ProQuest is familiar to the Touro community as a provider of scholarly literature, with their popular database ProQuest One Academic. They have recently released a collection of primary source documents on the history of African Americans’ struggle for freedom, Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Challenges and Triumphs in the Pursuit of Equality.
This collection was released as a free resource on the web, so you can access it any time, even when you’re not signed in to the TouroOne system. It is presented as an accessible, easy-to-navigate website, separate from ProQuest’s research databases.
Primary sources are first-hand accounts from people directly connected to a subject, event, time or place. They are invaluable to the study of history, especially when they center the voices and perspectives of those largely kept out of the historical narrative.
See also: Librarian Emily Johnson’s libguide on Primary Sources.
Black Freedom Struggle in the United States features speeches, interviews, letters, newspaper stories, government documents from the FBI and Congress, laws and court records from the era of slavery and abolitionism all the way to contemporary times, with Black Lives Matter, the high-profile killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others, and the racial unrest of 2020.
The website contains approximately 1,600 documents, organized into these six eras of history:
- Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860)
- The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877)
- Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932)
- The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945)
- The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975)
- The Contemporary Era (1976-2000s)
-post contributed by Kirk Snyder, Open Educational Resources & Instruction Librarian, Touro College Libraries.