MEdia LIbrArY

African American Women's Army Corps members at the Staten Island Terminal, New York Port of Embarkation, in March of 1946. (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division/NYPL Digital Collections)
Black Experience in History and Memory
History, for Black people in the United States, is and always has been deeply charged and highly contested. The Middle Passage and centuries of slavery created a rupture in the transmission of cultural memory and related practices that would have connected the descendants of captive Africans with their ancestral past. This trauma was compounded by racist laws and customs that left the lives of the enslaved documented poorly, if at all. From the colonial period until well into the twentieth century, white people in power generally recorded those aspects of Black existence that were deemed economically or politically profitable (such as gender, purchase price, or demographic numbers), while Black people were widely denied the literacy, resources, or access necessary to maintain thorough records of their own. Until as recently as fifty years ago, the nation’s history was primarily taught and promoted as a narrative constructed by, for, and about the most powerful members of the populace, in which Black people (and Black women in particular) appeared rarely, except in the most negative light. — From the essay by Evie Shockley
⌯ Theme Description
READ More

Black Experience in History and Memory

Avery R. Young: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron

April 12, 2021

View

Tyehimba Jess on “Olio” (One Book One Bronx)

March 29, 2021

View

Black Experience in History and Memory

March 9, 2021

View

A Café of Poetry Readings (University of Wyoming)

February 23, 2021

View

Lift Every Voice: Los Angeles

April 12, 2021

View

Tyehimba Jess Reads “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

January 20, 2021

View

Toi Derricotte Reads “Frederick Douglass” by Robert Hayden

January 20, 2021

View

Tracy K. Smith and Kevin Young: The African American Poetic Tradition

December 10, 2020

View

Rita Dove Reads “The Wardrobe Lesson”

December 8, 2020

View

Rita Dove Reads “Hattie McDaniel Arrives at the Coconut Grove”

December 7, 2020

View

A Reading with Afaa Michael Weaver

November 25, 2020

View

Eve L. Ewing: “I saw Emmett Till this week at the grocery store”

November 18, 2020

View

Lift Every Voice: Chicago

April 12, 2021

View

Lift Every Voice: Atlanta

January 29, 2021

View

Elizabeth Alexander Reads Her Poem “Praise Song for the Day” (Then and Now)

October 19, 2020

View

Featured