Trials: Black Nationalism and RAM; and Papers of Amiri Baraka (trial ended)

I am pleased to report that the Vere Harmsworth Library has organised trial access to Black Nationalism and the Revolutionary Action Movement and Papers of Amiri Baraka for Bodleian Readers. The trial ran until 18th February 2024 and is now finished.

Black Nationalism and the Revolutionary Action Movement: The Papers of Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford)

The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) came into existence as a result of a year of organizing for student rights and involvement in the civil rights movement among a collective of undergraduate students at Central State College (now University) in late May to early June of 1962.

Originally focused in Philadelphia, RAM, engaged in voter registration/education drives, organized community support for the economic boycotts of the Philadelphia “400” ministers led by Rev. Leon Sullivan and held free African/African-American history classes at its office. RAM participated in support demonstrations of the struggles then being waged in the South to end racial segregation. It was also active in coalitions to eliminate police brutality against the African-American community.

RAM became a national organisation in 1964, organising African American students, raising the demand for Black studies and campaigning for economic, social and political equality. It also sent organisers into Southern states. RAM was the first African-American organization to denounce the US government’s war of aggression against the people of Vietnam and support the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF). RAM was dissolved in 1968, following pressure from US government intelligence agencies (most noticeably the FBI) and local police forces.

This collection of RAM records reproduces the writings and statements of the RAM and its leaders. It also covers organizations that evolved from or were influenced by RAM and persons that had close ties to RAM. The most prominent organization that evolved from RAM was the African People’s Party. Organizations which worked with RAM included the NAACP, SNCC and Deacons of Defense. Organizations influenced by RAM include the Black Panther Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Youth Organization for Black Unity, African Liberation Support Committee, and the Republic of New Africa. Individuals associated with RAM and documented in this collection include Robert F. Williams, Malcolm X, Amiri Baraka, General Gordon Baker Jr., Yuri Kochiyama, Donald Freeman, James and Grace Lee Boggs, Herman Ferguson, Askia Muhammad Toure (Rolland Snellings), and Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael).

You can access Black Nationalism and Revolutionary Action Movement using your Single Sign On here.

Papers of Amiri Baraka, Poet Laureate of the Black Power Movement

The collection consists of materials from the years 1913 through 1998 that document African American author and activist Amiri Baraka and were gathered by Dr. Komozi Woodard in the course of his research. The extensive documentation includes poetry, organizational records, print publications, articles, plays, speeches, personal correspondence, oral histories, as well as some personal records. The materials cover Baraka’s involvement in the politics in Newark, N.J. and in Black Power movement organizations such as the Congress of African People, the National Black Conference movement, the Black Women’s United Front. Later materials document Baraka’s increasing involvement in Marxism.

The collection has been organised into 18 series,

  • Series I: Black Arts Movement, 1961-1998
  • Series II: Black Nationalism,, 1964-1977
  • Series III: Correspondence, 1967-1973
  • Series IV: Newark (New Jersey), 1913-1980
  • Series V: Congress of African People, 1960-1976 – Organisation founded by Baraka in 1970 to advance his own vision of African cultural nationalism.
  • Series VI: National Black Conferences and National Black Assembly, 1968-1975 –Includes the 1972 Convention in Gary, Indiana, where delegates adopted the National Black Political Agenda, also known as the Gary declaration and formed the National Black Assembly (NBA).
  • Series VII: Black Women’s United Front, 1975-1976 -Formed  in 1974 by Amina Baraka (Sylvia Jones), the wife of Amiri Baraka.
  • Series VIII: Student Organization for Black Unity, 1971
  • Series IX: African Liberation Support Committee, 1973-1976
  • Series X: Revolutionary Communist League, 1974-1982 – founded by Bakara when CAP disintegrated in conflict, and reflects Baraka’s move away from nationalism to a Marxist position.
  • Series XI: African Socialism, 1973
  • Series XII: Black Marxists, 1969-1980–  includes materials on black Marxist contemporaries of Baraka, and older black Marxists such as Harry Haywood, C.L.R. James, and Odis Hyde. The series also includes files on the All African Revolutionary Party, the Black Workers Congress, and the Progressive Labor Party.
  • Series XIII: National Black United Front, 1979-1981
  • Series XIV: Miscellaneous Materials, 1978-1988
  • Series XV: Serial Publications, 1968-1984
  • Series XVI: Oral Histories, 1984-1986 –  transcripts from sixteen interviews conducted by Komozi Woodard and his assistants as part of an oral history project entitled, “The Making of Black NewArk: An Oral History of the Impact of the Freedom Movement on Newark Politics.” Most of the people interviewed were primarily local Newark activists, although there are also interviews with Baraka, Maulana Ron Karenga, and scholar John Henrik Clarke. This series of oral histories is one of the most unique and valuable parts of this collection.
  • Series XVII: Komozi Woodard’s Office Files, 1956-1986

