Welcome to BlackPast.org, the largest free and unrestricted reference center on African American and Global African History currently on the Internet. This website has over 10, 000 pages reflecting the vast array of information on the history of people of African ancestry. This User's Guide is designed to help you access this information as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The fastest way to find specific information on BlackPast.org is to type in a name in the Search Bar on the upper left corner of the homepage. For your convenience the space bar appears on every page of BlackPast.org. Type in Frederick Douglass, for example. The website search engine will then list every entry on the site related to Frederick Douglass. If you want to narrow your search please click the Advanced Search button on the search results page. The search results page appears after a search is performed from the search box in the upper left hand corner of the web site.
BlackPast.org has three major divisions:
African American History (AAH) -All sections in this division focus on the historical experiences of African Americans, that is, persons of African ancestry in the United States.
African American History in the West (AAW)-This division brings together all of the information on the website related to African Americans who have lived in the nineteen states that straddle or are west of the 100th meridian. See the map to the right.
Global African History (GAH)-All sections in this division address the history of people of African ancestry who live outside the United States and its territories.
Each division has similar information that appears as a list in the left column of every page (except the opening page). For example, all have Bibliographies, Online Encyclopedia, Major Speeches, Timelines, and Primary Documents that are relevant to their divisions. They also have a section called Research Guides and Websites that link to relevant sources off the website. Some features, however, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are specific to AAH and AAW. The feature called Perspectives allows scholars from around the world to explore topics of interest to the BlackPast.org audience.
BlackPast.org also has Special Features found only on the opening page. They include BlackPast.org By the Numbers, 101 African American Firsts, Major Black Officeholders Since 1641, the Barack Obama Page, and the BlackPast.org Blog Roll.
At the bottom of the home page you will find links to other local, state, and national organizations that share an interest in black history including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.