National Archives Celebrates Black History Month in February
Press Release · Monday, January 8, 2007

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Washington, DC…The National Archives will celebrate Black History Month birthday in February with special films, public programs, lectures and films. These programs are open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. All events are free, unless otherwise noted.

Please note: For programs at the National Archives Building, the public must use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. The National Archives at College Park, MD is located at 8601 Adelphi Road. For directions to both locations see our Washington, DC Area Locations web page.

Banneker Monument Unveiling and Panel Discussion
Friday, February 15, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building
The Center for the National Archives Experience, in partnership with the Washington Interdependence Council, will host the unveiling of the prototype of the Benjamin Banneker Memorial, a monument to the 18th century African American mathematician, astronomer, clockmaker, and publisher. The monument is planned as part of the L’Enfant Plaza/Banneker Overlook Park promenade in Southwest DC. The program will include a panel discussion exploring Banneker’s impact on history. Moderated by actor and activist Clayton LeBouef, the panel will include Kevin Marvel, executive officer of the American Astronomical Society, and Michael Eric Dyson, author and professor at Georgetown University. Tina Allen, celebrated California sculptor and Artist of Record for the Banneker Memorial, will share her interpretation of the subject and unveil the prototype, and poet Ty Gray-El will perform a poetic tribute to Banneker.

Related National Archives “Know Your Records” Programs

Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records
Tuesday, February 5, at 11 a.m., Room G-24, National Archives Building Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
To celebrate African American Heritage Month and Valentine’s Day, National Archives archivist Reginald Washington will discuss marriage records among the Freedmen’s Bureau records. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, February 7, at 11 a.m.)

What’s New in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC)?
Wednesday, February 20, at 11:30 a.m., Room G-24, National Archives Building Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Archives specialist Jill Reilly James will review general records of genealogical interest described in ARC and will present new ARC descriptions of and web pages related to African American history. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, on Thursday, February 21, at 11 a.m.)

Using Federal Records for African American Genealogical Research
Saturday, February 23, 10:15 a.m.–1:30 p.m., National Archives Building, Jefferson Room
Archivist Reginald Washington will discuss using census records, military service and pension files, Freedmen’s Bureau records, and other Federal records for African American genealogical research. Reservations are required, and a fee of $20 is payable by cash or check (payable to NATF) at the door. Call 202-357-5333.

Film - Eyes on the Prize
February 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, at noon
National Archives Building, William G. McGowan Theater

On Tuesdays and Fridays throughout February, The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives and the National Archives Afro-American History Society will show this landmark 14-part PBS series, which first aired in 1987. Produced by Blackside, Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights movement from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions changed the fabric of American life. Each showing is 60 minutes.

Two Societies (1965–68)
Friday, February 1, at noon

Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference come north to help Chicago’s civil rights leaders in their nonviolent struggle against segregated housing.

Power! (1966–68)
Tuesday, February 5, at noon

The call for Black Power takes various forms across communities in black America.

The Promised Land (1967–68)
Friday, February 8, at noon

In the midst of political organizing, Martin Luther King detours to support striking sanitation workers in Memphis, where he is assassinated.

Ain’t Gonna Shuffle No More (1964–72)
Tuesday, Febraury 12, at noon

A call to pride and a renewed push for unity galvanize black America.

A Nation of Law? (1968–71)
riday, February 15, at noon

Black activism is increasingly met with a violent and unethical response from local and Federal law enforcement agencies.

The Keys to the Kingdom (1974–80)
Tuesday, February 19, at noon

In the 1970s, legal rights gained by the civil rights movement are put to the test. In Boston, some whites violently resist a Federal court school desegregation order.

Back to the Movement (1979–mid 1980s)
Friday, February 22, at noon

Power and powerlessness: Miami’s black community—pummeled by urban renewal, a lack of jobs, and police harassment—explodes in rioting.

Both Archives facilities are fully accessible. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program, please send an e-mail to: or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event. To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call 202-357-5333, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.


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