Discover the variety of visual resources to celebrate and discover Black History.
Selections from our Collection
The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks, with illustrations by Canaan White
A powerful graphic novel about the first African American troops to fight in World War 1. While the courage and tenacity of the 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed “Hellfighters” by the Germans, was legendary, earning them medals and a parade up Fifth Avenue on their return, Brooks makes clear the racism the troops faced, as well as the unspeakable conditions of this “war to end all wars.”
I Am You : Selected works, 1942-1978 by Gordon Parks
Writer, film director (Learning Tree
), and musician, Parks is most celebrated for his photography. He was the first African American staff photographer and writer for LIFE Magazine
and a diligent advocate for social justice. He powerfully documented the twin injustices of poverty and racism in America.
Lift Every Voice and Sing : a Celebration of the Negro National Anthem : 100 years, 100 voices
With lyrics by James Weldon Johnson celebrating the 100th anniversary Lincoln’s birth, this song was widely known and eventually adopted by the NAACP as their “anthem.” Photos from historical archives accompany essays by a wide range of people—including politicians, actors, writers—about what this song means to them.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
Whether political, abstract, or representational, artists’ images from this period contribute to our understanding of the black experience of this time. The book accompanied an exhibit at the London Tate Gallery and features works by such important African American artists as Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold, and David Hammons.
Unseen : Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives
We have 4 dedicated Times
staff members to thank for discovering, publicizing and researching this treasure trove of previously unpublished photos from their archives. The popular series “Unpublished Black History” first appeared in the Times
in 2016. Now expanded to book form, with additional photos and essays explaining the history behind each image, Unseen
documents many aspects of African American life in the 20th century.
Obama : An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza
Chief official White House photographer Souza captures it all: the elegance, heart and dignity of our first African American president.
Selected Internet Resources
Make a virtual visit
to The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C., which includes almost 37,000 photographs and artifacts. “The African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American,” notes its founding director Lonnie G. Bunch III.
Find background on African American History month
, as well as essays, photos, and video clips about black life in the United States since its founding. Content is compiled by the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and other cultural organizations.
And for more local visual content, follow our Instagram (@whiteplainslibrary)
this month where all February we'll be sharing Black History Month themed #ThrowbackThursday posts, like this photo (left) of Bessie Emanuel Smith, the first African American teacher in White Plains.