A Community Enterprise: The Rosenwald Schools of the National Register for Historic Places

Today's post was written by Alicia Henneberry, Archives Specialist at the National Archives at College Park, MD The Longstreet Rosenwald School, circa 2009 (NAID 73973387) Pictured above is the Longstreet School, a small, quaint structure sitting quietly off Louisiana Route 5 in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Despite its perfectly ordinary and unassuming appearance, this building represented … Continue reading A Community Enterprise: The Rosenwald Schools of the National Register for Historic Places

Treating Race at St. Elizabeths Hospital

Today’s post comes from Ben Miller, an intern with the Exhibits team at the National Archives Museum. On August 31, 1852, Congress appropriated $100,000 to create the government hospital for the insane in Washington, DC. Soon known as St. Elizabeths, the hospital was meant to be a “model institution,” providing the highest quality mental health … Continue reading Treating Race at St. Elizabeths Hospital

Portal Spotlight: World War I

In 1917, when the United States declared war on Germany and entered the Great War, African Americans were supportive. The patriotic spirit of the era encouraged Black men and women to enlist in the military, in order to fight for freedom and democracy. Although their patriotism was just as great as their white American counterparts, … Continue reading Portal Spotlight: World War I

“It Is Our Earnest Hope That You Will Give Every Support to Our Plea for Democracy in the Nation’s Capital:” Ending Jim Crow in Washington, D.C.’s Public Pools

Today's post was written by Joshua Schroeder, archives technician at the National Archives at College Park. On September 6th, 1950, Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman triumphantly reported to President Harry Truman that Washington, D.C.’s public pools had been successfully and peacefully integrated. A body of digitized records from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library … Continue reading “It Is Our Earnest Hope That You Will Give Every Support to Our Plea for Democracy in the Nation’s Capital:” Ending Jim Crow in Washington, D.C.’s Public Pools

In the Long Tradition of Civil Rights: Tribute to C. T. Vivian and John Lewis

“It’s about life, and who you are as a human being. Today is a sad day in that we lost two of the most powerful activists we’ve ever had – C.T. Vivian and John Lewis. The impact they had on America is unbelievable…” ~Chris Paul On July 17, 2020, two icons of the Civil Rights … Continue reading In the Long Tradition of Civil Rights: Tribute to C. T. Vivian and John Lewis

A Rare Find: Passport Applications of Free Blacks

Today's post was written by Rebecca Sharp, Archives Specialist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Several years ago, I received a telephone call from a researcher that turned out to be an extremely intriguing and challenging question.  The researcher wanted to know if there might be additional documentation relating to the passport application of … Continue reading A Rare Find: Passport Applications of Free Blacks

Not Just a Harlem Thing

Today's post was written by Joshua Cain, Archives Technician at the National Archives in College Park, MD In the 1920s, the neighborhood of Harlem in Manhattan was the epicenter for a new movement that empowered African Americans to express themselves and their experiences in various facets of the arts. New poems, books, paintings, and literature … Continue reading Not Just a Harlem Thing

Dr. George Edmund Haynes: Social Crusader in Black Economics

Today's post was written by Gabrielle Hutchins, Ph.D, an archivist at the National Archives in College Park, MD George Edmund Haynes Dr. George Edmund Haynes is one of many remarkable figures in the history of the African American labor movement.  During the 1920s, Dr. Haynes truthfully captured Black laborers' stories as he traveled throughout the … Continue reading Dr. George Edmund Haynes: Social Crusader in Black Economics

William Dorsey Swann, the Queen of Drag

Today's post was written by Netisha Currie, archives specialist at the National Archives in College Park, MD. The wonderful thing about the massive amounts of paper that the National Archives has is that there will always be another story to uncover. At the beginning of this year, I came across the article “The First Drag … Continue reading William Dorsey Swann, the Queen of Drag

Slaves in the Family and Escape on the Pearl: A Report on Two Books that Used NARA Records

Today's post was written by Damani Davis, an Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Among the most tangible products validating the work of National Archives' (NARA) reference staff are the books written by the many researchers we’ve assisted over the years. Often, there can be a type of synergistic or mutually beneficial relationship … Continue reading Slaves in the Family and Escape on the Pearl: A Report on Two Books that Used NARA Records