Henrietta Lacks (August 18, 1920, to October 4, 1951) was a poor Southern African-American tobacco farmer whose cancerous cervical tumor was the source of cells George Otto Gey at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, cultured. These “immortal” cells remain “alive,” 60 years after her death, revolutionizing medical research.
This guide aims to introduce researchers to materials documenting the history of African Americans at the Duke University Medical Center. The focus is on navigating resources within the Medical Center Archives. It is not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, but rather a starting guide to locating research materials.
Swing dancing is comprised of various forms of dances that include the Balboa, Collegiate Shag, Lindy Hop and Lindy Charleston. These dances were particularly popular with youth groups who were oftentimes referred to as jitterbugs, Swing Kids, and Lindy Hoppers. During the Great Depression and World War II, swing dancing provided a recreational outlet and morale booster in large social gatherings, exclusive clubs, juke joints and competitive dance events.
Between the end of the Civil War and 1890, some African American baseball players played alongside white players in minor and major leagues. After 1890, Jim Crow segregation dominated the sport until Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball in 1947.
Consequently African Americans formed their own professional baseball leagues commonly and collectively known as Negro League baseball. During its heyday in the 1920s and 30s, the Negro Leagues drew large crowds and fielded over thirty teams throughout the East Coast and Midwest.In this primary source set, students will view original photographs, listen to oral history recordings, and read historical texts to gain a better understanding of of the lives and experiences of Negro League baseball players.
Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) is the coming-of-age story of Janie Crawford, an African American woman growing up in Eatonville, Florida—one of the first incorporated African American towns in the United States.
Hurston wrote the novel during a critical moment for African American writers. The “New Negro Movement” and the Harlem Renaissance presented African American artists with the opportunity to use their art as a way to authentically represent the African American experience. However, scholars such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright often debated about the actual authenticity of these representations as well as the role of the black artist. Many African American artists, including Richard Wright, found Hurston’s novel to be problematic. Her emphasis on black folk culture and her representations of African American men were often criticized as being counterproductive to the image of the “New Negro.” Despite the criticism Their Eyes Were Watching God received, Hurston’s powerful prose and honest depictions of the African American experience have inspired many contemporary readers, and the novel has become an integral part of the American literary canon.
An indexed collection of photographs of Lincoln Hospital, a historic Black hospital in Durham, North Carolina, and the various health professionals and persons, both white and Black, associated with the institution.
The Morehouse School of Medicine Digital Archives consists of historical publications, documents, and photographs of administrators, faculty members, staff, visitors, and facilities related to the founding of the school and its development. It was founded in 1975, as the Medical Education Program (MEP) at Morehouse College, a member institution of the Atlanta University Center. Later, the name was changed to the School of Medicine at Morehouse College, and later still, to the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), when it became a separate independent institution.
The National Library of Medicine has an extensive collection of research materials on Africans American in Science, Medicine, and the Health Professions. This material includes a comprehensive list of books with autobiographies and biographies of leading African American physicians, scientists, and nurses. There are also historical studies on black professional organizations, medical schools, hospitals, and the delivery of care to African Americans from the antebellum period through to the present.
The NLM's extensive online collection of prints and photographs includes images of African American doctors, dentists, nurses, and nurse-midwives. These online images also document African Americans' contributions to public health and to scientific research.