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

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

Portal Spotlight: Civil Unrest and the Red Summer

Today's post was written by Bob Nowatzki, Archives Technician in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The early 20th century witnessed the migration of hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West. One of the main causes for this mass migration was the continuing … Continue reading Portal Spotlight: Civil Unrest and the Red Summer

Two Dead in Mississippi: Remembering the Jackson State Killings of 1970

Today’s blog post was written by Bob Nowatzki and Joshua Schroeder in Research Services at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland “completely unwarranted and unjustified” -President’s Commission on Campus Unrest, 1970 From May 13th to May 15th, 1970, Jackson State College, by then a nearly century-old Historically Black College and University (HBCU), erupted in … Continue reading Two Dead in Mississippi: Remembering the Jackson State Killings of 1970