United States and Africa - history

See also: History - Slavery | History - Panafricanism

Adam Matthew Publications
Microfilm publisher. Sells 19th and 20th century journals and archival collections for African studies and other areas. Has a search engine. http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/
Example - U.K. Foreign Office. American Department. Files: United States (Public Record Office Class FO 371:Part 1: The John F Kennedy Years, 1960-1963), relations of the United States with Nigeria,  Rhodesia, Peace Corps, etc. Part 2: The Lyndon B Johnson Years, 1964-1968. (PRO Class FO 371/174260-174346, 179557-179622 & 184995-185056 and PRO Class FCO 7/738-884) - Seychelles, Rhodesia, Peace Corps.

Africa in DC Blog
Blog on Africa-related events in Washington, D.C. By "a young professional in DC with an interest in Africa." "On this blog I will attempt to analyze US views on Africa, review talks/lectures on African affairs, and share my opinions on African restaurants and lounges in the DMV." http://africaindc.wordpress.com/

Africa Update - U.S. Foreign Policy and Africa
Vol. X11, Issue 1 (Winter 2005) of the e-journal, Africa Update, has articles on US Foreign Policy and Africa, by Andre Fitzroy Baptiste and British- Nigerian Relations, by Harold Smith. Pub. by the African Studies program at Central Connecticut State University. http://www.ccsu.edu/AFSTUDY/upd12-1.html

African Americans to Liberia, 1820-1904
Must register to use the site; registration is free. "information on 15,000+ African-American emigrants to Liberia. "includes ... birth year (where available), town/country of origin, state of origin (including "Indian Territories"), denominational affiliation, family relations among emigrants, destination in Liberia, ships on which they travelled, and year of emigration." To see the web site's features, search for "Hilary Teage" or "John Brown Russwurm" "Their pages include genealogical links and maps showing locations where they lived, as well as other information and images." "similarly detailed information will be added for as many persons in the database as possible." Photographs, histories. http://www.liberianrepatriates.com/

Airlift to America: How Barack Obama Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya, and 800 East African Students Changed Their World and Ours. By Tom Shachtman
Site for the book on the “airlift” to U.S. universities, between 1959 and 1963, of 800 young East African students. Among the students was Wangari Maathai, future Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Full text primary documents. Videos - Tom Shachtman & Cora Weiss (former Executive Director of the African American Students Foundation) Library of Congress talk; Cora Weiss talk at the African Studies Association 2009 conference; Reunion of the "Airlift Generation" Nairobi 2007. http://www.airlifttoamerica.org/

All Africa.com - U.S. - Africa Relations
Many full text articles, some back to 1997, on U.S. - Africa relations. Includes President Bill Clinton's Africa trips. http://allafrica.com/specials/usaf_archive/

American Colonization Society, Library of Congress Exhibit
The U.S. Library of Congress holds the records of the American Colonization Society which established Liberia. The exhibit descriptions provide historical background on this period. The Colonization section is part of the African-American Mosaic exhibit. http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam002.html

[Carter] Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

[Clinton, Bill] Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
See the Research section for the Digital Library. https://www.clintonlibrary.gov/

[Clinton] Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Africa Trip, August 3 - 14, 2009
The trip covers Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cape Verde. This is the earliest trip by a U.S. Secretary of State to Africa of any administration. It is the longest foreign trip for Secretary of State Clinton's first year in office. State Department speeches, video, photographs, articles from the press, commentary on the trip. Site by the African Collection, Stanford University Library.

