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African Americans and Los Angeles

This series of photos of modern Los Angeles by Dr. Michael Cheers, Associate Professor of Photojournalism at San José State University, shows the array of African American culture and history woven into the city.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Our Community Spotlight series has been slowly migrating west for the last couple of years, and our latest installment brings us to California

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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.


Jervey Tervalon

Jervey Tervalon shares his personal experience of Los Angeles' changing demographics throughout the decades.

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What's New


Fall 2015 Highlights
Lesson Plans

"Rights Bound to Respect: African American Rights and Citizenship from the Early Republic to Dred Scott": Between the founding of the United States in the 1780s, and the start of the Civil War in 1861, African Americans—both enslaved and free—helped to influence how people defined American citizenship. In turn, African American social, political, and economic history was affected by the ways in which they were viewed (or not viewed) as American citizens. This lesson provides students with an opportunity to analyze how American concepts of citizenship evolved during the early nineteenth century, and to consider how African Americans were affected by these concepts.

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Teacher Resources

Each year, high school students from the University of Connecticut Early College Experience take part in a semester-long research project in which they write biographies of prominent African Americans. This Teacher Resource shows how educators can lead similar research initiatives, and provides tips on evaluating online resources, comparing primary documents, and utilizing local libraries and archives.

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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