African American Resources

Black History Events (book cover: Harlem Renaissance Party)
Free Events for Black History Month
  • Movie screenings
  • History talks and poetry
  • Music and dance
  • Scavenger hunts and other games

 Celebrate with us, at locations across Baltimore. See the calendar.

African American Department at the Central Library
African American Department at the Central Library
  • Thousands of fiction and nonfiction books, historic to recent
  • Historic newspapers and photographs
  • Postcards and posters
  • Slave documents
  • Rare books on microfilm

Explore the history and culture of African Americans throughout the African Diaspora. Contact us or visit.

Borrow Free African American Books, Movies, and More
Borrow Free African American Books, Movies, and More

Browse the shelves, check the online catalog, or ask staff to help find the best resources for your own interests. Items can be sent to your local branch for free.

African American Genealogy - Baltimore City Directories
African American Genealogy Guide

Are you trying to find your roots?

If you’re getting stuck researching your family tree, or just don’t know how to get started, this guide should be helpful to you.

Includes tips for collecting family history, types of documents to look for, and lists of resources to dig deeper.

Subject Guides: African American History & Culture - Thurgood Marshall and Black Panther Womann
Research by Subject: African American History & Culture

Web guides contain recommended links for researching particular topics, such as: 

  • Thurgood Marshall or the Black Panther Party
  • African American Art, Harlem Renaissance
  • African American Marylanders, historic Maryland newspapers
  • Slave narratives, slave rebellions

Created and maintained by Maryland State Library Resource Center librarians at Pratt Library.

Baltimore Afro-American - Historical Newspaper (1893-1988)
Baltimore Afro-American - Historical Newspaper (1893-1988)

The Afro was one of the most widely circulated African American newspapers. Contributors included writer Langston Hughes, intellectual J. Saunders Redding, artist Romare Bearden, and sports editor Sam Lacy. To see Baltimore history unfold, start here. 

Search the transcribed text, browse whole issues, and see complete scanned pages as images for the original context.

African-American History research database
African-American History (Research Database)
  • Videos and slideshows, maps and graphs
  • Timelines and population statistics
  • Primary sources include legal documents and speeches
  • Searchable by topic or historical era
  • Easy to use interface, recommended for high school students
Thousands of cross-referenced entries, covering the spectrum of African American history over the past 500 years. 
African American Research Databases
Research Databases on African-American Heritage
  • Digital copies of print articles and original works
  • African American biographies, speeches, poetry and plays
  • Black newspapers, historic to contemporary 
  • Sources and citations provided for students and researchers

Get free access online with your library card number, or on site at any Pratt library.

Slave Document in Digital Maryland
African American History in Digital Maryland

Historic items held by Maryland institutions are digitized by Digital Maryland at the Pratt Library. African American collections include:

Librarian Help
Get Personalized Help from Pratt Librarians

Pratt Library staff is trained to connect you with all the resources you may need.

Call, visit, or chat with a librarian online.