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Community Building: Records of Black Institutions

While historically Black institutions, organizations, and churches have played a pivotal role in the lives of men, women, and children of African descent after emancipation, some of these organizations were also central to enslaved people in pre- and post-colonial America.

These records were mostly created by people served by these institutions, for the benefit of fellow constituents. Researchers can use these records to learn more about the first generation of free people, as well as their ancestors and descendants.

Community building

Examples of records include:

  • Records from schools for freed people (sponsored by private aid and benevolent societies), and records of the Freedmen’s Bureau

  • Church records (African Methodist Episcopal Church, National Baptist Convention, Church of God in Christ, Oblate Sisters of Providence, etc.)

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Lincoln University, etc.)

  • Fraternities and Sororities (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Iota Phi Theta, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, etc.)

Databases

Check this space for future updates!

 

Completed Databases

  • Boston, MA: Records of Black Catholics, 1789-1840
  • Pittsburgh, PA: Gaines Funeral Home Records, 1925-1934