Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What are primary sources?
Primary sources are documents, images or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning an historical topic. Primary sources are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched. They can include newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence, photos, video and audio recordings, speeches, government publications, and oral histories.
Black Freedom This link opens in a new window
This website contains approximately 1,600 documents focused on six different phases of Black Freedom:
Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860);
The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877);
Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932);
The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945);
The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975);
The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)
Civil Rights History Project at the Library of Congress
One hundred and eight filmed oral history interviews with 136 participants in the civil rights movement in the United States and related documentation, created by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the American Folklife Center, 2010-2013. The oral histories were conducted by historians Julian Bond, Taylor Branch, David P. Cline, Emilye Crosby, John Dittmer, Will Griffin, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Joseph Mosnier, LaFleur Paysour, Dwandalyn Reece, Patricia Sullivan, and Kieran Walsh Taylor. Most of the interviews were filmed by John Bishop.
Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories
The recordings of former slaves in Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories took place between 1932 and 1975 in nine states. Twenty-three interviewees discuss how they felt about slavery, slaveholders, coercion of slaves, their families, and freedom. Several individuals sing songs, many of which were learned during the time of their enslavement. It is important to note that all of the interviewees spoke sixty or more years after the end of their enslavement, and it is their full lives that are reflected in these recordings. The individuals documented in this presentation have much to say about living as African Americans from the 1870s to the 1930s, and beyond.