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Black History Month

  • Matthew Henson: The first African American to reach the North Pole

    This video shares the incredible story in Henson's own words from his 1912 autobiography "A Negro Explorer at the North Pole". The journey to learn more about his significant feat all started when one of our curators, Erika Cosme, decided to read more about Henson's impact on Black history...

  • Investigating The Crime Of The Slave Ship Clotilda

    Dr. Natalie S. Robertson devoted 30 years of research, from Benin to Alabama, shares the story of Clotilda, the last American slave ship, and to tell the startling truth about the Clotilda smuggling crime.

  • Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: The Nilotic People

    Nilotic Peoples delves into the cultures, traditions, and practices of many of these tribal groups, and how they are viewed in our world today.

  • More Hidden Histories Revealed

    After asking the community to help us gather full names and personal stories to bring recognition to these men, our understanding of the richness of our local, national, and global communities expanded greatly.

  • Waterways of Africa: The Nile

    What makes this river so important? Often associated with the ancient Egyptians, the Nile has provided and supported life throughout many countries in Africa. It is connected to several other major bodies of water, and has impacted the development of African cultures for thousands of years.

  • Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: The Swahili Coast

    Stretching 1,800 miles down the eastern coast and with its indigenous African, Middle Eastern and Asian influences, the Swahili coast has been a place of historical, cultural, economic, and political interactions and exchanges for thousands of years.

  • Virginia Waterways and the Underground Rail Road

    From 1830 to 1860, the City of Norfolk was the center of maritime activities in Hampton Roads as the Port of Virginia. These waterways transported goods to points North and enslaved human beings to the Lower South to work on cotton plantations. Yet, these same waterways that condemned so many to hard labor, separating families and causing so much pain, were also used to secure freedom for thousands through a locally autonomous system that fed into a national underground railroad network.

  • Celebrating Black History Month

    From the individual hidden voices that are now being heard to the ancient kingdoms that populated the African continent, Black and African history is intertwined with incredible stories that illustrate both adversity and diversity.

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