Copson, Raymond W. - Africa Backgrounder: History, U.S. Policy, Principal Congressional Actions
Published by the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2001. Includes an overview of U.S. - Africa relations, French relations with Africa. Bibliography. 28 pages in PDF. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl30029.pdf

Cornell University. Library, Making of America
"...a digital library of primary sources [mainly from 1840 - 1900] in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction." Has scanned images of the full text of books and articles. A search on Cecil Rhodes produces 102 matches in 57 journal articles. Examples of article titles: The Ultimate Triumph of the Boers, Briton and Boer in South Africa, Military Problems in South Africa, A French General's Defense of the Boers, The Historical Causes of the Present War in South Africa, Problems of the Transvaal, The Responsibility of Cecil Rhodes. A search on Rhodesia produces 68 matches in 35 journal articles. [KF] http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa/index.html

Democracy Now - The State of U.S.-Africa Relations: A Look at Debt Repayment, HIV/AIDS and the Impact of Bush's Reelection in Africa
Radio program. Roundtable discussion on the state of U.S.-Africa relations with Rev. Molefe Tsele of the South African Council of Churches, Muthoni Wanyeki of the African Women's Development and Communications Network and Salih Booker of Africa Action. Audio file and transcript. http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/06/1453252

[Ford] Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum
Website of the Library and Museum for Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States. Has full text online documents. A list of the Africa-related documents is available. Microfilm of the complete record group, with more documents, is sold by Gale - Primary Source Media. http://www.ford.utexas.edu/

Foreign Relations of the United States
"the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity." Can search across all volumes for African content. Find documents from a certain year by choosing the relevant Presidential Administration. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments

An example from the above is

  • Foreign relations of the United States, 1964-1968. Volume 24, Africa. Editors, Nina Davis Howland, David S. Patterson.Washington, D.C. : Office of the Historian, U.S. Dept. of State, 1999.
  • Full text primary documents (letters, telegrams, memoranda, etc.) regarding U.S. relations with Africa. Includes the entire continent plus Ghana, the Horn of Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, South Africa, Portuguese Africa, Rhodesia. (Dept. of State Publication 10627). [KF] http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/vol_xxiv/index.html
  • The documents originated with the Department of State, Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas. "Almost all of the documents printed here were originally classified." "The Johnson administration continued the Kennedy policy of support for Africa's newly independent countries and self-determination for those not yet independent. The primary U.S. objective in sub-Saharan Africa, however, remained preventing the countries of the region from falling under Communist domination and minimizing Communist influence over them...." A report by Ambassador Edward Korry recommended "a much broader and more central role for the World Bank in Africa and realignment of bilateral U.S. aid programs to concentrate on regional development."


Hathi Trust Digital Library
Has full text United States government documents. For example, Congo realities and United States policy / by G. Mennen Williams (who was Assistant Secretary for African Affairs). You can limit results by date. https://www.hathitrust.org/

History Makers [Stanford users only]
Video interviews by Africans or African Americans who have worked / lived in Africa. Full transcripts. For example search for Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, etc. https://stanford.thehistorymakers.org/

In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience - African Immigration (!970-Present)
Eassys, maps, graphs, photographs. Teacher Lesson Plans. Based at the Schomburg Center for Research (New York Public Library. http://www.inmotionaame.org/texts/index.cfm;jsessionid=f8303372211271846295276?migration=13&topic=99&type=text&bhcp=1
Has Full text of titles such as:

  • African Students in the United States: A Handbook of Information and Orientation. Phelps-Stokes Fund (New York, 1957)
  • Recent African Immigrants to the United States: A Historical Perspective from The Western Journal of Black Studies, vol. 19, no. 1 (1995) Joseph Takougang
  • African Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the United States. By Kinuthia Macharia

International Conference on a Decade of Freedom: Celebrating the Role of the International Anti-Apartheid Movement, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 10-13 October 2004
Activists from around the world attended; many full text conference papers are online. . http://www.ukzn.ac.za/aam2004/

Johnson (Lyndon B.) Library and Museum
Has full text oral history interviews in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format. Use the Acrobat Find (the binoculars) for keyword searches. Walt Rostow talks about a meeting with President Kennedy and President Keita of Mali reassuring Kennedy that Africa would not become communist. Has an interview with Dean Rusk on the US dropping paratroopers in Stanleyville, Congo and sending transport planes to show support for the Congo govt. against mercenaries, on U.S. policy in the Nigerian civil war. [KF]  http://www.lbjlibrary.org/

