World War I: African-American Soldiers Battle More Than Enemy Forces

This is a guest post by Ryan Reft, a historian in the Manuscript Division. “Interpreters were brought from everywhere to instruct our men in the French methods of warfare because be it known that everything American was taken from us except our uniform.” —Noble Sissle, 369th “Harlem Hell Fighters” Regiment The Library of Congress exhibition Echoes […]

African-American History Month: Curating Black History

In this post, historians from the Library and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture highlight how collection items shed light on the black experience. The post is reprinted from the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. The entire issue is available online. Adrienne Cannon is the Afro-American history […]

World War I: American Jazz Delights the World

This is a guest post by Ryan Reft, a historian in the Manuscript Division. In the afterglow of the armistice in 1918 that ended World War I, Europe, and particularly the city of Paris, exhibited a wild exuberance. In mid-January 1919, future civil rights pioneer and American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) officer Charles Hamilton Houston encapsulated […]

Veterans on the Homefront: War Creates an Artist

This is a guest post by Megan Harris, a librarian with the Veterans History Project. It is one of four profiles that make up “Veterans on the Homefront,” published in the November–December 2017 issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. This profile recounts the way in which Tracy Sugarman was affected by his time […]

Trending: Congressional Black Caucus Takes Center Stage

This week, thousands of people from around the country will gather in the vast Washington, D.C., Convention Center to take part in a decades’ old tradition: the annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation. From September 20 to 24, participants will hear from approximately 100 hundred speakers, including many members of Congress, […]

This Day in History: James Baldwin

This post draws on an essay about Baldwin’s life and achievements by Alan Gevinson of the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. James Baldwin was born 93 years ago today, on August 2, 1924, in New York City. His many novels include his first, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (1953), considered an American classic. He […]

Inquiring Minds: African-American Soldiers in World War I

The following is an article from the March/April 2017 issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine, in which Adriane Lentz-Smith discusses her research at the Library of Congress into the experiences of African-American soldiers in World War I. Lentz-Smith is an associate professor at Duke University, author of “Freedom Struggles: African-Americans and World War […]

Inquiring Minds: Author Tells Story of Black Elite Through Library’s Daniel Murray

Daniel Murray, a pioneer in the black history movement, worked at the Library of Congress for 52 years, from 1871 to 1922. He began as special assistant to Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford, later serving as a librarian and a bibliographer of works by African-Americans. In “The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the […]

World War I: The Man Who Killed Jim Crow

(The following is a guest post from Ryan Reft, modern U.S. historian in the Manuscript Division.) “No son has ever left home whose family had greater pride in him than we have in you,” wrote prominent Washington D.C. lawyer and African American civic leader William LePre Houston to his son, Charles Hamilton Houston in September […]

Pic of the Week: Ask Us Anything on Rosa Parks

Library experts involved in making the papers of Rosa Parks available online answered questions in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Tuesday. During the Reddit AMA, experts from the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division, the Prints and Photographs Division and Educational Outreach took questions about Rosa Parks and about how the Library cataloged, preserved, digitized, and […]