Black History Essay Topics

Black history, or African-American history, is full of fascinating stories, rich culture, great art, and courageous acts that were undertaken within circumstances that we can hardly imagine in modern society. While Civil Rights events are the most common themes in our studies, we should resist equating African-American history only with Civil Rights-era history. There is so much more to explore! This list contains 50 prompts that might lead you into some interesting and little-known information about African-American history.

Note: Your first challenge in studying some of the topics below is finding resources. When conducting an Internet search, be sure to place quotation marks around your search term (try different variations) to narrow your results.

  1. African-American newspapers
  2. African-American soldiers in the American Revolution
  3. African-American soldiers in the Civil War
  4. Aviators
  5. Buffalo Soldiers
  6. Business-owning slaves
  7. Buying time
  8. Camp Logan Riots
  9. Clennon Washington King, Jr.
  10. Coffey School of Aeronautics
  11. Crispus Attucks
  12. Domestic labor strikes in the South
  13. Finding lost family members after emancipation
  14. First African Baptist Church
  15. Fort Mose
  16. Freedom's Journal
  17. Gospel music
  18. Gullah heritage
  19. Harlem Hellfighters
  20. Harlem Renaissance
  21. Harriet Tubman
  22. Historically Black Colleges
  23. History of rock-and-roll
  24. Inventors
  25. John Brown
  26. Jumping the broom
  27. Manumission papers
  28. Maroon villages in the eighteenth century
  29. Midwifery
  30. Motown Records
  31. Multi-cultural pirate ships
  32. Nat Turner
  33. Otelia Cromwell
  34. Property-owning slaves
  35. Purchasing freedom
  36. Ralph Waldo Tyler
  37. Register of Free Persons of Color
  38. Secret schools in antebellum America
  39. Sherman's March followers
  40. Slave Narratives
  41. Susie King Taylor
  42. The Amistad
  43. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
  44. The Communist Party (involvement)
  45. The Great Migration
  46. The Haitian Revolution
  47. Tuskegee Airmen
  48. Underground Railroad
  49. Urban slavery (related to buying time)
  50. Wilberforce College, Ohio