[Kennedy] John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum
Speeches, press conferences, audio files, photographs, documents. Includes the speech (text and audio) of Pres. Kennedy's brother, Robert F. Kennedy at the University of Cape Town, June 6, 1966 "Day of Affirmation Address." Also has the Finding Aid of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Collection. [KF] http://www.jfklibrary.org/

Liberia Past and Present
Political and economic history of Liberia, including cultural affairs, from 1822 to date. Includes a chronology of Liberia's presidents with biographical information, maps, photographs (19th c. colonists), section on Liberian money with images, a bibliography. Maintained by Dr. Fred Van Der Kraaij whose dissertation was on the role of foreign investments in the development of Liberia 1900-1977, published as "The open door policy of Liberia : an economic history of modern Liberia ." (1983). [KF] http://www.liberiapastandpresent.org

Modernist Journals Project
A Project of Brown University and the University of Tulsa to digitize "culturally significant magazines from around the early 20th century". Contains full text of a series of articles by Theodore Roosevelt, "African Game Trails" (includes photographs), and an essay, "The Boer War" by Carol DeBoer-Langworth. [KF] http://dl.lib.brown.edu/mjp/

National Security Archive, (George Washington University)
The Archive is an independent research institute and library in Washington, D.C. It collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA. Has information for researchers wishing to visit the Archive. Has a description of their microfiche collection, South Africa: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1962-1989 (2,500 documents on 439 microfiche, cost U.S. $3,900). This microfiche collection is held by at least 23 U.S. libraries and Oxford U.; check RLIN or the OCLC World Catalog for a list of these. A page on their book, "South Africa and the United States: the Declassified History" has sample documents. The site provides information on how to use the FOIA. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/

New York Times - "A Selection From the Cache of Diplomatic Dispatches"
From cables released by WikiLeaks. Cable from the U.S. Ambassador about President Robert Mugabe. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html?hp#report/cables-07HARARE638

[Nixon] Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Find information such as a photograph of Pat Nixon representing the U.S. in 1972 at the inauguration of Liberia's President, the dates of visits of African heads of state to the White House, which files have correspondence with African heads of state, etc. The Library holds photographs and videos but these are generally not on-line. Based in Yorba Linda, California. [KF] http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/ or http://nixon.archives.gov/

[Obama] President Barack Obama - Ghana Trip, July 10-11, 2009
President Obama's speeches, videos, New York Times and BBC articles. Commentary from think tanks, African writers. Prepared by the African Collection, Stanford University Libraries.

PBS Global Connections - Liberia and the United States: Historic Ties and Policy Decisions
Grade Level 9-12. "Students will understand how relations between countries change over time in response to both domestic and international pressures. They will think critically about factors affecting U.S. foreign policy toward Liberia and analyze the comparative weight of historic ties, historic debts, pragmatic political alliances, and human rights." Video clips of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Liberia trip, a meeting of President William V. S. Tubman with President John F. Kennedy, President Samuel Doe, commentary by Herman Cohen. Use the PBS search box to find other stories about Liberia. [KF] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/liberia/educators/history/lesson1.html

[Reagan] Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
The Archives include the full text of speeches, statements, videos of events re African affairs. There are many texts on South Africa - U.S. relations during the apartheid era. Photographs include Reagan with Cameroon President Ahidjo, Liberia's President Samuel Doe, Ivory Coast President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, and Mali's President Traore.  http://www.reaganlibrary.com/

Roosevelt, Theodore - African and European Addresses
Addresses given during Theodore Roosevelt's Journey in 1910 from Khartoum through Europe to New York. Download in various forms (PDF, to your iPod, Palm, etc.) Roosevelt was U.S. President 1901-1909. May 31,1910 he spoke on British Rule in Africa - "I visited four different British protectorates or possessions in Africa??namely, East Africa, Uganda, the Sudan, and Egypt......." He spoke on Peace and Justice in the Sudan. Manybooks supplies free e-books. Text originally from Project Gutenberg. [KF] http://www.manybooks.net/titles/rooseveltth13931393013930-8.html

