non-fiction writings by major American black leaders—teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, war veterans, entertainers, and other figures—covering 250 years of history.

Community Engagement

Black Studies Collaboratory at UC Berkeleybrings together artists, activists and scholars to amplify the interdisciplinary, political and world-building work of Black Studies.. Their website includes recorded talks from scholars, performers, and organizers, as well as a model for collaborative syllabus design inspired by the Open University.

Anti Police-Terror Projectseeks to "eradicate police terror in communities of color" and offers many resources including legal overviews of structural issues behind police terror, studies on and documentation of police abuse in the Bay Area, and alternative models for community safety. 

Bay Area Council: The Council has compiled a list of national and Bay Area-based grassroots organizations that are making an impact on issues of racial justice. While this list is not exhaustive, our goal is to provide our member companies, partners, and supporters with a resource to learn more about organizations working in this space.


NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: Founded in 1925, the Schomburg Center is one of the premiere U.S. repositories for the study of Black life and culture. The Center houses the manuscripts of key works of African American and diasporic literatures, as well as artworks from luminaries in painting, sculpture, and photography. The papers of numerous civil rights organizations and intellectuals are also available.

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and SongWith funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation, this Library of America anthology of 250 African American poets from the colonial area to the contemporary moment led to live events in 2021 as well as media of poets reciting and discussing their works. A solid place to start for an overview of the evolution of African American poetry, and biographical information on key figures.

Oakland Museum of California: Black PowerAn outgrowth of the 2016 exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, this more permanent piece of the Gallery of California History includes documents, graphics, an artifacts from the Black Power movement in the Bay Area, with a particular focus on the Black Panther Party. Iconic posters and realia frame a substantive description of the BPP's policies and community programs, as well as discussion of the contemporary significance of their efforts.

Museum of the African Diaspora, San FranciscoA legacy of urban renewal and the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, MoAD focuses on contemporary art from Black cultures across the globe. Four themes frame their galleries: Origins, Movement, Adaptation, and Transformation. Located in San Francisco, their rotating slate of exhibitions includes many prominent and rising artists from the African Diaspora.

The Black Music History Library: This is a living collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day. Resources are organized chronologically and by genre for ease of browsing.