Black History Events at the National Archives in February
Press Release · Friday, December 29, 2000

Washington, DC

To celebrate Black History month in February, the National Archives and Records Administration presents four film screenings, two author lectures and one special document display. All programs are free and open to the public and will take place (unless otherwise noted) at the downtown National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, N.W. The public may verify times and dates by calling the National Archives public events line at (202) 501-5000 (TDD users may call 202-501-5404).

PLEASE NOTE: The National Archives Theater is equipped with a system that allows the hearing-impaired to use a set of headphones, or neck loop and a small receiver, to enhance the volume of the public address system. Visitors may request these devices in the projection booth of the Theater.

Thursday, February 1-Special Document Display
African Americans and the Building of the Capitol and White House
Two of Washington, DC's most famous buildings, the White House and the United States Capitol, were built in large part by enslaved African Americans. In observance of African American History Month, the National Archives will display a page from a wage roll and a promissory note that document the work done by slaves on these two historic structures. Through February 28. Rotunda. (Visitors should use Constitution Ave. entrance)

Friday, February 2- Film
African American History

A Photographer of Harlem, released in 1999, documents the life of Harlem photographer Austin Hansen and his contribution to Harlem. Hansen was 12 years old when he first started making pictures in the Virgin Islands. He grew up to become a professional photographer, chronicling Harlem from post-World War II to the mid-1980s. (50 minutes.) Noon. Theater.

Friday, February 9- Film
African American History

The Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory, released in 1999, tells the story of a group of young singers, all but two of them former slaves, who, beginning in 1871, made history by saving Fisk University, introduced the world to the power of spirituals, and challenged racial stereotypes. From the PBS series, The American Experience. (60 minutes.) Noon. Theater.

Friday, February 16- Film
African American History

Duke Ellington's Washington: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Neighborhood, released in 1999. During the early 20th century, Washington, DC, was the cultural capital of black America. Prefiguring Harlem in the 1920s, DC's Uptown area nurtured dynamic figures such as Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Mary Church Terell, Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. Charles Drew. In this documentary, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith tells the often-overlooked story of the heyday, decline, and renewal of Uptown. (57 minutes.) Noon. Theater.

Thursday, February 22-Author Lecture and Booksigning
African American History Month/Genealogy

Tony Burroughs will discuss Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree. Burroughs, director of communication at GENTECH (Genealogy & Technology) is past president of the Afro-American Genealogical Society of Chicago and a genealogy instructor at Chicago State University. Noon. Room 105. Call 202-208-7345 for reservations.

Friday, February 23- Film
African American History

The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels, released in 1999. In the 1890s, the U.S. Army thought it could replace the horse with the newly developed and highly popular "safety bicycle." Testing this theory, the army sent 20 African American soldiers on a 2,000-mile ride from Fort Missoula, MT, to St. Louis, MO. This program traces the group's route across the American West through the eyes of two of its riders: the enthusiastic white officer and a black first sergeant whose experience guided and motivated the enlisted men. (60 minutes.) Noon. Theater.

Tuesday, February 27-Author Lecture and Booksigning
African American History Month

Robert Goldman will discuss Reconstruction and Black Suffrage: Losing the Vote in Reese and Cruikshank. On Easter Sunday 1873, more than 100 black men were gunned down in Grant Parish, LA, for daring to assert their right to vote. Several months earlier, in Lexington, KY, a black man was denied the right to vote for failing to pay a poll tax. These events led to two landmark Supreme Court cases, U.S. v. Reese and U.S. v. Cruikshank, that denied the very existence of any such guarantee and, further, conferred upon the states the right to determine who may vote and under what circumstances. Goldman deftly highlights the cases of within the context of an ongoing power struggle between state and Federal authorities and the realities of being black in postwar America. Focusing especially on the so-called Reconstruction Amendments and Enforcement Acts, he argues that the decisions in Reese and Cruikshank signaled an enormous gap between guaranteed and enforced rights. Noon. Room 105. Call 202-208-7345 for reservations.

National Archives at College Park Films
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740
(For descriptions of the College Park films, see previous listings)

Monday, February 5
*A Photographer of Harlem (50 minutes.) Noon. Auditorium.

Monday, February 12
*The Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory (60 minutes.) Noon. Auditorium.

Tuesday, February 20
* Duke Ellington's Washington: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Neighborhood (57 minutes.) Noon. Auditorium.

Monday, February 26
*The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels (60 minutes.) Noon. Auditorium.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.


This page was last reviewed on June 13, 2018.
Contact us with questions or comments.