Monday, January 24, 2011

February is Black History Month come see what the Library is showcasing!

Beginning February 1st, we will be creating a display in honor of Charles Waddell Chestnutt...

 Charles Waddell Chestnutt is the first major African American fiction writer. Chestnutt was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to parents who had emigrated from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to escape discrimination.  Shortly after the Civil War the Chestnutt family returned to Fayetteville, where Charles received a basic education before becoming a schoolteacher and principal. Seeking better economic opportunities and dreaming of becoming an author, Chestnutt moved back to Cleveland in 1884, where he was admitted to the bar and established a thriving legal stenography business.  The first African American to publish fiction in the Atlantic Monthly, Chestnutt secured a major Boston publisher for his first two books, The Conjure Woman (1899), a collection of tales told in dialect, and The Wife of His Youth and Other stories of the Color Line (1899), which dealt primarily with the experience of middle-class African Americans.  

We will also be promoting two related databases... 

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 35 states—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles. Newly digitized, these newspapers published by African Americans can now be browsed and searched as never before. 
The Oxford African American Studies Center combines the authority of carefully edited reference works with sophisticated technology to create the most comprehensive collection of scholarship available online to focus on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.