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The African American story is central to our nation’s history. Collections documenting the contributions of African Americans in countless fields, along with the struggles and achievements inherent to their stories, can be found in the records of every Smithsonian museum. Help us make these collections more accessible through transcription. Browse projects below and learn more by searching our blog, and by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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2 Total Pages 2 Contributing Members

Advertisement poster for the Eveready Gospel Singers

This advertisement is for a performance by The Eveready Gospel Singers, an all-female singing group associated with the St John and Greater Friendship Baptist Churches and the Church of God in Christ in South Bend, Indiana.

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2 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members

Advertisement tag for a Homestead Grays vs. New York Cubans baseball game

African Americans have had a complicated relationship with baseball, the “national pastime.” This long history has been characterized by exclusion, innovation, the creation of all-black institutions, struggle, and pioneering successes. The Negro Leagues created opportunities for African Americans to play the game professionally in a segregated nation, but many also looked to the sport as a place where the civil rights cause could be advanced. In 1947 Major League Baseball was integrated when Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, one of the most significant events in the history of African American sport. Help us transcribe this advertisement tag for a Homestead Grays vs. New York Cubans baseball game and learn more about the role of the Negro Leagues in the history of American baseball.

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9 Total Pages 15 Contributing Members

AfriCOBRA Manifestos by Jeff Donaldson and Cherilyn C. Wright

AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) is an African American artist collective that was founded in 1968, first under the name COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists), in Chicago, Illinois. The founding AfriCOBRA artists were associated with the Black Arts Movement, and the group grew out of discussions on how their art could express a Black aesthetic. The AfriCOBRA philosophy emphasized positive revolutionary ideas and community effort.
Jeff Donaldson was a co-founding life-long member, and kept extensive files on AfriCOBRA’s early years. Here we have some drafts of manifestos by Donaldson and Cherilyn C. Wright, associated with the Ten in Search of a Nation exhibition, from his papers.

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39 Total Pages 17 Contributing Members

AfriCOBRA Meeting Minutes, 1971

AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) is an African American artist collective that was founded in 1968, first under the name COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists), in Chicago, Illinois. The founding AfriCOBRA artists were associated with the Black Arts Movement, and the group grew out of discussions on how their art could express a Black aesthetic. The AfriCOBRA philosophy emphasized positive revolutionary ideas and community effort.
Jeff Donaldson was a co-founding life-long member, and kept extensive files on AfriCOBRA’s early years. Here we have minutes from the group's regular meetings in 1971, from his papers.

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34 Total Pages 15 Contributing Members

AfriCOBRA Meeting Minutes, 1972-1980

AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) is an African American artist collective that was founded in 1968, first under the name COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists), in Chicago, Illinois. The founding AfriCOBRA artists were associated with the Black Arts Movement, and the group grew out of discussions on how their art could express a Black aesthetic. The AfriCOBRA philosophy emphasized positive revolutionary ideas and community effort.
Jeff Donaldson was a co-founding life-long member, and kept extensive files on AfriCOBRA’s early years. Here we have minutes from the group's regular meetings in 1972-1980, from his papers.

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20 Total Pages 29 Contributing Members

Alabama Assistant Commissioner, Annual Report of the Assistant Commissioner, Oct. 1866

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama, Series 3: Annual Report of the Assistant Commissioner. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Alabama during the Reconstruction Era.

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41 Total Pages 70 Contributing Members

Alabama Assistant Commissioner, Annual Reports from Staff Officers, 1866–68

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama, Series 12: Annual Reports from Staff Officers. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Alabama during the Reconstruction Era.

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71 Total Pages 104 Contributing Members

Alabama Assistant Commissioner, Endorsements Sent, Vol. 1 (12), Oct. 2, 1865–July 7, 1866

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama, Series 5: Endorsements Sent. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Alabama during the Reconstruction Era.

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147 Total Pages 336 Contributing Members

Alabama Assistant Commissioner, Endorsements Sent, Vol. 2 (13), Apr. 3, 1867–Dec. 24, 1868

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama, Series 5: Endorsements Sent. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Alabama during the Reconstruction Era.

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5 Total Pages 17 Contributing Members

Alabama Assistant Commissioner, Endorsements Sent, Vol. 3 (14), Feb. 11–July 21, 1869

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Alabama, Series 5: Endorsements Sent. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Alabama during the Reconstruction Era.

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