Black Women's History Features
and Resources

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Studio portrait, ca. 1890. Austin/Thompson Collection


African-American Women
On-line Archival Collections, Special Collections Library, Duke University
This site contains some fascinating primary documents online, including rare slave letters and a personal memoir.

African American Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century, The New York Public Library Digital Schomburg
Read the actual words of Black women in the years before, during, and just after slavery.

Black Women in Mathematics
This site, sponsored by the mathematics department of the State University of New York at Buffalo, offers a timeline of black women in mathematics and detailed, respectful biographies of more than 100 of these women. There are also interesting articles.

Women Scientists Profiled in "The Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences."
There is a handful of biographies here of Black women scientists.

Voices From the Gap
If you need biographical information about women of color who are writers, this is the place to go. Often there are also links to excerpts from their writing.

OneHistory Features

Black Women's Biographical Quick Reference

Bibliography of Black Women's Autobiographies and Biographies

Bibliography of Black Women's History

Stories about Black Women

Quotations by Black Women


A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America By Darlene Clark Hine and Kathleen Thompson, A Shining Thread of Hope chronicles the lives of black women from indentured servitude in the early American colonies to the cruelty of antebellum plantations, from the reign of lynch law in the Jim Crow South to the triumphs of the Civil Rights era, and it illustrates how the story of black women in America is as much a tale of courage and hope as it is a history of struggle. On both an individual and a collective level, A Shining Thread of Hope reveals the strength and spirit of black women and brings their stories from the fringes of American history to a central position in our understanding of the forces and events that have shaped this country.
"From time to time, a work of history itself makes history. A Shining Thread of Hope is such a book, marking a giant step in the creation of a more encompassing portrait of our nation's past." Nell Irvin Painter, The News & Observer.

Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Boundaries of Region and Race This new and in-depth biography by Wanda A. Hendricks explores the life of an important but little known figure in American history.

Black Women in America, 3-Volume Set This is the second edition of the ground-breaking encyclopdia first published in 1994. In three magnficent volumes, it celebrates the remarkable achievements of black women throughout history, highlights their ongoing contributions in America today, and covers the new research the first edition helped to generate.

Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South This new edition of the classic by Deborah Gray White reviews and updates the scholarship on slave women and the slave family, exploring new ways of understanding the intersection of race and gender and comparing the myths that stereotyped female slaves with the realities of their lives.

Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America by Wilma King sheds light on a tragic aspect of slavery in the United States--the wretched lives of the millions of children enslaved in the nineteenth-century South. King follows the slave child's experience through work, play, education, socialization, resistance to slavery, and the transition to freedom.

Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History This classic collection of essays by Darlene Clark Hine explores the combination of community-making and self-making that shaped the historical experience of African American women.

See more about these titles as well as many others on our Books pages.

Organizations concerned with Black Women's History

Association of Black Women Historians

Women of Color Caucus of the National Women's Studies Association

Check out our guide to Image Research Online to find sites with digitized images of black women.