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African-American history has played an integral role in the shaping of politics, economics, and culture in the United States. Growing up, how did you learn about the accomplishments and struggles of African Americans? Were you in a classroom? Reading a book? Talking with relatives or friends? How has your understanding or knowledge of African-American history changed and/or developed over time? What do you think is the most effective way to pass along this rich and growing history to future generations?
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Juda Judy Brawner (1845-1925)

Breona Cunningham


I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. From the pyramids to the United States…my ...


Lana Tyehimba


I grew up in Detroit in the 1960s, during the city’s industrial and musical heyday. My ...

Denmark Jordan

My maternal grandmother's family started in America when an indentured servant, Peter ...

Me, Grandma and Ma

Honey-Marie Braswell

In this picture is me, my grandmother and my mother. Three generations of black women ...

James Blackmon Grandfather

Diane Blackmon - Bailey


Lost History Hunter Diane Blackmon-Bailey This story begins with my quest to trace my ...

Denise Dew- Bennett

Growing up, I learned very little about accomplishments in the Black community. What I saw ...




Greetings. I am Calvin Horton, I was born in  Enfield, NC, during the Jim Crow days. I am ...

Ramona Lewis


I was very fortunate that I grew up in the 60s and early 70s when black history was a ...

Diane Curry McClinton Share Story

Diane Curry McClinton


This is a pic of my grandmother my mom's mother Annie B. Patton Warrior at about 18 years ...

Michelle Hoggard


In middle school I had a Black American history teacher who would show the class slavery ...


Jona McReynolds


My discovery of African-American history came out of necessity and self-preservation. I am ...

DeBra Edwards

DeBra Edwards


I remember being one of the first students to integrate Beltsville Elementary in ...

Karen Lovett

I enjoyed the story about the slaves given safe haven at Fort Monroe, Va. I worked at the ...


Corliss Latta-Dreher


As a child born in the South, but raised in Newark, NJ, I almost feel like my parents ...

Marcus Robinson


My mother was born and raised in and all black town called Mound Bayou in Mississippi. She ...

T.S. Boykins


I was raised in very diverse Miami. My parents were raised in Mississippi and Alabama. My ...

lillie critten


Professor Gates thank you for Many Rivers to Cross. I grew up in the segregated south of ...


Shawn Gilstrap


My introduction to the Civil Rights was in 1970, I was 5 years old, I was living in New ...

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Vivian Rankin-Scales


Being a child of the 60's, I remember not having access to many written resources about my ...


Imam Akbar

Dear Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., How Are You? I Am So Happy To See Your Works In ...


Sikkim Assing


I attended Concord Baptist Elementary School in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. At that school, I was ...

Carolyn Johnson


I learned a lot of history from my grandmother and my mother. History as taught in the ...


Carolyn Towler-Johnson


My grandmother is the beautiful woman in the middle. We found out the name of our ancestor ...


Kouta Kahn


Growing up, I knew about slavery from what I learned in school and from what I saw on TV ...

Latoya Ashley


I loved reading about American black history as a elementary school student. It was never ...


Tamika Lawson


Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I learned about the accomplishments and struggles of ...


Taneika Blair


My account for the Civil Rights movement came from the history books like many others. It ...

Andrea Brooks


Hello!! I learned of the civil rights struggles when I became an adult and researched it ...


Katherine Hayes


As an African American woman, I see so much working in a token booth at High Street in ...

betty at cla

Betty Taylor-Thompson


Because my mother and aunt went to Fisk University in Nashville, TN, during the 1920s, I ...

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Inkwell Films, in assocation with Ark Media.