African-American Studies

Freedom Summer 1964

America’s effort to fulfill the promise of civil rights guaranteed in the Constitution played out as a long, slow grind in the twentieth century, with key moments that reshaped the conversation. The Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi was such a moment that transformed the civil rights movement and American politics. Come out for a movie and discussion that will explore the grand ambitions and unmet hopes of youthful activism in the period.

The host organization must provide a DVD player and a projector for this presentation. Program only available in Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, and Union Counties

Christopher Fisher
Associate Professor of History, The College of New Jersey

Madame CJ Walker: “Self Made Woman”

Walker was a 19th Century entrepreneur, and an early civil rights advocate. She revolutionized the hair care and cosmetics industry, becoming America’s first, female, self-made millionaire. As a member of the NAACP, she was instrumental in their efforts to make lynching a federal crime. Walker was recognized by the National Association of Colored Women for her contributions to save the home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. She donated regularly to the NAACP, the YMCA, and to black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, and retirement homes.

American Historical Theatre
A nonprofit organization specializing in first-person living history presentations.

Program only available in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean Counties, and Salem counties.

Martin Luther King Jr.: “A Man of Conscience”

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the world’s greatest orators, as well as a pastor, activist, and humanitarian. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work combating racial inequality through the use of nonviolent civil disobedience. His most famous speech, (“I Have a Dream”) was first delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

American Historical Theatre
A nonprofit organization specializing in first-person living history presentations.

The Rise and Fall of Negro League Baseball

This talk will examine the origins of segregation in baseball, the development and growth of the Negro Leagues and it’s demise following Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Major League Baseball. It will also highlight important New Jerseyans in this story including Effa Manley and Larry Doby.

Jonathan Mercantini
Assistant Professor of History, Kean University

Fly! Bessie! Fly!

In 1921 Bessie Coleman became the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license. Never one to let other people define her limitations, she traveled to France to learn to fly when American flight schools refused her because of her race. In later years she shared her experiences with children, encouraging them with the words, “you too can fly.”

American Historical Theatre
A nonprofit organization specializing in first-person living history presentations.

Program only available in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean Counties, and Salem counties.

 

Black National News Service – The Associated Negro Press: The Best Kept Secret of American Journalism History

Tuskegee Institute graduate Claude Barnett established the Associated Negro Press in 1919 in Chicago. From the year of its founding through 1964, ANP serviced what is arguably America’s greatest ethnic/group press with a national and international news coverage that was remarkable for its substance and scope. The story of ANP and Claude Barnett is one of persistence and creativity in the face of limited resources and numerous difficulties. This slide presentation tells the story of the news agency and the great newspapers it served during the golden age of America’s Black 4th Estate, an era when the ANP could be termed “the greatest single power in the Negro race.”

Lawrence Hogan, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Union County College

A slide projector and microphone are needed for this program.

Paul Robeson, A Chautauqua

Mr. Jefferson brings the life of Paul Robeson alive through first-person historical characterization. Robeson, one of the most well known African-Americans of the 20th century, was a renaissance man, a social activist, scholar, intellectual, lawyer, All-American athlete, singer, linguist, humanist, and advocate for international peace.

Marvin Jefferson
Actor, Director, Educator

Program available in Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union counties.

Sojourner Truth: “Ain’t I a Woman?”

This program tells the story of Isabella Baumfree, who changed her name to Sojourner Truth and walked through Long Island and Connecticut, preaching “God’s truth and plan for salvation.” After months of travel, she arrived in Northampton, Massachusetts, and joined “The Northampton Association of Education and Industry”, a utopian community where she met and worked with abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.

American Historical Theatre
A nonprofit organization specializing in first-person living history presentations.

Program only available in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean Counties, and Salem counties.

Recapturing a New Jersey Legacy: John Henry “Pop” Lloyd and the Communal Legacy of Negro League Baseball

A discussion, accompanied by video and exhibit materials, of the history of black professional baseball in Atlantic City and the social/communal/civic legacy of one of its greatest players, Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop John Henry “Pop” Lloyd. The presentation also covers the restoration of historic John Henry “Pop” Lloyd Stadium.

Lawrence Hogan, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Union County College

A computer projector and microphone are required for this program.

The Age of the New Negro: Harlem in the 1920s

This presentation focuses on the great literary, journalistic, political and sports figures (including Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson) and institutions that make up what historians refer to as the Harlem Renaissance. The 1920s, as the first decade to experience the effects of the Great Migration of Blacks from rural South to urban North, witnessed a literary, cultural, sports, entertainment, and political flowering among African-Americans who were plumbing their history for identity affirmation.

Lawrence Hogan, Ph.D.
Professor of History, Union County College

A computer projector and microphone are required for this program.

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