Free Resources for African-American Research

In honor of Black History Month, I thought I'd share some free resources for researching African-American ancestors.

Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism

An excellent timeline, complete with references, has been published online by Eddie Becker of Holt House as the Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism. It is broken up into three sections: 1619 to 1789, 1790 to 1829 and 1830 to the end (which appears to be the 1990s).

This is one of the best timelines I've come across by far. It covers laws regarding slavery, historical background, the spread of slavery, the civil rights movement, literature and more.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A collection by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and University of Virginia documents the lives of slaves through images. The collection is broken down into 18 sections including maps, plantation life, military activities and portraits, just to name a few. Sources and comments are given for each image.

Lowcountry Africana

Lowcountry Africana is dedicated to documenting the people and culture of South Carolina, Georgia and northwest Florida. The site is an amazing resource for individuals doing genealogy research of African American ancestors from the area. It offers a research library, helpful information on researching, resources by state and a records search function.

If you would like to aid others researching African American genealogy, sign up for the Restore the Ancestors Project. Through a partnership between Lowcountry Africana, Fold3, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, and FamilySearch, researchers can search and view the South Carolina Estate Inventories and Bills of Sale for free at Fold3. Not all of the records have been indexed yet so volunteers are needed to help make more of the records searchable. Have you done your ten yet?

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