To honor National Black History month, the National Archives presents a virtual author book talk on February 23 at 5 p.m. ET, discussing A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House. We also highlight extensive resources from our holdings on the continuing struggle for Black equality and civil rights.
Author Jonathan W. White presents the story of how President Abraham Lincoln welcomed African Americans to his White House in America’s most divided and war-torn era and why that transformed the trajectory of race relations in the United States. Beginning with his 1862 meetings with Black Christian ministers, Lincoln invited African Americans of every background into his home, from ex-slaves from the Deep South to champions of abolitionism such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. The President conferred with his guests about the essential issues of citizenship and voting rights. Drawing from an array of primary sources, White reveals how African Americans used the White House as a national stage to amplify their calls for equality.
Resources and Holdings
The National Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the African American experience and highlights these resources online, showcasing educational resources, published articles, featured holdings, and public programs related to African American history.
- African American History Research Portal
- The National Archives Catalog
- Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives
- Our Rediscovering Black History Blog
- African American History Citizen Archivist Missions
- African American records community on History Hub
- Records of the Black Experience in DocsTeach
- NARA’s African American History subject portals:
- People in Black History