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AFST 187 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Newspapers and Other Primary Sources

What Is A Primary Source?

A primary source is a source that is produced at the time of an historical event by those who usually have participated in it, or at least are close to the actions being described. Historians use primary sources to build up their arguments and accounts. Newspaper accounts at the time can be primary sources. Others would be interviews (even later if it is of those who have participated at the time), diaries, photographs, musical performances at the time, sermons given at the time. The use of primary source material can enhance your presentation. Sometimes it can reveal something unexpected about the events you are studying.

Historical Newspapers

Open Access

Behind the Veil Oral histories of the Jim Crow South.

Black Abolitionist Archive A digital collection of over 800 speeches and writings, including newspaper articles, by African American abolitionists. Maintained by the University of Detroit Mercy Libraries.

Civil Rights History Project  Interviews of individuals involved with the Civil Rights Movement.

Navigating the Green Book The Green Book was a travel guide, published between 1936 and 1966, listing hotels, restaurants, bars and gas stations where Black travelers would be welcome. Mostly, but not exclusively, covers the American South.

North American Slave Narratives Includes slave and former slave narratives but also fiction. Fiction would not count as a primary source.

Slave Voyages Sponsored by Emory University, the database contains information culled from primary sources on the African slave trade. One can use it to extract data and information about specific voyages and to create statistical reports. It also contains a repository of images and essays on the topic. Please read the Legal page before citing, using and distributing


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