Find Out How Slavery Made Our World with These Free Library Resources

By Jamie B. RSS Tue, September 17, 2019

Have you read the 1619 Project yet? It’s the award-winning special issue of the New York Times Magazine all about American Slavery that was published last month. The project’s creator, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, writes that its aim is to "reframe for our readers the way we understand our nation, the legacy of slavery, and most importantly, the unparalleled role black people have played in this democracy."

"The special issue is named for the year the first slave ship arrived in colonial Virginia," says the Sidney Hillman Foundation, "Four hundred years later, this trade in human beings still shapes every aspect of life in the United States. The collected essays argue for 1619 as the true year of our nation’s founding and place the stories of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."

If you’ve gained a new perspective on slavery’s legacy since picking up the #1619Project and you want to learn more, the Free Library has three great resources that you must explore:

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture, & Law
Edited by legal historian, Paul Finkelman, this award-winning database from HeinOnline brings together essential legal materials on slavery in the U.S. and the English-speaking world. It includes nearly 2,000 titles with every statute and case on slavery, and hundreds of historic texts and modern histories. Slavery in America features more than 60 full-text ebook publications from the University of North Carolina Press’s slavery collection, including digital versions of Black Abolitionist Papers and Southern Slavery and the Law.


At These Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois Exhibition
Co-curated by Kalela Williams, Director of Neighborhood Library Enrichment Programming and Dr. Judith Giesberg of Villanova University and designed by Graphic Design Specialist Nathanael Roesch, the exhibition At These Crossroads explores how Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois, “the formerly enslaved orator and the professor,” lived life at the crossroads of “belonging and not, of loving their nation and feeling rejected by it,” and “of being both black and American.” At These Crossroads was just honored as an Adobe Government Creativity Awards finalist. It’s on view in the West Gallery of Parkway Central Library until the end of September. Don’t miss it!


New York Times Online
Get the full-text of the special 1619 Project edition of the New York Times Magazine at, including supplemental articles, commentary, and multi-media. Enjoy free access to at all Free Library locations and online with your library card. Lesson plans and teacher’s materials can be found at the Pulitzer Center, including a PDF full issue of the magazine.

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I'm looking forward to reading the black abolitionist papers! I love that the Free Library has resources like these. The At these crossroads exhibition is both beautiful and informative great job Kalela!
Melissa J - Philly
Tuesday, September 24, 2019