National Archives Explores Revolutionary Movements: Black Power and Black Lives Matter
Press Release · Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Washington, DC

On Wednesday,October 19, at 7 p.m., the National Archives presents a special program titled: “Revolutionary Movements Then and Now: Black Power and Black Lives Matter.” To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Power movement, Say it Loud!, the African American Employee Affinity Group a distinguished panel will discuss revolutionary movements of the past and present.

This event is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, and streamed live on YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance, located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Reservations are recommended and can be made online. For those without reservations, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program. The building is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

Moderated by journalist & author A’Lelia Bundles. Panelists include Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL), co-founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party; Ericka Brown-Abram, author of Black Panther Princess and the daughter of former chair of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown; Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter; Jakobi Williams, associate professor of history at Indiana University-Bloomington and author of From the Bullet to the Ballot; and Princess Black, activist and historian. An open reception follows where audience members and panelists may continue the discussion amidst historically significant records relating to social movements in America. Presented in partnership with Say It Loud!, the National Archives African American Employee Affinity Group.

Fifty years ago, Stokely Carmichael first publicly uttered the phrase “Black Power” at a rally during the March Against Fear in Mississippi. Four months later, the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California kicking off the movement to secure empowerment and improve the standing of black people in the United States. Today, Black Lives Matter has become a movement advocating for dignity, justice, and respect in the wake of social and judicial tragedies occurring in America.

New permanent exhibition features section on civil rights for African Americans

The new permanent exhibit at the National Archives, "Records of Rights," uses original documents, photographs, facsimiles, videos, and interactive exhibits to explore how Americans have worked to realize the ideals of freedom enshrined in our nation’s founding documents and how they have debated issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity. A special section of this exhibit, “ Bending toward Justice,” showcases the drive for civil rights for African Americans.

Selected related online resources

  • Check out the National Archives blog, Rediscovering Black History.
  • See the online Guide to genealogy resources for Black history-related research
  • See the Flickr album highlighting Black History-related images at the National Archives.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, popularly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in 1865 by Congress to help former black slaves and poor whites in the South in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War (1861-65). These records are the most extensive documentary source available for investigating the African American experience in the post-Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
  • See images from these records.
  • Read the Prologue Magazine article about the project to preserve and digitize this collection.
  • See the Center for Legislative Archives’ Congress and Harriet Tubman's Claim for a Pension “Congress in History” lesson plan.

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

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This page was last reviewed on October 11, 2016.
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