A carte-de-viste depicting the Fisk University Jubilee Singers, with all nine members present.

Lesser-Known Stories

Shining a new light on the African American past and people who made history

Enslaved at the White House

Paul Jennings, enslaved by James and Dolly Madison, bought his freedom and published a personal memoir in 1865.

The First African American Physician

James McCune Smith, the first African American to hold a medical degree, fought against the false scientific claims of Black inferiority.

Preacher Jarena Lee: Praise in the Meantime

Jarena Lee experienced both the intense religiosity of the late 1700s and discrimination against women as she sought to become a preacher.

The Man Behind Tennessee Whiskey

Nathan “Nearest” Green was the first known Black master distiller and creator of the blueprint behind Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.

Enslaved at the White House

Paul Jennings, enslaved by James and Dolly Madison, bought his freedom and published a personal memoir in 1865.

The First African American Physician

James McCune Smith, the first African American to hold a medical degree, fought against the false scientific claims of Black inferiority.

Preacher Jarena Lee: Praise in the Meantime

Jarena Lee experienced both the intense religiosity of the late 1700s and discrimination against women as she sought to become a preacher.

The Man Behind Tennessee Whiskey

Nathan “Nearest” Green was the first known Black master distiller and creator of the blueprint behind Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.

Crossing the Color Line to Freedom

William and Ellen Craft, fugitives from slavery, devised a cunning plan that crossed race, gender, and class lines.

An African American Venturer

"Free" Frank McWorter, founded New Philadelphia, Illinois, the first known town to be founded and platted by an African American.

The Water Spirit Will Take Us Home

The mass suicide by captive Africans at Igbo Landing marks one of the most significant acts of resistance by enslaved people.

Crossing the Color Line to Freedom

William and Ellen Craft, fugitives from slavery, devised a cunning plan that crossed race, gender, and class lines.

An African American Venturer

"Free" Frank McWorter, founded New Philadelphia, Illinois, the first known town to be founded and platted by an African American.

The Water Spirit Will Take Us Home

The mass suicide by captive Africans at Igbo Landing marks one of the most significant acts of resistance by enslaved people.