African American History and Culture

In addition to materials related to the Civil Rights Movement, MARBL collects print material and ephemera related to many different aspects of African American history and culture. MARBL's holdings include the papers of African American expatriates and cultural figures as well as material related to African Americans in sports, literature, film and art. We have six principal collecting areas:

Civil Rights and Post-Civil Rights Movements

Black Print Culture

This area highlights the world of literature created by and for the African American community. MARBL collects books, pamphlets, broadsides, periodicals, sheet music, and print ephemera.

  • The library of Carter G. Woodson, the most important 20th-century creator of black print culture
  • Papers of Kelly Miller, the most prolific African American pamphleteer of the early 20th century
  • Works of the contemporary fine printer, Amos G. Kennedy

Blacks and the Left

African American Literature and the Arts

Expatriate Literary and Cultural Figures

  • Night club owner Bricktop
  • Performer, dancer, and silent film star Josephine Baker
  • The papers of French scholar/collector Michel Fabre document other important expatriates, including Chester Himes and Richard Wright.

African Americans and Sports

African Americans in Sports represents a new and exciting focus for MARBL, and promises to bring new energy and enthusiasm to the Emory University campus. To the surprise of most knowledgeable scholars and historians, former professional and amateur African American athletes—especially those who lived during the first half of the twentieth century—have papers worth collecting, preserving and studying. The complex meanings associated with the success and achievements of African Americans in sports, which has been recognized as the result of a lack of opportunities in other endeavors, are directly related to issues of social mobility, economic stability and political will. Individuals, whose lives and careers intersect with significant national and global historical moments are deserving of scholarly research and examination.