Santa Rosa Junior College Library Internet Reference

SRJC English Department's

Spring 2005 Work of Literary Merit (WOLM)

Middle Passage
by Charles Johnson

To find information about Charles Johnson and his work, try some of the following sources:

Literature Resource Center & Other Databases
Books, Articles and Films on Library Reserve
Selected Websites on Charles Johnson and Related Topics
English Dept. WOLM Lectures

What is the Work of Literary Merit (WOLM)?
Previous Semesters' WOLM pages

Articles in the Library's Online Databases

Literature Resource Center
This online database includes biographical information about Charles Johnson as well as a brief overview of Middle Passage and literary criticism of Middle Passage. The information is drawn from standard reference books such as Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography and Contemporary Literary Criticism .

(Off campus? -- Use the "Off campus" link for Literature Resource Center on the Library's Articles & Databases page. SRJC User Name and PIN required for off-campus access.)

Expanded Academic ASAP (InfoTrac)
The Expanded Academic ASAP (formerly called "InfoTrac") database contains magazine and journal articles on many topics. A search for "johnson charles " (not "charles johnson ") will locate numerous articles in online magazines as well as in print copies of magazines held in the SRJC libraries. You can also search Expanded Academic ASAP with its Advanced search mode for su johnson charles and su middle passage or for other related topics.

(Off campus? -- Use the "Off campus" link for InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP on the Library's Articles & Databases page. SRJC User Name and PIN are required for off-campus access.)

ProQuest Databases
ProQuest offers articles on the works of author Charles Johnson, including his novel Middle Passage, from magazines, scholarly journals and newspapers.

(Off campus? -- Use the "Off campus" link for All ProQuest Databases on the Library's Articles & Databases page. SRJC User Name and PIN are required for off-campus access.)

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Books, Articles and Films on Library Reserve for the WOLM

A collection of books and journal articles about Charles Johnson and Middle Passage have been placed on reserve in the SRJC libraries for the WOLM project. In addition, several films may be be viewed in the SRJC libraries. In the Plover Library, ask for books and articles at the Reserve Books window; ask for films at the Media Services window. In the Mahoney Library, ask for books, articles or films at the Circulation Desk. (List of books and articles on reserve is coming soon!)

Selected Web Sites for the WOLM Project

On Charles Johnson and His Work
On Topics Related to Middle Passage

Websites on Charles Johnson and His Work

Charles Johnson
The African American Literature Book Club gives very brief biographical information and summaries of three of Johnson's books.
African American Review, Winter 1996.
This special issue of the journal African American Review is devoted to the work of Charles Johnson. It contains numerous articles by and about Johnson, Middle Passage and his other works. Also includes an interview with Johnson.
Four Years of Adventure
Keynote address delivered by Charles Johnson on September 29, 1996, at the Freshman Convocation Ceremonies at the University of Washington where he was Pollock Professor of English.
Sound clip
Very brief recording of Johnson's voice.
IPL Online Literary Criticism Collection - Sites About Middle Passage
This website, from the Internet Public Library, links to six other websites which contain critical articles on Johnson's Middle Passage. A brief summary of each article is included.