Roosevelt (Theodore): His Life and Times on Film
Use the Search by Keyword to locate small video images of Roosevelt's trip (1909-1910) to Kenya (images are difficult to see) and a cartoon of Roosevelt's arrival in Africa. Part of the Library of Congress, American Memory Project. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/trfhtml/

Sanneh, Lamin - Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa
"Intercontinental Links in the Antislavery Movement, With Special Attention to the American and African Connection." Essay and bibliography. "The story as set out in Abolitionists Abroad looks at the role of blacks themselves in the agitation for freedom and humanity, beginning in the 1770s and ending in the 1890s. The book recounts how the vested slave interests of Europeans, Africans and Arabs came under direct challenge from the organized efforts of these blacks...' From the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. http://www.yale.edu/glc/books/sanneh1.html

Solidarity Research
Site for a book in progress, No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. Editors are Charles Cobb Jr., Gail Hovey, and William Minter. Has a Working Bibliography on African Liberation and American Activists. http://www.solidarityresearch.org

United States, Central Intelligence Agency, Electronic Reading Room
Has a list of older declassified documents including ones on African affairs. Also information on how to file a Freedom of Information Act request to access documents. http://www.foia.cia.gov/

United States, Department of State, Chiefs of Mission by Country, 1778 - 2002
Lists "all former U.S. Ambassadors / Chiefs of Mission. Ambassadors are listed in chronological order within each country." http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/

United States, Library of Congress - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Find how African topics (including the South African War 1899–1902) were depicted in early 20th century U.S. newspapers (published 1900 to 1910), including U.S. comics, book reviews. Full text online. Searches can be saved. A project of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/

United States, Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. 19th Century maps of Liberia
"...includes twenty examples from the American Colonization Society (ACS), organized in 1817 to resettle free black Americans in West Africa. These maps show early settlements in Liberia, indigenous political subdivisions, and some of the building lots that were assigned to settlers. This on-line presentation also includes other nineteenth-century maps of Liberia: a map prepared for a book first published in the 1820's by ACS agent Jehudi Ashmun, a map showing the areas in Liberia that were ceded to the society by indigenous chiefs, and a detailed map dated 1869 by a man thought to be the black American explorer Benjamin Anderson."  Has a History of Liberia Timeline. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/libhtml/libhome.html

Van Wyk, Martha Susanna - The 1977 United States arms embargo against South Africa: institution and implementation to 1997
Full text of a history doctoral thesis. Completed for the University of Pretoria, Department of Historical and Heritage Studies. http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-01312005-150408/

Access by subscription only. U.S. government information. Full text congressional hearings, committee reports, Congresional Research Service reports, press releases, YouTube videos, Twitter, Facebook, op-eds, blogs, transcripts, laws, etc. Limit by date, topic, political party affiliation, and many more parameters. See the myriad Features. Create email alerts to receive new information. https://www.voxgov.com/ 

Washington Office on Africa Archives
The Archives of this anti-apartheid lobbying organization are held by Yale University's Divinity Library. There are finding aids for the collection. http://www.library.yale.edu/div/divhome.htm

WikiLeaks Cables
The London newspaper, The Guardian, has links to United States embassy cables. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/202678

World Public Opinion
"...a consortium of research centers studying public opinion on international issues in their respective countries.......research centers in more than 25 countries across all of the major continents." A few Africa-related public opinion polls - African opinion on the indictment of Sudanese President Bashir for war crimes 2009; African views on globalization 2006; opinions on democracy 2006; the Darfur crisis 2005; globalization, the U.S., Europe, trade 2004. Also U.S. opinion on engagement with Africa 2003. Based in Washington D.C. [KF] http://worldpublicopinion.org