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Focus on

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African American Museums

Opened in 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind. In this Focus On we explore the NMAAHC as well as some of the other museums dedicated to the African American experience.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.The Oxford African American Studies Center turns ten years old in 2016, a milestone that was difficult to imagine in the early days of online reference publishing. Since its founding, AASC has built on its initial foundation by adding thousands of new articles, primary source documents, and learning resources.

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Lesson Plans Country Profiles Focus On
Use the Oxford African American Studies Center to bring online learning into the classroom. Vital statistics and reference articles on countries that have been central to the history of Africans and African Americans. Explore photo essays on important events, people, and themes in African American history.


Eric R. Jackson

Eric R. Jackson discusses the often overlooked African American history of Cincinnati.

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What's New


Spring 2016 Highlights
  • For the Autumn 2016 update, the editors of the Oxford African American Studies Center are proud to announce that Volume 1 of the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography has been added to the African American Studies Center. This volume features over 300 biographies of notable Afro-descendants from the Caribbean and Latin America ranging from the colonial period to the present.
  • African American National Biography: 38 new biographies, including pioneering black fashion model Dorothea Towles Church, and Baltimore's first black police officer Violet Hill Whyte.
  • Dictionary of African Biography: 13 new biographies, including Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and Congolese singer M'Pongo Love.
Lesson Plans

Baltimore Youth Movements 1930s-1960s

This lesson plan explores two distinct youth movements in Baltimore during the 1930s and the 1950s/1960s which placed the city in the vanguard of the civil rights struggle.

Teacher Resources

Building a Community of Scholars

Dr. Theresa Vara-Dannen discusses her work with high school students to create scholarly entries for the African American National Biography.

Interview with Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe is the author of the acclaimed novels Foreign Gods, Inc. and Arrows of Rain. In this interview, he describes his recent fiction as an exploration of the broken American dream from an outsider, immigrant perspective, heavily influenced by the giants of West African literature such as Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.

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Guide to Reference Works

This feature allows you to scroll through the tables of contents for each of the major reference works on the Oxford African American Studies Center, including the African American National Biography, Africana, Black Women in America, the Encyclopedia of African American History, as well as the newly added Dictionary of African Biography and the Encyclopedia of African Thought.

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What's Inside
  • 10,000 articles Over 10,000 articles from Oxford's authoritative reference program — with primary source documents, images, maps, chart and tables, and much more!
  • Notepad Search and Browse features allow you to focus and refine results by era and subject category.
  • Globe Primary Source Documents, with specially written commentaries, take you through the personal and public histories of African Americans.
  • Calendar Charts and tables provide information on everything from demographics to government and politics to business and labor to education and the arts