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Autograph sheet from the 1990 Negro League Baseball Players Association Reunion

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 the names on this autograph sheet from the 1990 Negro League Baseball Players Association Reunion and learn more about the role of African Americans in the history of American baseball.

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2 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Baseball card for Hank Aaron's rookie year

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 baseball card from Hank Aaron’s rookie year and learn more about the role of African Americans in the history of American baseball.

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2 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Baseball card for rookie Leroy "Satchel" Paige

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 baseball card for Leroy "Satchel" Paige and learn more about the role of African Americans in the history of American baseball.

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2 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Baseball card for Willie Mays

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 baseball card from Willie Mays’ second season and learn more about the role of African Americans in the history of American baseball.

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47 Total Pages 34 Contributing Members

Benjamin Banneker's 1793 Almanack and Ephemeris

This 1793 edition of Benjamin Banneker's Almanack and Ephemeris features an annual calendar, statistical information, phases of the moon, astronomical data, and tide tables. Banneker's almanacs were unique because they featured social commentary and politically oriented literature. Some writings from this almanac include "A Plan of a Peace-Office, for the United States," "Extracts from the Debates in the Last Session of the British Parliament, Apr. 1792," "Extract from Jefferson's Notes on Virginia," and "Extract from Wilkinson's Appeal to England on Behalf of the Abused Africans." Please click "READ MORE" below for instructions for transcribing the tables in the almanac.

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Bottle tag from the Cotton Club

The Cotton Club was Harlem’s premier nightclub in the 1920s and 1930s during the Prohibition Era. The club featured many of the greatest African American entertainers of the era, including Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, and Ethel Waters. However, while the performers were black, the club only permitted white audiences. Nonetheless, the Cotton Club launched the careers of many African American performers including Fletcher Henderson, who led the first house band in 1923, and Duke Ellington, whose orchestra was the house band from 1927 to 1931. Cab Calloway's orchestra took over for Ellington’s group in 1931 and Jimmie Lunceford’s band followed in 1934. Lena Horne began her career as a chorus girl at the Cotton Club and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Sammy Davis Jr. performed as tap dancers. Help us transcribe this bottle tag, which highlights the role of night clubs during the Prohibition Era.

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1 Total Pages 4 Contributing Members

Broadside for "Men of Color" Recruitment

Frederick Douglass was born in 1808 as Frederick August Washington Bailey, the son of an enslaved woman and possibly her white enslaver in Maryland. Douglass emancipated himself at the age of 20. Over the course of his life, he shared his experiences of enslavement in three autobiographies. Douglass was a leader of the abolition movement, fighting against slavery through speeches and writings. He passed away in 1874 at his home in Washington D.C. In June 1863, the Union Army authorized the recruitment of African Americans to fight in the Civil War. Citizens of Philadelphia held a convention to promote enlistment. Luminaries of abolition including Anna E. Dickenson and W.D. Kelley joined the great orator Frederick Douglass at the convention. Douglass joined fifty-three local leaders in signing this call-to-arms. African Americans ratified the over sized document to endorse enrollment. Help us transcribe the resulting text found on this broadside.

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2 Total Pages 3 Contributing Members

Broadside for Kairrissah

Broadside posters were made to advertise events. Put up one week, by the next week they were often torn down or covered up with another poster. However, those that were saved for posterity often provide us with a glimpse into everyday life in the past. Theater posters provide us with information about the shows, the actors, and the audience. This broadside for the Front-Street Theater in Baltimore advertises the 1834 production of Kairrissah. Help us transcribe this document to not only learn about the production, but about segregation in Baltimore in the 1830s.

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2 Total Pages 3 Contributing Members

Broadside for Out of Bondage, 1876

Broadside posters were made to advertise events. Put up one week, by the next week they were often torn down or covered up with another poster. However, those that were saved for posterity often provide us with a glimpse into everyday life in the past. Theater posters provide us with information about the shows, the actors, and the audience. Help us transcribe this broadside for Out of Bondage, produced by the Hyers Sisters, the first black women to gain success on the American stage.

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2 Total Pages 3 Contributing Members

Broadside for the lecture "Anatomy of the Black Aesthetic; An Examination"

This broadside for the lecture "Anatomy of the Black Aesthetic; An Examination" is an advertisement for a lecture series at the Lee Cultural Center in 1969, featuring Nikki Giovanni and Julian Hudson Mayfield. Giovanni is a published poet whose work focuses on African American identity. Mayfield was an actor, novelist, and activist who spoke during this event on the film “Uptight,” which he wrote and starred in. Help us transcribe this broadside that offers insight into the literary interests of African American students in Philadelphia.

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