Courses/Lectures

Each of the 34 courses available can be enrolled in individually, or in packages.  Each course is an approximately 1-hour session that consists of the opportunity for the students to interact with the associated artifacts, and a discussion exercise tailored for your specific class in accordance with your teacher's curriculum/recommendations.  If the Course List below doesn’t fit your needs, we can work together to develop the presentation you desire – from control of the discussion topics to selection of items to be presented.

The Origins of Black History

Since the first book on Black History in America written by Rev. James W.C. Pennington in 1841, Black historians have sought to tell the stories of their ancestors.  In this collection we have some of those earliest efforts by the men considered to be the Grandfather of Black History, George Washington Williams, and Father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson,, and can study them to learn how our historians have continued to preserve our history.

 

Artifacts: Williams' book, A History of the Negro Race in America from 1619-1880, 1885 edition; Woodson’s Negro Makers of History, 2nd Edition and the Negro In Our History, 4th Edition; 1917 Vol II copy of Journal of Negro History, 1924 and 1926 copies, other relevant items.

George Washington Williams and The History of the Negro Race - George W. Williams was born free in Pennsylvania in 1849, but when the opportunity for Black men to join the Union Army arose he snuck into the Army at only 14 years of age.  After the war, Williams enrolled in the Newton Theological Institution and served as pastor of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston. He would go on to become a journalist, creating The Commoner in 1875 and served as the first Black member of the Massachusetts State Legislature.. After serving one term, Williams ended his brief career in politics and instead chose to focus his attention on work as a historian.  He wrote the first general history of African-Americans, publishing The History of the Negro Race from 1619-1881, a work of several hundred pages diligently researched.  While it was not the first book on African-American History written by a Black man, it is wildly considered to be the first authoritative work on the subject.  While Carter G. Woodson rightfully holds the title of "Father of Black History", George Washington Williams is certainly the "Grandfather of Black History."  The book shown above is the 1885 edition of Williams' seminal work.

Early Editions of Journal of Negro History - fgfgCarter G. Woodson is recognized as the "Father of Black History" not only because he championed the fight for recognition of Black History in the form of Black History Week (which eventually became Black History Month), but also because of the tireless efforts he put forth in telling the untold stories of African-American history.  Equally important, with the creation of the Journal of Negro History he created a platform for other Black scholars to emerge.  Woodson for many years served as editor of the Journal of Negro History, as well as a leading faculty member of Howard University.  In the collection seen above are early copies of Woodson's Journal of Negro History, including one from its second yeard of publication (Volume II, 1917).