My Cart

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

Matthew Henson was the first African American to reach and stand on one of earth’s farthest reaches – the North Pole. He traveled with Robert Peary’s expeditions to venture into the desolate lands of the Arctic.

In 1909, Henson, Peary, and four Indigenous natives stood at the top of the world for the first time in recorded history. Together, they faced numerous dangers, harsh landscapes, and sub-zero temperatures.

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…

Scroll to Top