Diversity and Inclusion Resources: Black Studies Center

blackstudiesctrNew to the Collins Library collection, the Black Studies Center is a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies which includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, reference books, and much more.

Black Studies Center brings together essential historical and current material for researching the past, present and future of African Americans, the wider African Diaspora, and Africa itself. It is comprised of several cross-searchable, component databases, described below.

Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience
Is a resource created by collaboration between the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and ProQuest. Major topics on the African diaspora experience throughout the Americas are examined with in-depth, scholarly essays accompanied by detailed timelines, important full-text research articles, as well as images, film clips, and more. The thirty substantial essays were commissioned from leading academic black studies scholars who surveyed and analyzed the most important existing research literature in their respective fields. Presented are concise overviews which detail the most up-to-date thought on major topics of origin, culture, identity, art, religion, social justice, and more. Also included are reference textbooks Handbook of African American Literature and Encyclopedia of African Literature.

International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP)
Is the only periodical database of current titles pertaining to black studies and culture available today. It also has the largest backfile of retrospective bibliographic citations for black periodicals from as early as 1902. IIBP covers journals and magazines from the United States, African nations, and the Caribbean. Coverage is international in scope and multidisciplinary, spanning cultural, economic, historical, religious, social, and political issues of vital importance to the Black Studies discipline.

The Chicago Defender
Black Studies Center provides the historical full-text of one of the most influential black newspapers in the United States, The Chicago Defender. Coverage is from 1910 to 1975.  Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded The Defender in May 1905, and by the outbreak of the First World War, it had become the most widely-read black newspaper in the country, with more than two thirds of its readership based outside Chicago. When Abbott died in 1940, his nephew John Sengstacke became editor and publisher of The Defender, which began publishing on a daily basis in 1956. The first full-text issue presented here is from January 1, 1910, as earlier issues have not been found. The newspaper was instrumental in the Great Migration of the early twentieth century, in publicizing the lynchings in the southern states, and in its use of political cartoons to highlight race issues. Almost two million full-text records offer a broad and valuable archive for researchers.

Black Literature Index
Black Studies Center includes the online index to Black Literature, 1827-1940, a microfiche collection which is one of the most significant research efforts in African American studies. Begun at Yale University by Professor John Blassingame and continued by another colleague, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the project was completed by Gates at Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research. Since its release, the collection has redefined African American literature. Gates described it as rediscovering “a hermetically sealed library of the Afro-American periodical literature after a century of neglect.” This index allows users to search over 70,000 bibliographic citations for fiction, poetry and literary reviews published in 110 black periodicals and newspapers between 1827-1940.


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