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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Item Type > Biography/Autobiography (x)

We found 16 items that match your search

A Young American Decides to Fight Fascism in Spain

Large numbers of American college students expressed increasing activism against war in the early 1930s, connecting international war with issues like labor, minority rights, and economic injustice at home. The rise of fascism in Europe, however, [...]

An Indian Politician Debates the Limitations of Communism

Writing from a British prison in 1941, Jawaharlal Nehru, the future post-Independence prime minister of India, attempts to explain his political outlook. In these excerpts, Nehru gives particular vent to his thoughts on Communism and the Soviet [...]

Mahalia Jackson Remembers Chicago

Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972), the grandaughter of former slaves, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she learned to sing in her family's baptist church. In 1927, at the age of sixteen, Jackson migrated to Chicago where she found a [...]

A Chinese Immigrant Remembers His Arrival in the United States

Huie Kin left his village in Guangdong Province and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14; in his 20s he entered a seminary and went on to become the first Chinese Christian minister in New York City. He wrote his memoirs in 1932, from which this [...]

A Black Migrant Crosses the Mason-Dixon Line

In this memoir first published in 1952, Charles Denby, an African-American migrant from Alabama, recalls his train ride North and first night in Detroit, Michigan. In 1930, out of work because of the Great Depression, Denby moved back to the South. [...]

A Former Slave Recalls "a Mournful Scene" in the New Orleans Slave Market

In 1841, Solomon Northup, a free African American living in New York, was kidnapped while visiting Washington, D.C., and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years working on plantations in Louisiana, finally attaining freedom in 1853. His [...]

Antonio Franco Coronel Describes Tensions Among Miners

Antonio Franco Coronel was born in Mexico, came to California as a child in 1834, and settled with his family in Los Angeles. As one of the original miners in the state’s gold fields in 1848, he found success at the Placer Seco in northern [...]

Antonio Franco Coronel Describes Tensions Among Miners (with text supports)

Antonio Franco Coronel was born in Mexico, came to California as a child in 1834, and settled with his family in Los Angeles. As one of the original miners in the state’s gold fields in 1848, he found success at the Placer Seco in northern [...]

John Parker Describes the Challenges of Running Away (with text supports)

John Parker was born in Virginia in 1827, and was the son of a wealthy white man and an enslaved woman. He spent the first 18 years of his life as a slave and earned a reputation as a troublemaker for regularly trying to escape. In 1845, he [...]

Henry Bibb Remembers Running Away (with text supports)

Henry Bibb was born in Kentucky to a slave mother and her owner, Kentucky state senator James Bibb. His brothers and sisters were sold away when he was a child, and Bibb was also sold frequently—he lived in at least seven southern states. After [...]