Black Studies Collection

Black Studies Collection


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Prior to the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in 1972, there was a growing demand for circulated books by and about African Americans among Washingtonians. In an attempt to meet this need, the DC Public Library Board of Trustees voted to establish an independent Black Studies division in 1970. The Black Studies Center housed over 15,000 books focusing on the Black experience in the United States and throughout the African diaspora. Since its inception, the Black Studies Center hosted events featuring authors and public speakers on topics that further the study and discussion of the contributions of African Americans in the United States and abroad. The Black Studies Center functioned as a public space for research, reading and community dialogue.

The Black Studies collections are now housed in People's Archive on the fourth floor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. Find more information about how to access these materials here

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Online Resources

Use your library card and PIN number to log in to our Black Studies digital resources.