Join us in a celebration of African American History Month! The National Archives holds a wealth of materials documenting the African American experience. We invite you to learn more about the extraordinary contributions of African Americans to United States history and culture through online resources, research guides, and upcoming events and programs.

Photograph of Dr. Roscoe Brown, Jr, a Tuskegee Airman, signing the exterior of a plane. Dr. Brown is wearing a brown leather jacket with an American flag on the sleeve. A videographer is filming Dr. Brown in the background.
Black and white photograph of women from the WAC battalion during a parade in Rouen, France

L: Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., member Tuskegee Airmen, signs a canopy modeled after his P51 D Mustang during a reception following unveiling ceremonies, 5/18/1996. National Archives Identifier 6497047
R: Photograph of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in France, 5/27/1945. National Archives Identifier 175539237

Guide to Black History

In 1984, to support the growing demand for knowledge of African American history, Dr. Debra Newman Ham, with the help of several other colleagues, took on the responsibility of compiling a guide to Black history records at the National Archives. With the publication of Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives, NARA became recognized as one of the primary sources for African American historical documents. Here you will find records, information, research tools and resources on topics such as Civil Rights, Education, Diaspora, Women, and more.

Photograph of a vote registration drive. Two women behind a desk assist another woman with registration
Black and white photograph of a man with a long mustache holding a sign in each hand. One sign contains 6 stars and the other sign contains 5 stars, representing his eleven sons in military service

L: Vote Registration Drive National Archives Identifier 556258
R: Ike Sims of Atlanta, Georgia, 87 years old, has eleven sons in the service. National Archives Identifier 533583

In addition, the African American History research page provides archives resources, blog posts and articles, featured records, public programs, subject portals, and more. Subject portals on topics such as Black Power, Voting Rights, and World War I highlight selected records, guidance for researchers, and additional resources for further study.

Screenshot of subject portals on African American History page

For the latest updates, subscribe to the Rediscovering Black History blog! Learn more about the vast amount of records at the National Archives and Presidential Libraries related to the African American experience.

The National Archives will present more African American History Month programs throughout the month of February. All programs are free and open to the public and available for viewing on the National Archives YouTube channel.

Start your research on History Hub

For those looking to conduct research on African American History, we encourage you to browse recent posts and questions in History Hub's African American Records community:

Photograph of a group of students socializing at the George Westinghouse High School
Image of map and program from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A map of the Washington Mall is on the left side and a program of events is on the right side of the page

L: At the George Westinghouse High School. National Archives Identifier 553804 
R: March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom. National Archives Identifier 26080947

Citizen Archivist Transcription Mission:
African American History

Join us as a Citizen Archivist and help make records more searchable and findable in the Catalog! For this Citizen Archivist mission, explore and help transcribe records in the Catalog documenting African American History. Every word you transcribe helps unlock history.

Black and white photograph of a group of African American infantry men arriving in New York City. The men are waving and cheering

The famous 369th arrive in New York City. Members of the 369th colored infantry, formerly 15th New York regulars. "Back to little old New York."  National Archives Identifier 26431290

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