Virtual January Programs Explore African American History
Press Release · Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Washington, DC


In advance of African American History month, the National Archives presents a number of programs on the continuing struggle for Black equality and Civil Rights from the Civil War forward. All programs are free and open to the public but advance registration is required to livestream the event. All will be available afterwards on the National Archives YouTube Channel

KIDS’ PROGRAM: Meet The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 11 a.m.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is portrayed by the Reverend Dr. John Moore, an internationally recognized minister and orator who has spoken and portrayed Dr. King at schools, colleges, churches, and organizational gatherings throughout the nation. Dr. King’s words that inspired the civil rights movement are brought to life for young learners. A Q and A session with Dr. King will follow the presentation. Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel.

BOOK TALK: Inventing Equality: Reconstructing the Constitution in the Aftermath of the Civil War
Thursday, January 21, at 3 p.m.
In Inventing Equality, professor and historian Michael Bellesiles traces the evolution of the battle for true equality from the Revolution through the late 19th century. He identifies the flaws in the Constitution and, through the role of the Supreme Court and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, explores the ways in which equality and inequality waxed and waned over the decades. Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel.

BOOK TALK: The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship 
Wednesday, January 27, at noon
Professor Deborah Willis discusses The Black Civil War Soldier and offers a kaleidoscopic, yet intimate, portrait of the African American experience from the beginning of the Civil War to 1900. Willis pinpoints the importance of African American communities in the development and prosecution of the war and shows how photography helped construct a national vision of blackness, war, and bondage while unearthing the hidden histories of black Civil War soldiers. Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel.

BOOK TALK: Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality
Friday, January 29, at noon
In Forgotten Legacy, historian Benjamin R. Justesen reveals a previously unexamined facet of William McKinley’s Presidency: an ongoing dedication to the advancement of African Americans. During the first two years of his administration, McKinley named nearly as many African Americans to federal office as all his predecessors combined. He also acted to stiffen federal penalties for participation in lynch mobs and to support measures promoting racial tolerance. Nonetheless, historians have long overlooked McKinley’s cooperative relationships with prominent African American leaders, including George Henry White, the nation’s only black congressman between 1897 and 1901. Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel.

Related online resources: 


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This page was last reviewed on January 12, 2021.
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