Oxford AASC: Focus On The African American National Biography

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The African American National Biography

Each month, the editors of the Oxford African American Studies Center provide insights into black history and culture, showing ways in which the past and present interact by offering specially commissioned featured essays, photographic essays, and a selected list of articles that will further guide the reader. This month the feature highlights the African American National Biography, the largest collection of African American biographies ever published.

Featured Essay

  • From Ota Benga to Elmo: One Writer's Journey through the AANB

    Steven Niven began working on the AANB shortly after the project was launched more than six years ago, first as a research editor and writer, later as the co-executive editor of this landmark work. In his essay, Niven discusses the work he did as the author of more than 100 entries in AANB, providing not just a glimpse at some of the extraordinary individuals who inhabit the work, but of his own development as a scholar of African American history. Read full essay

Photo Essay