African American Studies: Audio and Video

Resources for studying African American History and Culture


Portland's Response to the Death of Rickie Johnson.  In 1975, a Portland Police Office posing as a Taxicab driver shot and killed Rickie Johnson, an African-American High School student.  A series of protests resulted.  PSU Graduate student Katie Nelson created this podcast for PSU's "Beyond Footnotes" series. 

Many Rivers to Cross

Historic Films


All-American News.  A series of newsreels created for African-American viewers, originally to support the war effort in World War II, although the series continued into the 1950s.  Newsreels were short programs, 5-10 minutes that were shown in movie theaters before the main movie.  Before television, they allowed audiences to 'see' the stories of the day, not just to read about them.  This set is part of the collection of the Library of Congress.



PBS History Detectives: Slave Songbook

An examination of an 1867 book titled Slave Songs of the United States. This 17 minute video from the "HIstory Detectives" television program looks at coded messages in the lyrics, and the melodies that evolved to form the blues, gospel, jazz and protest songs of future years.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman: Talk of the Nation, NPR, February 17, 2004

Join NPR's Neal Conan and guests in exploring the life of the leader of the underground railroad. Below is the earliest known photograph of Tubman, taken about 1868, shortly after her leadership on the Underground Railroad. It is part of the collection of the Library of Congress.


Jim Crow Narratives

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Jim Crow Stories

Listen to first-hand accounts of life during the Jim Crow era. From the PBS website, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.