Today, EdTech leader ProQuest is proud to announce the launch of the Black Freedom Struggle website – a curated selection of primary sources for teaching and learning about the struggles and triumphs of Black Americans. Developed with input from Black history scholars and advisors, this resource is freely available on the web and to libraries for anyone studying U.S. Black history.
“Primary sources are essential to teaching and learning African American history because they make it possible to center the experiences and perspectives of African Americans,” said Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Associate Professor of History at the Ohio State University. “ProQuest’s Black Freedom Struggle website provides a rich array of source material on African American efforts to secure civil and human rights – from slavery to the present – allowing students to pursue exciting avenues of inquiry, and enabling teachers to teach African American history accurately and effectively. It’s an incredible collection, one I’m eager to use in classroom instruction and for students to mine for research projects.”
The Black Freedom Struggle website will include more than 2,000 documents curated around six crucial phases of the U.S. Black freedom struggle:
- Resistance to slavery by enslaved persons and the abolitionist movement of the 19th century
- The end of slavery during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era
- The fight against Jim Crow segregation
- The New Deal and World War II
- The Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement from 1946-1975
- …and the contemporary Black experience since 1976.
“At ProQuest we believe that knowledge and trusted information can help guide progress and change – and as an EdTech provider, we have a unique responsibility to take action,” said Matti Shem Tov, ProQuest CEO. “Offering the Black Freedom Struggle website to schools and communities is one way we’re striving to create a better, more equitable, and more compassionate future.”
“I’ve been helping students with their National History Day projects for many years. Many students choose projects centered around the topics of slavery, civil rights, Black history, and African-American men and women who have shaped the nation,” said Nina Thomas, Manager, History Center & Museum at the Westerville Public Library in Ohio. “One of the biggest hurdles in helping middle and high school students is helping them find quality primary sources for their projects. Having a website that makes it easy to find these sources in the specific time periods they’re studying will make helping them with their projects a lot more efficient.”
The Black Freedom Struggle website is available to anyone at no charge. Its intention is to support a wide range of students and patrons – including high-school and college students – with reliable, easily discoverable materials that can be used for assignments and special projects focused on U.S. Black history. Educators can use this primary source material in the classroom for culturally responsive teaching, and for building essential critical thinking and information literacy skills.
Learn more or visit the Black Freedom Struggle website at blackfreedom.proquest.com.