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Sojourner Truth Room

The Sojourner Truth Room is located at the Oxon Hill Branch
The materials are for use only in the Sojourner Truth Room. A library card or other identification is necessary for the use of some materials. 
Copies of selected materials are also in the library's circulating collection. A scanner and photocopy machine are available.

Sojourner Truth room

Sojourner Truth Room

6200 Oxon Hill Road
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Tel:  301-839-2400
TTY: 301-808-2061

Monday 10am-9pm

Tuesday 10am-9pm

Wednesday 10am-9pm 

Thursday 10am-6pm

Friday 10am-6pm 

Saturday 10am-5pm 

Sunday 1pm-5pm 


 

Sojourner TruthThe Sojourner Truth Room is named for the hero of anti-slavery and women’s rights, Sojourner Truth. (Click to learn more about her.) The library branch stands on the site of the Sojourner Truth Elementary School for African Americans. Some of the historical foundation and walls were incorporated into the structure. Now the Sojourner Truth room offers resources on the African American Incorporated Towns of Prince George’s County and a fine research collection on African American history. There is a section of the room dedicated to upcoming engineers and urban planners, with specially equipped workstations, a 3D printer and digital video cameras. Programming that engages customers of all ages is centered in this room.

African American Incorporated Towns in Prince George's County

PG county historic mapFairmount Heights • North Brentwood • • Glenarden • Eagle Harbor

* Click on town name on the map to view information.

Prince George's County is one of the oldest counties in the state of Maryland. It also has the most unique assortment of incorporated black towns in the state. The history of the incorporated towns is one that needs to be displayed and presented, and there is no better place for that sort of presentation than the Sojourner Truth Room. While the room currently has a vast collection of African American history resources, the integration of an incorporated town display would focus that history to a very local and very relevant level.

 

There are currently 22 incorporated towns in Prince George's County, some recently incorporated and others as old as 90 years. North Brentwood was the first African-American incorporated town in the county, established in 1924. It houses the Prince George's County African American Museum and has had it's historical data displayed both in the Anacostia Smithsonian Museum and the State House in Annapolis. That historical data, which was collected and curated by the North Brentwood Historical Society, currently resides in a storage unit and should have a permanent, accessible home. It is this focus that the Sojourner Truth Room needs. It is a mutualistic relationship. The African-American Incorporated Towns exhibit can also serve as a centerpiece for the projects done with the technology. The aim of our project will be to select ten out of the currently twenty two incorporated towns that have the largest African-American population and display their history and background in the Sojourner Truth Room. These ten towns are: North Brentwood, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Glenarden, Eagle Harbor, New Carrollton, Seat Pleasant, Fairmount Heights, Landover Hills, and Croom. Incorporated towns themselves are historic but contained within them are also events and sites that truly speak to Prince George's and its unique local history. This local history is another important aspect of the county that can be exhibited in the Sojourner Truth Room. For example, the port town of Eagle Harbor is a site recognized for its historical significance by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

 

This local history is a part of what makes Prince George's the diverse and inclusive county it is today, the history is researchable but it is also tangible and very present. Focusing the African American history of the room to a local level would add an appeal to the Sojourner Truth Room that cannot be duplicated elsewhere.

African American Research Collection

The Oxon Hill Branch of the Prince George's County Memorial Library System was built on the site of the Sojourner Truth Elementary School in 1967, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In response to the Civil Rights era's growing request for African American research materials, the Oxon Hill Branch Library's special collection was created. It focuses on African American history and culture. Named for Sojourner Truth, the collection continues to honor one of this country's truly remarkable women and has become an outstanding regional resource.

This comprehensive collection of reference materials on African American history and culture includes over 18,000 cataloged items (many are rare or out-of-print), periodicals, sheet music by African American composers, photographs and posters. The pamphlet file contains pamphlets, clippings and other reference sources. The collection is for use in the Sojourner Truth Room but copies of selected materials are also in the library's circulating collection. Information is available from microfilm and hard copy editions of an extensive set of current and historical periodicals, including the NAACP's Crisis (1910), the Journal of Negro History (1916) and Ebony Magazine (1945).

The collection includes editions of some slave narratives and the thirty-one volume Writer's Project series. Other topics are antislavery and slavery tracts, literary criticism, and the history of African Americans in Maryland and Prince George's County.

The books in the Sojourner Truth Room appear in the library catalog. A separate index of biographies, short stories, plays and literary criticism in the collection is available in the Sojourner Truth Room.

 

Sojourner Truth Room

Sojourner Truth Room

Sojourner Truth Room

Books

Sojourner Truth Room

Sojourner Truth Room

 

 

Collection Highlights

Digital Resources

  • All Digital Resources with an emphasis on African American history and culture
  • African American Heritage (ProQuest) ProQuest® African American Heritage is a groundbreaking digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. This collection was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists and recognized leaders in genealogical information to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans. ProQuest African American Heritage connects individuals to a community of research experts.


Databases on CD-ROM (available only in the Sojourner Truth Room)

  •  African Americans in Cinema 
  • The Freedman's Bank Records 
  • The Harvard Guide to African American History 
  • Heritage Book Archives: An Index to the Signature of Deposit for the Freedman's Savings and Loan Bank, 1865-1869 for the State of Mississippi 
  • Indiana African Heritage 
  • People of Color: Black Genealogical Records and Abstracts from Missouri Sources 


Books
The Sojourner Truth Room contains over 18,000 books on all aspects of African American history and culture, including literature, art, music, sociology, religion and biography. Highlights include:

  • 42 volume collection of slave narratives, collected by the Federal Writers' Project of the WPA 
  • 30 volume Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women Writers 
  • reprinted volumes of the papers of Marcus Garvey and Booker T. Washington 
  • first editions and other rare books by African American authors, including works by Harlem Renaissance writers 

Periodicals
The Sojourner Truth Room subscribes to a wide range of popular and scholarly magazines and journals, and maintains complete backfiles of many periodicals, including Ebony, Jet, Crisis, and the Journal of Negro History.

Pamphlet Files
Arranged by subject, the files contain articles from newspapers and magazines, pamphlets, and other ephemera.
A separate photograph file features prominent individuals from the 1970's to the present.

Biography & Literature Index
An extensive card index provides name access to the biographical information found in books in the collection and the pamphlet file. A separate index provides access to the short stories, speeches and plays in the collection.