Extraordinary, ordinary people : a memoir of family /
Rice, Condoleezza, 1954-
WiFi @ the Library
Bring your laptop! Visit any of our branches for free WiFi!
View Details »
African-American History Online » teen pick
Find biographies, encyclopedia articles, primary sources, timelines, images, maps and charts from over 60 reference works covering the African American experience.
A Chicago Public Library card is required to use this resource unless using a Chicago Public Library computer.
Use these resources on any Chicago Public Library computer or on non-Library computers with your Chicago Public Library card.
Biography in Context » teen pick
Biography in Context contains full-text biographical overviews from such works as Contemporary Black Biography, Notable Black American Men, Notable Black American Scientists, Notable Black American Women and Who’s Who Among African Americans, among others. Search by name or use the Person Search to create lists of famous African Americans by occupation or gender.
Chicago Defender Historical Archive »
Search the complete text, including display and classified advertisements, of this nationally significant African American newspaper from 1910 to 1975.
Chronicling America »
This Library of Congress website features more than 500 digitized U.S. newspapers from 1836 to 1922. Included are two local African American papers:
- The Broad Ax, founded in Salt Lake City in 1895 and moved to Chicago in 1899.
- The Western Appeal, (1885 to 1888), later The Appeal (1889 to 1923), a St. Paul paper that had a Chicago office and carried Chicago news from 1888 through 1912.
Coverage in the database of both papers ends in 1922. Use the Advanced Search to limit your search to these newspapers.
Search in the Library
Featured CPL Collections and Programs
- Celebrating Diversity: African American History Month »
Every February, the Chicago Public Library celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans through events and exhibits, and by highlighting select Library resources.
- Digital Collections »
The Chicago Public Library’s Digital Collections include images of the Chicago Renaissance, a period during and after the Great Depression when African Americans in Chicago created a new community on the South Side that was distinctly their own. Remembering Harold Washington captures Chicago’s first African American mayor at community, political and charity events, and demonstrates his importance in the history of Chicago.
- Harold Washington Archives & Collections »
The Harold Washington Archives & Collections, housed in the Special Collections and Preservation Division of the Harold Washington Library Center, document the political career of Chicago’s first African American mayor, Harold Washington. These collections contain nearly 400 linear feet of printed and manuscript material, more than 10,000 photographs, audio and video cassettes, and artifacts.
- Social Science and History Department »
The Social Science and History Department at the Harold Washington Library Center has a broad range of material on world, U.S., local and ethnic history, with a particular emphasis on Chicago and Civil War history.
- Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature »
The largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest, the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature at the Woodson Regional Library contains a wealth of documentation of the black experience. Much of the collection focuses on African American history in Illinois.
- African American Sites in the Digital Collections of the Library of Congress »
The Library of Congress brings together its numerous online exhibits and collections, presented in chronological order. Find images, pamphlets, letters, maps and more from exhibits such as The African American Mosaic, The African American Odyssey and America’s Story, as well as online projects such as Today in History.
- Anacostia Community Museum »
The Anacostia Community Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, “explores American history, society and creative expression from an African American perspective.” Online resources include the diary of Adam Francis Plummer, who was born into slavery in 1819, and exhibitions about the role of communities of faith in African American life and African Americans in the food service industry.
- Black Voting Rights: The Creation of the 15th Amendment »
Contemporary articles from Harper’s Weekly along with commentary, a timeline and biographies offer insight into the historical context and debates surrounding this landmark legislation. Also available are sites on the Thirteenth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment. From HarpWeek, publisher of digitized historical issues of Harper’s Weekly.
- Digital Schomburg »
Digital Schomburg is a gateway to the online resources of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, part of the New York Public Library. The site offers online exhibitions, digitized books and images, audio and video recordings and selected links to related resources on the web.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute »
The institute’s online resources include an encyclopedia, the text of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and an audio recording and transcription of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
- Voices of Civil Rights »
This collection of thousands of personal stories and oral histories of the Civil Rights Movement is the world’s largest archive of personal accounts of civil rights history. It is a joint project of AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Library of Congress.