Basketball Legend and Civil Rights Champion: A Tribute to Bill Russell

“Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.” ~ Bill Russell President Obama getting a hug from Bill Russell. (NAID 222096181) On July 31, 2022, Civil Rights Activist and National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Famer William Felton Russell passed away at the age … Continue reading Basketball Legend and Civil Rights Champion: A Tribute to Bill Russell

Jordan, looking to the side with hands coming together in front of her face

The Keynote Speaker – Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

This June, the National Archives Say it Loud! African American Employee Affinity Group, Houston Public Library's African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC) teamed up to create an online exhibit celebrating one of the most eloquent and preeminent women to come out of the great state of Texas, … Continue reading The Keynote Speaker – Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

view of Black students sitting closely together in crowded classroom

Equalization and its Role in Dismantling Racial Segregation in Virginia Public Schools

Today's post was written by Grace Schultz, archivist at the National Archives at Philadelphia. A companion lesson plan can be viewed in DocsTeach. The fight to desegregate schools started long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al. (NAID 561058), and it continues today. As … Continue reading Equalization and its Role in Dismantling Racial Segregation in Virginia Public Schools

white doctor administers injection to a participant wearing a blue shirt w/sleeve rolled up looking at his arm

A Long Overdue Apology

“To the survivors, to the wives and family members, the children and the grandchildren, I say what you know: No power on Earth can give you back the lives lost, the pain suffered, the years of internal torment and anguish. What was done cannot be undone. But we can end the silence. We can stop … Continue reading A Long Overdue Apology

Experiencing Black Joy through Federal Records

Joy is defined as an emotion of great delight or happiness that is often caused by a positive or an extraordinary experience. Joy can be good for one’s health and wellness. Scientists and psychologists have studied the effects of joy on people, and determined that joy can prevent stress, improve heart health, reduce pain, and … Continue reading Experiencing Black Joy through Federal Records

“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

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

illustrated bus terminal building

The People v. Jim Crow: Federal Cases that Inspired the Freedom Rides of 1961

Today's post was written by Billy R. Glasco, Jr., archivist at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. In 1961, the Freedom Riders purposely challenged a system that ignored a series of civil rights cases, ruling segregation of interstate commerce unconstitutional.  The legal battles that inspired the Freedom Rides were fought by a World War … Continue reading The People v. Jim Crow: Federal Cases that Inspired the Freedom Rides of 1961

elevator entrance w/ornate art deco design

“You people go back and wait for the second trip:” Racism at the Hoover Dam

Today's post was written by Cody White, Archivist at the National Archives in Denver Author’s historical note: While originally named the Hoover Dam in 1931, the dam was renamed Boulder during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency and called this in 1936, when the following story takes place. In 1947, the name reverted back to Hoover Dam, … Continue reading “You people go back and wait for the second trip:” Racism at the Hoover Dam