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Special Collections

African American Literature Special Collection

The African American Literature Special Collection (AALSC) was initially focused on literature written by African Americans from Detroit or who wrote about the city. It has developed into a comprehensive collection of works by and about African American authors. Topics include slavery, race relations, Black leaders, performers and athletes, United States history, political activism, folklore, Africa, and religion.

There are over 4,500 unique titles in this collection that spans from 1807 to 2014.

For more on the history of the AALSC, check out this article from the Metro Times.

Arthur L. Johnson African-American History Collection

The Arthur L. Johnson collection of books, videos and non-print materials reflects the history of African Americans as it relates to the civil rights movement in the United States. The purpose of the collection is to serve the teaching and research needs of students and faculty, as well as the Detroit metropolitan community. The collection began in 1993 with a donation of several print and non-print materials from Arthur L. Johnson and the establishment of the Arthur L. Johnson Endowment. Items in this collection may be located in the catalog.

Images from the Collection

Maud Martha

By Gwendolyn Brooks

Une Vie de toutes les Couleurs

By Josephine Baker and Andre Rivollet

Uncle Tom's Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

A Feast of Poetry

Celebrating Thirty Years of Lotus Press and Its Poets

The Big Sea

By Langston Hughes

Working with the Hands

By Booker T. Washington

Jonah's Gourd Vine

By Zora Neale Hurston