You can access the Papers of Amari Baraka using your Single Sign On here.

Please send any feedback you have regarding these resources to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Trial Access: Race Relations in America and Everyday Life and Women in America (Trial Ended)

[Update: These trials have now ended. If you have any feedback you wish to give regarding these databases, please contact Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian – 2nd March 2023]

I am pleased to announce that the VHL has organised trials of two databases; Race Relations in America and Everyday Life and Women in America, 1800-1920.

The trials for both databases last until the 1st March 2023 – please plan your use of these databases accordingly, and pass any feedback that you have to bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Race Relations in America title. Image of a group of African American children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Relations in America

Based at Fisk University from 1943-1970, the Race Relations Department and its annual Institute were set up by the American Missionary Association to investigate problem areas in race relations and develop methods for educating communities and preventing conflict. Documenting three pivotal decades in the fight for civil rights, this resource showcases the speeches, reports, surveys and analyses produced by the Department’s staff and Institute participants.

Key themes covered include:

·         Desegregation of schools, industries and public transport – survey material documents the attitudes of the community towards prospective desegregation, as well as analysing the results. The progress of legislation and legal cases can also be explored within the collection, alongside statistical data used in key Supreme Court Cases.

·         Migration of African Americans from the rural South to urban centers, which had a significant impact on American industry and the labour movement, as well as domestic issues such as housing, overcrowding and poverty.

·         The role of the Church in the Civil Rights Movement and in African American communities, from helping to fund organizations like the Race Relations Institute, to the part played in encouraging integration or segregation among their congregations. Other religious and spiritual groups are also covered.

·         Race riots and other racial tensions, which the Race Relations Department worked to diffuse or prevent by aiding communities to identify and address their problems. Alongside surveys created by field workers are reports on specific events, with testimonies from individuals involved in events such as police brutality.

·         Activities of the Civil Rights Movement, including protest marches, sit-in demonstrations, student movements, and legal cases. Reports and correspondence are kept on key organisations, as well as the activities of specific hate groups.

·         Speeches and reports by key figures of the time, including Thurgood Marshall and Rosa Parks, alongside sociologists, activists, psychologists, teachers, ministers, students and housewives.

Alongside this are contextual essays, thematic guides, audio recordings and video interviews, interactive maps of survey locations and data on attendees of Race Relations Institute.

Title Everyday life and women in America. Illustration of a family around a dining table. A text box reads "Discover the Collection: Explore documents from the Sallie Bingham Centre for Women's History and Culture, Duke University and the New York Public Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Life and Women in America, 1800-1920

Everyday Life & Women in America comprises thousands of fully searchable images of monographs, pamphlets, periodicals and broadsides addressing 19th and early 20th century political, social and gender issues, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health, and pastimes. The collection is especially rich in conduct of life and domestic management literature, offering vivid insights into the daily lives of women and men, as well as emphasizing contrasts in regional, urban and rural cultures.

Key themed areas within the collection are:

·         An extensive number of periodicals, with either complete or near complete runs, covering both national and local levels. Titles include society periodicals like Town Topics and general household magazines such as Household News. Periodicals focused on religious, political and social causes are included (like the anarchist Lucifer, The Light Bearer, which later became the American Journal of Eugenics), alongside official publications of clubs, organisations and educational institutions. Topics also cover national events and topics, such as the American Civil War, suffrage movements and race.

·         Documents which refer to, and were aimed for, African Americans, Native Americans and Jewish women. There are also publications aimed at and for white supremacist movements (such as Installation ceremonies; Women of the Ku Klux Klan).

·         A broad collection of popular fiction series and sensational literature.

·         Guidance books, etiquette manuals and advisory literature on the expected behaviour of women and their conduct, marriages, motherhood and house roles.

