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Advertisement card for the Holiness Youth Crusade in Detroit, Michigan

This advertisement is for the 1947 Holiness Youth Crusade in Detroit, Michigan, featuring the Cleveland Colored Quintet, an all-male singing group based in Cleveland, Ohio.

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2 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Advertisement card for the Tuskegee Four

This advertisement is for performance by The Tuskegee Four, an all-female singing group associated with Liberty Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois.

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2 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

Advertisement for boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling

Economic despair and widespread unemployment during the Great Depression lead many Americans to seek inspiration and hope in the world of sports. When boxer Joe Louis burst onto the scene in the mid-1930s he became a symbol of pride for African Americans. During the 1930s Joe Louis and German heavyweight Max Schmeling fought two fights whose influence reached far beyond the ring. Louis lost the first fight in 1936, and Schmeling became a symbol of Nazi superiority. The second fight in 1938 was billed as a fight between democracy and fascism. When Louis won in a first-round knockout, the fight was viewed as a triumph for American democracy, though segregation was still widespread in the United States. Cheer on Joe Louis and help us transcribe a ticket from his memorable 1938 knockout against Max Schmeling.

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2 Total Pages 3 Contributing Members

Advertisement for the Dixie Spiritual Singers and a drawing of a boat

This advertisement is for performance by Dixie Spiritual Singers, an all-male singing group based in Richmond, Virginia.

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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 5 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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25 Total Pages 14 Contributing Members

An Outline of Resurrection City as Used

In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference launched the Poor People’s Campaign, a national, multiethnic movement for economic justice, security, and opportunity for every American. During the Campaign, participants built a tent city, known as Resurrection City, on the 16-acre site between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument along the National Mall. John Wiebenson, a professor of architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park, led the committee that helped campaign organizers negotiate land, design the encampment, and build housing units for protesters. Published in English, French, and German, this original manuscript by Wiebenson, “An Outline of Resurrection City as Used,” explains the philosophies behind Resurrection City’s design and construction.

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69 Total Pages 78 Contributing Members

Argument of John Quincy Adams, before the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of the United States, Appellants, vs.

This first edition manuscript is a written account of the “Argument of John Quincy Adams, before the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of the United States, Appellants, vs. Cinque, and others, Africans, captured in the Schooner Amistad.” In 1840, Lewis Tappan and Ellis Gray Loring of the Amistad Committee approached John Quincy Adams, the 72-year old former president, to defend the Amistad captives. Adams was viewed as the perfect candidate to represent the Mende Africans before the Supreme Court. He had extensive experience within the government, had argued before the Supreme Court many times, negotiated international treaties, and abhorred slavery. Initially hesitant, he eventually took the case believing it would be his last great service to the country. In February 1841, he argued the Mende were free men illegally captured and sold into slavery, and as such should be returned to Africa. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the captives. Help us transcribe this invaluable piece of history showing the highest court in America ruling against the institution of slavery.

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32 Total Pages 40 Contributing Members

Argument of Roger S. Baldwin, of New Haven, Before the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Case of the United States, App

This is a first edition manuscript of Roger Sherman Baldwin’s 1841 arguments before the US Supreme Court in the trial “United States v. Schooner Amistad.” Baldwin, who represented the Africans in the lower court cases, joined John Quincy Adams in representing the Africans in front of the Supreme Court. Baldwin's principal legal goal during the trial was to win the freedom of the Africans, and the arguments he stressed were those he thought most likely to produce success. Often these were narrow, property-law based arguments rather than moralistic, broad-based attacks on slavery itself. Baldwin, however, did argue that the two Spanish men who forced the enslaved people onto The Amistad were the criminals, not the Africans who fought for their freedom, and that the men "deserve the penalty of death for piracy." Baldwin and John Quincy Adams both argued the Africans' cause, but it was Baldwin's arguments that the Court found convincing. Upon learning of the Court's 7 to 1 vote to recognize the status of the Africans as free persons, Baldwin expressed pleasure at "the glorious result of our cause." Help us transcribe this invaluable piece of history showing the highest court in America ruling against the institution of slavery.

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2 Total Pages 8 Contributing Members

Autograph note written to William Turner by Eyamba V

This letter was written by King Eyamba V to William Turner. King Eyamba ruled over the township of Duke in the city-state of Old Calabar, now Calabar, Nigeria. Between 1720 and 1830 over one million enslaved men and women were forced onto British slave ships based in Old Calabar. Although the British had banned the slave trade in 1808, slavery was not banned in all British territories until 1833, and traders from other nations continued to purchase slaves at Calabar until 1842. This letter dates from the historically important moment when the two most prominent Efik kings at Calabar, Eyo Honesty II and Eyamba V, gave-up their trading monopoly over the supply of slaves captured in the interior, and replaced it with a plantation system for the cultivation of palm oil. By the 1840s Calabar had become the center for the export of palm oil to industrial Britain. This letter documents various aspects of the trading partnership and the friendship between Turner and the Old Calabar kings. In particular, the informal “trust trade” system derived from the slave trading days, whereby Turner and other European traders traded manufactured goods (rum in particular) to Eyamba and other rulers in exchange for palm oil, sugar, etc. Help us transcribe this important letter documenting Eyamba V’s efforts to find new business ventures with Europeans once slavery was abolished.

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