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Black Lives Matter: Home

This guide is meant to serve as a starting point for students and faculty to better understand the killings of unarmed black people since the Black Lives Matter Movement was created in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is a US grassroots activist movement which campaigns to affirm the value of black lives and to end police discriminatory treatment and violence against African Americans.  The BLM movement began on social media in July 2013 with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in response to the acquittal of a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer, of shooting and killing a 17 year old unarmed African American student, Trayvon Martin.  This movement continued to grow as it achieved national and global attention following the shooting death of Michael Brown, another unarmed African American teenager, this time by a white police officer in August 2014.

Recently, the movement exploded onto national and global headlines following the May 2020 George Floyd murder by Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin. According to polls, an estimated 15 to 26 million people protested in the United States. Although the BLM advocates for non-violent civil disobedience protests, demonstrations and protests in numerous cities erupted into rioting, looting and violence.

Black Freedom Stuggle

Black Freedom Struggle

By centering on the experiences and perspectives of African Americans, we hope the Black Freedom Struggle website imbues the study of Black history with a deeper understanding of the humanity of people who have pursued the fight for civil rights, and the significance of movements like Black Lives Matter. Now more than ever, students and researchers need access to insights and information from a wide variety of perspectives to better understand the role of the past in the present, and to prepare for challenges of tomorrow.

ProQuest invites you to explore the new 
Black Freedom Struggle website, featuring expertly selected open primary source documents. Visitors will find historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more from specific time periods in U.S. history marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom.

This resource supports a wide range of students, from middle and high school to college, as well independent researchers and anyone interested in learning more about the ongoing Black Freedom Struggle. These reliable, easily discoverable materials may be used for homework assignments, personal inquiry, research papers and National History Day type-projects focused on African American history in the U.S.

Educators may use this material to teach a specific topic or person, such as Frederick Douglass or the Abolitionist Movement, to introduce students to using primary sources and to help novice researchers develop essential critical thinking and information literary skills. 

The content is curated around six time periods: 
  1. Resistance to Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860)
  2. The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877)
  3. Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932)
  4. The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945)
  5. The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975)
  6. The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)

Celebrate Black History: Learn about Slavery in America and the World

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law 

February is a month dedicated to observing African American history. It celebrates the achievements of Black Americans while recognizing their central role in U.S. history. As we take this time to reflect upon our nation’s history, HeinOnline, a premier online database containing millions of pages of historical and government documents, encourages everyone to check out these fabulous resources.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Our case coverage extends into the 20th century because long after slavery was ended, there were still court cases based on issues emanating from slavery. To give one example, as late as 1901 Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had to decide if a man, both of whose parents had been slaves, could be the legitimate heir of his father because, under southern law, slaves could never be legally married.

We have also gathered every English-language legal commentary on slavery published before 1920, which includes many essays and articles in obscure, hard-to-find journals in the United States and elsewhere. We include many modern histories of slavery. Within this library is a section containing all modern law review articles on the subject. This library will continue to grow, not only from new scholarship but also from historical material that we continue to locate and add to the collection.

What's included:

  • More than 2,100 titles
  • More than 11,200 volumes
  • More than 1.1 million pages
  • Slavery Statutes
  • Judicial Cases
  • UNC Press Publications
  • Quick Locator Tool
  • And more!

Subject Guide

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