This is the "Created Equal" page of the "African American Heritage Month" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

African American Heritage Month  

Celebrating African American Culture and History
Last Updated: Jan 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Created Equal Print Page

African American Heritage Events

Loading Loading...
blank padding

of interest

  • African American Heritage Month
    The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
  • National Museum of African American history and Culture
    The centerpiece of the NMAAHC Museum on the Web are the collected reminiscences of ordinary Americans. These stories, called "memories" are collected as text, images, and audio uploads in the virtual Memory Book where website visitors are encouraged to submit their own histories, traditions, thoughts and ideas.
  • National African American History, Buffalo Soldiers Mapping Project
    African American National Historic Landmarks Assessment Study; African Reflections on the American Landscape; Heritage Matters: News of the Nation's Diverse Cultural Heritage
  • African American History for Children
    Recommended reading from the Juvenile Collections to support understanding and appreciation of African American history.

Digital Downloads


Created Equal

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Rather memorably, the first truth he listed was “that all men are created equal.”

Many have said that it took the Civil War for Americans to make good on this truth, but not even the bloody destruction of an estimated 750,000 Americans could make a reality of what had once seemed, to a contemplative mind, self-evident. And the following decades showed that the suppression of freedom on racial grounds could take many forms besides slavery. So, for black Americans, the struggle for freedom and equality in law and in fact continued.

Today, more historians are looking at the full sweep of this history, stretching from the Founding era to the late twentieth century, and seeing many connections between abolition and desegregation, between Reconstruction and the Great Migration, between the Civil War and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Taken together, they form a pattern not of occasional outbursts but a dialectic of related events, a tapestry of progress and regress, not a series of reform movements but one long movement culminating in “the movement.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the state humanities councils have funded many projects documenting, cataloging, discussing, digitizing, and teaching aspects of this important history.

After the losses of the Civil War, it is a particularly brutal lesson to absorb that emancipation did not set black Americans free. They were free from slavery, but they were not free of a thousand other impingements, legal and de facto, hobbling their course in life and their “pursuit of happiness.” The trials of Reconstruction were followed by the trials of Jim Crow. Lynchings and race riots were as much a part of African-American history as separate train compartments. And a century after emancipation, African Americans would still be fighting for the right to attend publicly funded universities, to marry whom they wanted, to travel on the same buses as white people, and to eat at the same lunch counters.

Skinner, David. "From Freedom to Equality." Humanities. August 2013: 30-31. Print


Created Equal Excerpt Reel


Read These Books

Here are some recent books written about African Americans.

Cover Art
American to the Backbone - Christopher Webber
Call Number: 973.7114 WEBBER 2011
ISBN: 9781605981758
Publication Date: 2011-07-15
The incredible story of a forgotten hero of nineteenth century New York City who was a former slave, Yale scholar, minister, and international leader of the Antebellum abolitionist movement.

Cover Art
Slavery by Another Name - Douglas A. Blackmon
Call Number: 305.89607 BLACKMON
ISBN: 9780385506250
Publication Date: 2008-03-25
In this groundbreaking historical exposé, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests.

Cover Art
Interracial America - Eleanor Stanford
Call Number: 305.80097 INTERRACIAL
ISBN: 0737729430
Publication Date: 2006-02-24
Should America's racial differences be emphasized? Racial classifications should be abandoned / Ward Connerly
Racial classifications should not be abandoned / Emil Guillermo
The multiracial classification is necessary / Eve Brown
The multiracial classification can be detrimental / Frank H. Wu

Cover Art
Freedom Riders - Raymond Arsenault
Call Number: 323.0975 ARSENAULT
ISBN: 9780195136746
Publication Date: 2006-01-15
Here is the definitive account of a dramatic and indeed pivotal moment in American history, a critical episode that transformed the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. Raymond Arsenault offers a meticulously researched and grippingly written account of the Freedom Rides, one of the most compelling chapters in the history of civil rights.

Cover Art
Carry me home : Birmingham, Alabama : the climactic battle of the civil rights revolution - Martha Southgate
ISBN: 0684807475
The story of civil rights in Birmingham, Ala., has been told before from the unspeakable violence to the simple, courageous decencies but fresh, sometimes startling details distinguish this doorstop page-turner told by a daughter of the city's white elite.

Cover Art
The hammer and the anvil : Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the end of slavery in America
ISBN: 9780809053582
The period leading up to the Civil War was one of great change. Congress divided itself between Northerners and Southerners, citizens on the frontier took up arms against one another, and movements for secession and abolition were more urgent than ever.

Cover Art
Marshalling justice : the early civil rights letters of Thurgood Marshall - Thurgood Marshall
Call Number: 347.73263 MARSHALL
ISBN: 9780061985188
Readers for whom Marshall is best known for arguing and winning Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954 and becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in 1967 will find this collection of letters written between 1935 and 1957 thoroughly illuminating.

Learn More


The Following web sites will give you lots of links to information about African Americans.



Loading  Loading...