Start with these Historical Topics

Research Your Family History

African-American Heritage Database

This deep web resource is exclusively devoted to African American family history research.  (Note: This database may only be accessed on site at the Rudisill Regional Library)  

It provides users a dedicated resource that not only brings together records critical to African American family research; but also connects them to a community of research experts, whose mentoring and assistance can frequently lead to research success.

Search  essential historical records for African-Americans, including Federal Census, Marriage and Cohabitation Records, Military Draft and Service Records. Registers of Slaves and Free(d) Persons of Color, Freedman’s Bank and more.

Available only for TCCL library card-holders at the Rudisill Regional Library - 1520 N.Hartford, Tulsa, Oklahoma (918)549-7645

African American Inventions and Inventors >

From colonial times through today, Americans of African and Caribbean descent have contributed to the advancement of medicine, physics, industrialization and plain old fun. 

Click the link below to look for information about African-American inventors and you'll quickly find that American innovation is rich with the contributions of famous black inventors like Elijah McCoy, Lewis Howard Latimer, George Washington Carver and Madame C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove).

The Underground Railroad

Aboard the Underground Railroad >

 Introduces travelers, researchers, historians, preservationists, and anyone interested in African American history to the fascinating people and places associated with the Underground Railroad. The itinerary currently provides descriptions and photographs on 60 historic places that are listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, America's official list of places important in our history and worthy of preservation. It also includes a map of the most common directions of escape taken on the Underground Railroad and maps of individual states that mark the location of the historic properties.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center >

The exhibitions and programs of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrate freedom's heroes, those brave men and women who came together to create a secret network through which the enslaved could escape to freedom. From their example of courage, cooperation and perseverance, we relate this uniquely American history to contemporary issues, inspiring everyone to take steps for freedom today.

African American Civil War Memorial 

African American Civil War Memorial >

The mission of the African American Civil War Museum is to preserve and tell the stories of the United States Colored Troops and African American involvement in the American Civil War.  We utilize a rich collection of primary resources, educational programming and technology to create a meaningful learning experience focused on this pivotal time in American history.


African-American Odyssey

African-American Odyssey >

African-American Odyssey showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the Library, and the first exhibition of any kind to feature presentations in all three of the Library's buildings.


African-American Music

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 >

Selected from the Collections of Brown University, this resource contains over 1,300 pieces of African American sheet music associated with antebellum black face minstrelsy, the abolitionist movement, the Civil War, and on into the twentieth century. Composers include James Bland, Ernest Hogan, Bob Cole, James Reese Europe, and Will Marion Cook.

"Particularly significant in this collection are the visual depictions of African Americans which provide much information about racial attitudes over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries," from the American Memory Project, Library of Congress. > is a site that presents a brief narrative of the development of spirituals sung by blacks in the United States along with information about singers, songs, and composers. It includes a searchable and browsable list of songs with lyrics. Also includes related links. 


African Ceremonies: Sacred Rituals in Tribal Cultures

African Ceremonies: Photographs of Sacred Rituals in Tribal Cultures >

Developed by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher to assist nomadic pastoral peoples during times of drought and to fund research about African ceremonies. This site features a gallery of photos, from the book, of sacred rituals in tribal cultures, as well as information about related African charities, exhibitions and foundations.

American Slave Narratives 

American Slave Narratives >

American Slave Narratives capture the very voices of American slavery, revealing the texture of life as it was experienced and remembered. Each narrative taken alone offers a fragmentary, microcosmic representation of slave life. Read together, they offer a sweeping composite view of slavery in North America, allowing us to explore some of the most compelling themes of nineteenth-century slavery, including labor, resistance and flight, family life, relations with masters, and religious belief.

Books by or about African-Americans.

Notable African American Titles 2017-2018

Books By or About African Americans

These websites list books by African-American authors.

Abolitionism in America

"I Will Be Heard!" Abolitionism in America >

A well-organized, content-rich site with a wide range of authoritative information about abolitionism in America. Includes profiles of prominent abolitionists, slave narratives, background on the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, critical resources on Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin,"and much more. From Cornell University, Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections.

Programs & Activities

Top African-American Colleges

 Top 30 Historically Black Colleges >

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) play an important role in the advancement of black culture, and education in general. With over 100 registered HBCUs in the U.S., it can be a challenge for prospective students to find the best match for them, or even know where to begin.

Check out the Top 30 list of the best historically black colleges.  from

They considered the following:

  • Academic excellence
  • Student satisfaction
  • Cultural impact and community service

Grapevine Literary Society

Grapevine Literary Society >

HISTORY: The Grapevine Literary Society was established on February 16, 2004 with four members. Founding members of the Book Club were: Alicia Latimer, Jackie Goodman, Viviane Patton, and Desrie Terrie.

Membership: Membership is free and open to the public.
The Grapevine Literary Society is an informal membership organization, open to all men and women who are interested in discussing and expanding their knowledge of literature written primarily by African-American authors. Membership is obtained by attending one meeting.


All-Black Oklahoma Towns


All-black Oklahoma Towns Map







Between 1865 and 1915, approximately 50 years after the Civil War, there were at least 60 Black Towns settled in the Nation. With more than 20, Oklahoma led all other states. With help from the Five Civilized Tribes, Freedmen from the South settled the all Black Towns of Oklahoma. Most of these towns were established by African-Americans for African-Americans on land that was formerly held by one of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Today's All Black Towns

Historic All Black Towns of Oklahoma:

  • Boley

  • Brooksville

  • Clearview

  • Grayson

  • Langston

  • Lincoln

  • Redbird

  • Rentiesville

  • Taft

  • Tatums

  • Tullahassee

  • Vernon

  • Wewoka

For further information about all-black towns still in existence:


All-Black Towns No Longer in Existence

Historic All-Black Towns No Longer in Existence:

  • Bailey

  • Bookertee

  • Canadian Colored

  • Chase

  • Ferguson

  • Gibson Station

  • Liberty

  • Marshall Town

  • North Fork

  • Wellston Colony

  • Wybark

For further information about all-black towns no longer in existence: 

Historic All-Black Town Tour

Historic All Black Towns Still in Existence today.

The annual Historic All-Black Town Tour is held on the 2nd Saturday in June. Two busloads of travelers visit towns in various quantrants of Oklahoma with a historian on each bus.  In each town, the history of the town and their part in Oklahoma history is told by local historians and citizens.

Tickets go on sale on May 1 of each year. For a nominal fee, the day-long tour begins at 7 a.m. and ends by 5:30 p.m. Meals are included in the fare.

For more information about the Historic All-Black Town Tours, contact the AARC Coordinator.