·         Works and official reports on the role of women in education and the workplace.

·         Rare cookbooks, medical guidance works and collections of home remedies.

·         Fashion advertisements and periodicals, as well as works on the “ideal form of Beauty”.

Alongside this are contextual essays, thematic guides, an interactive chronology of events throughout 1800-1920, and subject search directories.

 

New in Oxford: Time and The Atlantic magazine archive

I am pleased to announce the the Vere Harmsworth Library has purchased the online archives for The Atlantic and Time magazines.

Both of these magazines greatly add to our 20th Century newspaper and magazine holdings, and provide fascinating primary resources for modern American history, politics and culture.

Time magazine archive (1923-2000)

Published weekly by Time Inc., Time Magazine has focused on conveying to a broad audience both domestic and international news and analysis on a spectrum of subjects.

Intended to be read in under an hour, each issue of Time contains reports of national and international current events, politics, sports, and entertainment. Capturing the relevant news for a given week, the magazine remains an important resource for researchers studying just about any aspect of 20th-Century history and life.

Four covers from Time Magazine's past editions.

An example of magazine covers from Time magazine. Top row, from left to right: Clarke Gable (August 31st, 1936); Jackie Robinson (September 22nd, 1947). Bottom row, from left to right: Richard Nixon (November 5th, 1973, “The Push to Impeach”); Ronald Regan (January 5th, 1981, “The Man of the Year”)

 

Articles and cover pages are fully indexed and advertisements are individually identified, ensuring researchers and readers can quickly and accurately locate the information they seek. The Time Magazine Archive is valuable to researchers of 20th-Century current events, politics and culture, as well as those interested in the history of business, advertising, and popular culture.

The archival collection compliments our current online access to Time magazine via EBSCO Business Source Complete (1990-current), alongside our physical collection held in the BSF.

The Atlantic magazine archive (1857-2014)

The Atlantic was originally created with a focus on publishing leading writers’ commentary on abolition, education and other major issues in contemporary political affairs at the time. Over its more than 150 years of publication. It has featured articles in the fields of politics, foreign affairs, business and the economy, culture and the arts, technology, science and more.

Some of the founding sponsors of the magazine include prominent writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Images of the front covers of the Atlantic Magazine.

Examples of front covers of The Atlantic Magazine. Top row, from left to right: November 1947 (90th Anniversary special); April 1956 (Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman). Bottom row, from left to right: September 2008 (Special Election issue); March 2012 (Special Commemorative Issue to mark 150th anniversary of the Civil War.)

 

The Atlantic Magazine Archive, covers events and political issues through literary and cultural commentary. It includes more than 1,800 issues providing a broad view of 19th, 20th and early 21st-Century American thought.

You may also be interested in our other periodical resources such as The National Review, The Nation, The New Republic and Vogue. For more information on our newspaper and periodicals, please visit our online guide.

New in Oxford: African American Periodicals

I am pleased to announce that the Vere Harmsworth Library has purchased online access to the resource African American Periodicals for the University.

 

 

 

Based on the work of James P. Danky in African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography (Harvard, 1998), this vast collection covers over 150 years of American history, from slavery up to the modern era. The collection features over 170 titles, written by and for African Americans.

Primary sources found here include news, commentary, advertisements, literature, drawings and photographs, Key titles in this unique resource include African Repository, El Mulato, The Black Warrior, Pennsylvania Freedmen’s Bulletin, Colored Harvest, Voice of the Negro, Horizon: A Journal of the Color Line, The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races, Blue Helmet: A Magazine for the American Negro Soldier of All Wars, Harlem Pointer, African World, Black Pride Newsletter, Right On! and others from every region of the United States. Primary sources found here include news, commentary, advertisements, literature, drawings and photographs, helping to capture the voice of African American history and culture.

Our online platform allows our readers to search the African American Periodicals by full-text, or to browse by periodical title, historic period, or themes. Readers may also search via article type, such as advertisements, or opinion pieces. You may access the resource by clicking here

Bodleian readers may also search across our Readex databases, using Readex AllSearch. This allows researchers to cross-search across multiple primary resources, including the African American Newspapers and Ethnic American Newspapers.

Similar resources include:

If you would like any advice on using our databases or resources, please contact the Vere Harmsworth Librarian, Bethan Davies bethan.davies@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.