“Lift Every Voice”: A Tribute to Lani Guinier

“As a country, we are in a state of denial about issues of race and racism. And too many of our leaders have concluded that the way to remedy racism is to simply stop talking about race.” ~Lani Guinier Lani Guinier, 1993 (flickr) On January 7, 2022, attorney, law professor, and author Lani Guinier passed … Continue reading “Lift Every Voice”: A Tribute to Lani Guinier

“They Call Me Mister Tibbs!”: A Tribute to Sidney Poitier

“I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.” ~Sidney Poitier On January 6, 2022, Oscar award winning actor, director, ambassador, and civil rights activist Sidney Poitier KBE passed away at the age of 94 in Los Angeles, California. His dignity, style, and grace made Poitier one of … Continue reading “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!”: A Tribute to Sidney Poitier

Rediscovering Black History Top 5 Posts of 2021

These were the most viewed posts of 2021! Thanks so much for reading Rediscovering Black History, we look forward to bringing you more stories from the National Archives relating to Black history in 2022! #6 Before Kamala - Black Women in Presidential Administrations Black women who have served in Presidential administrations. Marking the occasion of … Continue reading Rediscovering Black History Top 5 Posts of 2021

President Obama and Tutu embrace

No Future Without Forgiveness – A Tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu On December 26, 2021, the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Cape Town, passed away at the age of 90 in Cape Town, South Africa. Tutu led a life … Continue reading No Future Without Forgiveness – A Tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Baker speaking at a microphone

An American Original Inducted into the French Pantheon – Josephine Baker

Today's post was written by Netisha Currie, archives specialist at the National Archives at College Park. On November 30, 2021, Josephine Baker was bestowed the honor of Panthéonisation - being inducted into the national mausoleum of heroes at the French Pantheon. She is the first entertainer, Black woman, American, and only the sixth woman to … Continue reading An American Original Inducted into the French Pantheon – Josephine Baker

African American Seamen of the Antebellum Era: Using Seamen’s Protection Certificates to Document Early Black Mariners

During the Civil War, approximately 17,000 men of African heritage served in the Union Navy.  As noted by historian Joseph P. Reidy, this number represented approximately 20 percent of the enlisted men in the U.S. Navy at that time, which was “nearly double the proportion of black soldiers who served in the U.S. Army during … Continue reading African American Seamen of the Antebellum Era: Using Seamen’s Protection Certificates to Document Early Black Mariners

certificate listing couple and their child

Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Black Families

Marriage of a colored soldier at Vicksburg by Chaplain Warren of the Freedmen's Bureau (Library of Congress) During the Reconstruction period of U.S. history (1865-1877), many people who had previously been enslaved tried to reunite with family members from whom they had been separated by their enslavers. This collective search can be seen as another … Continue reading Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Black Families

From the Battlefield to the World’s Stage: A Tribute to General Colin L. Powell

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” ~Colin Powell On October 18, 2021, four-star general, diplomat, and statesman Colin L. Powell passed away at the age of 84, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center … Continue reading From the Battlefield to the World’s Stage: A Tribute to General Colin L. Powell

exterior view of church showing front steps and stained glass windows on side

Places of Worship as Epicenters for Change: Highlights from the National Register of Historic Places

Today’s post was written by Alicia Henneberry, Archives Specialist at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The United States is an eclectic patchwork of diverse faiths and religious beliefs that manifest physically in a community of believers and the places of worship in which they gather. Throughout history, some of these places of worship … Continue reading Places of Worship as Epicenters for Change: Highlights from the National Register of Historic Places

facade of a 2 story brick Georgian brick building

Preserving a Community’s Legacy: The History of The Gregory School

Today's post was written collaboratively by staff from The African American Library at the Gregory School and the National Archives: Miguell Caesar, Lead Archivist/Manager; Sheena Wilson, Archivist/Assistant Manager (both at the Gregory School); Damani Davis, Archivist/Subject Matter Expert of Records Related to the African American Experience; Billy R. Glasco, Jr., Archivist at The Jimmy Carter Presidential … Continue reading Preserving a Community’s Legacy: The History of The Gregory School