African Americans

Chicago Public Library collections that document African American history in Chicago and throughout the United States.

Digital Collections

Collections documenting Black history in the United States include:
Chicago Renaissance
African American community leaders, performers, artists, writers and activists on Chicago’s South Side, 1930-1950.
Remembering Harold Washington
Chicago’s first African American mayor served from 1983 to 1987, and his legacy endures.
Philip David Sang Collection
The Philip David Sang Collection contains unpublished and published works and ephemera united by its focus on the struggle of Africans and African Americans through the Middle Passage to the Civil Rights movement.

More CPL Resources

Chicago Defender Historical Archive
Offers full text, including display and classified advertisements, of this nationally significant African American newspaper from 1910 to 1975.
The largest African American video oral history archive in the world features interviews with African Americans who have made significant contributions in American life or culture.
African American History Blog Posts
Written by CPL librarians and staff.