A Gathering Place for the Entire Community

African American History


Celebrate Black History Month

The Bridgeport Public Library’s African American History web page is a comprehensive multimedia directory of online resources covering nearly 400 years of

African American history.


Arts & Culture

Science & Technology





  • The African American: A Journey from Slavery to Freedom
    The African-American: A Journey from Slavery to Freedom is an exhibit which shows America in crisis and how that point in time was resolved.
  • Voices from the Says of Slavery
    A comprehensive collection of resources on the topic of slavery from the Library Of Congress.
  • Africans in America
    America’s journey through slavery is presented in four parts. For each era, you’ll find a historical Narrative, a Resource Bank of images, documents, stories, biographies, and commentaries, and a Teacher’s Guide for using the content of the Web site and television series in U.S. history courses. From PBS online.
  • Death or Liberty Exhibition
    Exhibition from the Library of Virginia covering Gabriel’s Conspiracy in 1800, Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831 and the Harpers Ferry raid of 1859 – includes a selection of transcribed and digitized documents
  • Freedom’s Journal
    This project by the Wisconsin Historical Society to digitized all 103 issues of the first African American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States (1827-1829).
  • Slavery in the United States
    This site contains slave accounts, details of the slave system, slave life and the antislavery movement.

Slavery and the Courts

  • Slaves and the Courts: 1740-1860
    A library of Congress site containing just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States
  • The Amistad Case
    Full text of the Amistad decision plus links to other relevant primary source documents from the National Archives.
  • The Dred Scott Case
    Collection of 85 digitized and transcribed St. Louis Circuit Court records that document the Scotts’ early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation.
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner
    In response to questions from a white lawyer named Thomas R. Gray, Nat Turner explains why he led his revolt against slavery.
  • Slave Code for the District of Columbia
    This printed slavery code was published on March 17, 1862, just one month before slavery in the District ended and the laws became of historical interest only.

Slave Narratives

  • Born in Slavery
    Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938
  • North American Slave Narratives
    Documents the individual and collective story of the African American struggle for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.

Underground Railroad

  • Flight to Freedom Game“Flight to Freedom,” allows “players” to experience slavery through the eyes of those who lived it.
  • Connecticut Freedom Trail
    The Freedom Trail has been preserved in history,recognizing the importance to Connecticut of numerous sites in the state that are associated with the heritage and movement towards freedom of its African American Citizens.

Civil Rights Movement

Historically Important Modern Civil Rights Organizations

  • Black Panther Party
    This Spartacus Educational website looks at the history of the Black Panther movement and includes biographies of leading figures such as Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton, Eldridge Cleaver, H. Rap Brown and Bobby Hutton.
  • Congress of Racial Equality – CORE
    Congress of Racial Equality. Founded in 1942, CORE is the third oldest and one of the “Big Four” civil rights groups in the United States.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – NAACP
    For more than ninety-three years, the NAACP has been built on the individual and collective courage of thousands of people. People of all races, nationalities and religious denominations, who were united on one premise –that all men and women are created equal.
  • National Urban League
    The Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference – SCLC
    Based in Atlanta, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was established with the goal of redeeming “the soul of America” through nonviolent resistance. Its main objective was to coordinate nonviolent protests throughout the South. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as president of SCLC from its founding in 1957 until his death in 1968.
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – SNCC
    This Spartacus Educational website looks at the history of SNCC and includes biographies of leading figures such as John Lewis and Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)

Black Migration

Black History Month

Biographies & Bibliographies

From the White House web site


Stokely Carmichael

  • The History Channel – Black History Month
    Speeches, videos and more.
    National Public Radio interviews from Black History Month 2003.
  • The Quilts of Gee’s Bend audio from NPR
    For generations, the families from a small African American community in Boykin, Alabama called Gee’s Bend have migrated to Bridgeport, Connecticut. Audio from S. Michelle Raiyn.
    For more information see Gee’s Bend: Quilts and Plantations, Pettways and Bendolphs! A Central High School (Bridgeport, CT) web site.
  • Radio Fights Jim Crow
    During the World War Two years, a series of groundbreaking radio programs tried to mend the deep racial and ethnic divisions that threatened America. At a time when blacks were usually shown on the radio as lazy buffoons, the federal government and civil rights activists used radio for a counter attack. Did radio unify America in the face of war? This is “Radio Fights Jim Crow”.
  • Voices From the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories
    This site provides the opportunity to listen to former slaves describe their lives. These interviews, conducted between 1932 and 1975, capture the recollections of twenty-three identifiable people born between 1823 and the early 1860s and known to have been former slaves.