Websites On Topics Related to Middle Passage

The Middle Passage: Slaves at Sea
Prepared by a student at Barnard College in New York, this website offers information on the early history of the slave trade, the economic role of the middle passage, and life, daily routine, revolt and death on the slave ships. A collection of links to other middle passage websites is included.
Africans in America, Part 1 - The Middle Passage c 1600-1800
From the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), this page offers a brief overview of the middle passage,as well as illustrations and interviews with several historians. Its Resource Center contains links to many additional interviews, historical documents and background articles. Links to the rest of the Africans in America series are also included. (This PBS video is available in the Media Services Dept. - VC- 3951   Africans in America - Part 1: The Terrible Transformation)
The African American Migration Experience - The Transatlantic Slave Trade
From the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, this outstanding website offers information, original documents and images related to the slave trade. Includes statistics (proportions of females among enslaved Africans making the middle passage, mortality rates, etc.) and a number of first hand narratives.
Timeline: The Atlantic Slave Trade
From the Exploring Amistad website, this timeline extends from 1502
("First reported African slaves in the New World") to 1841 ("Nicholas Trist is dismissed as U.S. Consul in Havana, amid allegations he connived at, or at any rate took no effort to suppress, frequent illegal sales of U.S. vessels to Spanish slave traders.")
Equiano's Autobiography
Also from the PBS program Africans in America, this slave narrative includes an account of the author's own "middle passage."
American Slavery
Join National Public Radio program host Ray Suarez for a look back at American Slavery. Guests discuss the horror of the middle passage; plantation life and its ensuing cultural legacy, and laws that kept many African-Americans in bondage. (Talk of the Nation, February 10, 1997. Listen online.)
The Atlantic Crossing; The Middle Passage
This is the website for a major exhibition which examined the role of the city of Bristol, England in the transatlantic slave trade. Drawing on material from the City museum, records office, library, university, etc., it presents information on slavery routes (including those from Africa to America and from America to Bristol), the people involved (slaves, traders, sailors, merchants, planters, etc.), resistance to slavery and other related topics.
Digital History; African American Voices
Discusses many periods and aspects of slavery. Offers information on slavery in the ancient, medieval and early modern world, ways in which New World slavery was different, why Africa?, the middle passage, significance of the Atlantic slave trade and much more. Includes first hand accounts of the middle passage.
The African American; A Journey from Slavery to Freedom
Prepared for Black History Month 1998 by librarian and professor Melvin Sylvester at Long Island University, this site offers overviews of the beginnings of slavery, the slave trade, the middle passage and other background topics as well as information on specific events and people related to African American slavery. Links are provided to related documents and organizations. A lengthy and well-organized list of additional Internet resources on slavery is also offered.
Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery
This online exhibit from the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture offers illustrated essays on the history of the slave trade and on many aspects of the lives of the African slaves in the United States. Click the images at the bottom of the screen to navigate through different parts of the exhibit.
Documenting the American South: North American Slave Narratives
Looking for information on what happened to slaves in North America after the Middle Passage? This website collects books and articles that document the individual and collective story of African Americans struggling for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. The collection includes all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920. Also included are many of the biographies of fugitive and former slaves and some significant fictionalized slave narratives published in English before 1920."
Slavery and the Making of America
From a PBS program website, this collection of links leads to information on

The Ships

Aboard a Slave Ship, 1829
The Reverend Robert Walsh served aboard one of the ships assigned to intercept the slavers off the African coast after Britain and the United States had passed laws banning the overseas slave trade. This is his account of what the interceptors found when they boarded one of the illegal slave trade ships. Includes illustrations showing how the human "cargo" was stored on the ship.
Slave Ships
This is an advertisement for a book. Skip the advertisements at the top of the page and the excerpts which follow, and scroll down past the middle of the page to view detailed illustrations of one slave ship. The text identifies various parts of the ship and indicates which slaves were stored in each (men, women, boys...)
Slave Ships: Useful Links
From the Breaking the Silence website, a British website designed for teachers, this page offers links to several sites with information concerning the slave ships. Links are also offered to web pages on related topics such as preparation of slaves for sale, revolts and punishments and descriptions of the middle passage itself.
Last Voyage of the Slave Ship Henrietta Marie
This article from National Geographic magazine describes what was learned about the slave trade from the excavation of the Henrietta Marie, the oldest slave ship ever excavated, which was wrecked off the coast of Florida in 1700. (Read the entire article in the Library's online databases Expanded Academic ASAP or ProQuest. Off campus? Use the Off Campus links for Expanded Academic ASAP or ProQuest)

Images and Artifacts of Slavery and the Slave Trade

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record
This collection, from the University of Virginia, contains 1,000 images from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. The images show " the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World." Search by topic word or select from a menu of eighteen subject categories such as pre-colonial Africa, capture of slaves, slave ships and the Atlantic crossing (middle passage), slave sales & auctions, and more.
Artifact Collection
Extensive collection of photographs highlighting some of the more than 25,000 items in the collections of the Middle Passage and African American History Museum. Contains many photographs related to the history of civil rights in the United States, as well as copper bracelets and glass trade beads from the slave trade, transportation and torture artifacts such as ankle fetters, shackles, branding irons and whips, tools and more.
African History: Slavery Images
"A collection of links to various illustrations of slaves and slavery, including slave ships"

Other Related Topics

African Worldview
For perspective and comparison, scroll down the page to view a diagram and a list of several key features of the African spiritual worldview.

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SRJC English Department WOLM Lectures
Monday, March 14, 12:00 noon, Newman Auditorium (Santa Rosa campus)

"When the Unspoken Is Said " -- A multimedia presentation on the history of the middle passage and how the middle  passage  is reclaimed and  employed in  contemporary African American Arts .

photo of Judith Thorn Judith Thorn , Instructor, SRJC Department of Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies
Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 P.M., Newman Auditorium (Santa Rosa campus) Panel discussion
  SRJC English Instructors
Wednesday, March 16, 12:00 Noon, Room 1, Plover Library (Santa Rosa campus) "Aliens and Their Reading Skills: A Discussion of Johnson's The Middle Passage"
Photo of Richard SpeakesRichard Speakes, Instructor, SRJC English Department

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 13-Sep-2006 21:25:52 PDT