December 28, 2020

Primary Source Spotlight: African American History & Culture

Roots Odyssey.

Romare Bearden. Roots Odyssey. Screen print, 1976. 28 3/4 x 22 7/8.
Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation Collection, Prints and Photographs Division.
© Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Summary: Twentieth-century artist Romare Bearden presents a stylized depiction of the odyssey of captives from Africa to the United States. The ship shows the low decks that were constructed on slaving vessels so that the maximum number of African captives could be transported. A black man’s silhouette frames a view of the African continent, a U.S. flag, and seabirds thought to symbolize the souls of Africans returning to their homeland.

Celebrate the rich and varied history and culture of African Americans through the foci of primary source images, documents, music, and more. You’ll also find related lesson plans, stories, interactives, and streaming webcasts–come explore!

Lesson Plans & Activity Ideas

Primary Source Sets

American Memory Collections

Online Exhibitions

Veterans History Project

Spotlights, Features & Special Presentations

Image Sets

Music & Dance


Congressional Activity

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