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Stories

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

    Featured Story

    Black and white photgraph of 6 Black children standing in a line with hands by theri side.  There are 2 boys and 4 girls pictured.  The children are dressed up for school and look directly at the camera
    Historic Event

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

    The Brown v. Board decision overturned segregation in public schools. Learn how the Legal Defense Fund built lawsuits to challenge segregation in the courts.

      All Stories

      Illustration of White House
      Historic Event

      Enslaved at the White House

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

        Illustration of outdoor church gathering
        Biography

        Preacher Jarena Lee: Praise in the Meantime

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

          Man rolling whiskey barrels through a production floor
          Biography

          The Man Behind Tennessee Whiskey

          Nathan "Nearest" Green, the first known Black master distiller, created the blueprint for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.

            Black and white photgraph of 6 Black children standing in a line with hands by theri side.  There are 2 boys and 4 girls pictured.  The children are dressed up for school and look directly at the camera
            Historic Event

            Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

            The Brown v. Board decision overturned segregation in public schools. Learn how the Legal Defense Fund built lawsuits to challenge segregation in the courts.

              Historic map of Philadelphia
              Biography

              Crossing the Color Line to Freedom

              William and Ellen Craft devised an ingenious plan to escape slavery that took them across race, gender, and class lines.

                Photograph of African American man and horse
                Biography

                An African American Venturer

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

                  Photograph of Boat in the Marshes of St. Simon’s Island
                  Historic Event

                  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.

                    Printed cartoon showing the assignation of Octavius Catto in Philadelphia in 1871.
                    Biography

                    Octavius Catto

                    Octavius Catto was a civil rights activist in Pennsylvania . Learn about his life and impact in Philadelphia’s Black community during Reconstruction.

                      Photograph of 5 women from AKA Sorority
                      Historic Event

                      The Mississippi Health Project II: AKA Revisits Its Model for Community Health Care

                      In June and October of 2021, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. offered an array of health services to Mississippi residents in underserved communities.

                        Black and white photograph of three children walking down street.  There are houses in the background.
                        Biography

                        George Henry White

                        George Henry White was the last African American Congressman of the 1800s. Learn about his life before and after Congress and his commitment to justice.

                          Portrait of Bridget "Biddy" Mason
                          Biography

                          Bridget “Biddy” Mason

                          Entrepreneur and philanthropist Bridget “Biddy” Mason helped to establish the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles.

                            Photograph of Workers at the Pacific Parachute Company
                            Historic Event

                            The Pacific Parachute Company

                            Skydiving entrepreneur Howard “Skippy” Smith founded one of the first Black-owned and managed war production plants during World War II.

                              Photograph of Homer G. Philips hospital and students
                              Historic Event

                              Homer G. Phillips Hospital and School of Nursing

                              Homer G. Phillips Hospital served as the preeminent training facility for African American nurses and physicians during segregation.

                                Illustration of school building
                                Biography

                                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.

                                  An illustration of a school house on fire. Some onlookers cheer, while others run towards help.
                                  Historic Event

                                  The Memphis Massacre

                                  In 1866 police and white civilians attacked the African American community in Memphis, Tennessee. Learn about the massacre and listen to survivor testimony.

                                    A black and white photograph of two soldiers, in military fatigues, perched on the edge of the windshield, boots resting on the jeep's hood.
                                    Historic Event

                                    Black Power and 'The Black G.I.'

                                    'The Black G.I.', a documentary made by the public television program Black Journal, provides a unique view of Black military life during the Vietnam War.

                                      Black and White photograph of female African American students seated in a classroom.  They appear to be sewing/  There are several women standing toward the chalkboard in the rear of the class.  There is one sewing machine in the foreground, being used by a woman.  A woman stands in the front of the class next to a dressed mannequin wearing a long-sleeved blouse and long skirt.
                                      Historic Event

                                      W.E.B. Du Bois at the 1900 Paris Exposition

                                      In 1900, W.E.B. Du Bois traveled to the 1900 Paris Exposition, a world’s fair featuring the innovations of the new century.

                                        A photograph of an African American woman washing laundry outdoors in a yard. Clothes hand behind her on a line.
                                        Historic Event

                                        Atlanta Washerwomen Strike

                                        In 1881 Washerwomen in Atlanta formed a union and went on strike to demand better wages. Learn about the harsh conditions they faced and how they won.

                                          Black and White Photograph of standing students
                                          Biography

                                          Vivian Carter Mason

                                          Social worker, educator, and civil rights activist Vivian Carter Mason worked across racial lines to fight for equal education in Norfolk, Virginia.

                                            Cover image of "Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South"
                                            Biography

                                            Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins

                                            Literary author and editor Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins used the power of the press to challenge society’s assumptions about Black women.

                                              The inside title page is covered in decorative floral and leaf scroll work. The title reads, [ILLUMINATED / DIARY / for / 1868.]. Underneath is an illustrated image of the sea with a mast ship. The publisher below reads, [PUBLISHED BY / TAGGARD & THOMPSON, No. 29 CORNHILL, / BOSTON.]
                                              Biography

                                              The Remarkable Rollin Sisters

                                              The Rollin sisters shaped the politics of Reconstruction-era South Carolina. Learn how they challenged society’s views of Black women and fought for equality.

                                                Photograph of Louis Manigault, Jr. in a field
                                                Present to Past

                                                Land as Legacy

                                                African Americans who inherited land from their ancestors are fighting to keep their land and family legacies.

                                                  Black women in masks at a protest
                                                  Present to Past

                                                  Medical Racism

                                                  The COVID-19 Pandemic has highlighted many systemic inequalities that impact African American health and access to health care.

                                                    Geoffrey Canada teaching students
                                                    Present to Past

                                                    Education for All

                                                    African Americans established schools for their communities and have taken innovative approaches to education while challenging segregation and discrimination.

                                                      General Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander, United States Central Command and former Commanding General, United States Forces – Iraq
                                                      Present to Past

                                                      Military Service

                                                      African American servicemen and women have pushed boundaries and climbed to the highest ranks of the military.

                                                        People waiting in line to vote
                                                        Present to Past

                                                        Legislating Rights

                                                        Supreme Court rulings gutting the legal protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have allowed states to restrict access to the ballot.