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Category: African Americans

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AFC and VHP Collections Featured in the New Exhibition, “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress” in the new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

On June 13th, a new exhibition titled, “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” opened to the public in the new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery in the Thomas Jefferson Building. This post highlights items from the collections of the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project featured in the exhibition.

Dr. Melissa Cooper delivering a lecture as part of the American Folklife Center's Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series at the Whittall Pavilion at the Library of Congress.

Botkin Folklife Lectures Plus: Dr. Melissa Cooper, Scholar of Gullah Geechee Cultural History

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

On April 10, 2024, Dr. Melissa Cooper (Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University-Newark) presented a fascinating lecture on Gullah Geechee cultural history at the Library of Congress, as part of the American Folklife Center's Benjamin A. Botkin Lecture Series. In this post, we highlight the video recording of Cooper's lecture and an oral history interview with Cooper, conducted by American Folklife Center staff members.

Two interviewers with interviewee, standing in the streets of New Orleans.

COVID Recollections: “People Make the World Move”- Pandemic Stories from New Orleans-Area Service and Hospitality Workers

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

In this post, guest authors Sara T. Bernstein and Elise Chatelain, members of Dismantle Media and Culture Alliance, describe their experiences documenting the COVID-19 experiences of service and hospitality workers in New Orleans as part of the American Folklife Center's COVID-19 American History Project. This post is the first in a new Folklife Today blog series titled, "COVID Recollections." The series features stories, dispatches, and reflections from the COVID-19 American History Project, a Congressionally funded initiative to create an archive of Americans' experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic at the American Folklife Center.

Leah Chase, owner of the renowned Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans being interviewed at her establishment.

Now Available: The Fifth Season of the America Works Podcast

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

Season 5 of America Works, a podcast from the American Folklife Center (AFC) celebrating the diversity, resilience, and creativity of American workers, is now available on loc.gov/podcasts. In this post, Nancy Groce, AFC Senior Folklife Specialist, explains what we will hear in Season 5, focused on African American workers.

a man in a camouflage uniform

Three Days

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

The following is a guest blog post by Travis Bickford, head of programs and communications at The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). On August 28, 2005, it was 111 degrees in Baghdad. That kind of heat makes you conspiratorial, like “nah, this ain’t real” kind of heat. I’d only been in country a …

Candace Milburn with the contencts of the African-American veteran themed "Go Box"

Black History Month ‘Go Box’ – Surrogates from the Veterans History Project Collection

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

The following is a guest blog post by Candace Milburn, a liaison specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). You might ask, “What’s the meaning behind a ‘Go Box?’” To answer your question, the story began when former VHP Director Karen Lloyd shared that during her service in the Army, each service member was given …

“Jail, No Bail”: Tactics of Protest in the Freedom Struggle in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Posted by: Guha Shankar

Sixty-one years ago this month, on February 1, 1961, the “Friendship Nine” – a group of African American college students at Friendship Junior College - adopted an unorthodox tactic termed “Jail, No Bail” during their appearance on trespassing charges in a Rock Hill, South Carolina court. The group had been arrested the previous day for trying to get service at a segregated lunch counter in the city (in other words, they staged a “sit-in”). Rather than paying a fine for violating a public ordinance, as was the norm, they chose instead to serve out their sentence of thirty days of hard labor on a county chain gang. In commemoration of Black History Month, my post today (number 999 in AFC blog history!) reaches into the Civil Rights History Project collection to illuminate this facet of the civil rights era as recollected by veteran activists.

Violet Hill Gordon in uniform.

The Courage to Deliver: The Women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

The following is a guest blog post by Nathan Cross, an archivist for the American Folklife Center. This African American History Month, the Veterans History Project (VHP) is pleased to announce a new resource designed to introduce VHP’s holdings related to the veterans of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all-African American, all-female unit …

man seated in wheelchar singing next to a podium

From Conflict to Creativity: The Journeys of Matthew Gill and Teresa K. Howes

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

The following is a guest blog post co-authored by U.S. Navy veteran Matthew Gill and U.S. Army/Army National Guard veteran Teresa K. Howes. This is the second in a four-part guest series featuring military veteran artists who are members of Uniting US, a veteran-focused nonprofit arts organization. Go here to read part 1. In recognition …