Founded by Charles Blockson, the Blockson Collection is one of the most prestigious collections of African American historical art in the country. Located in Sullivan Hall, the collection consists of roughly 20,000 items collected by Blockson throughout his life, which began in 1933 in Norristown, PA. Programming related to or taking place at the Blockson Collection at Temple University is compiled here.
One of the most prestigious collections of African American historical art in the country; it was founded by Charles Blockson, an accredited author and historian who brought the collection to Temple in 1984. Located in Sullivan Hall, the collection consists of roughly 20,000 items collected by Blockson throughout his life, which began in 1933 in Norristown, PA. Blockson’s goal behind assembling the collection was to educate people about the cultural significance of African American history through primary artifacts recovered from that history.
In celebration of Juneteenth (June 19), the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection held an event to honor the Montford Point Marines, the first African Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Blockson Collection and the Department of African American Studies Student Association to celebrate some of Philadelphia’s most important African American legacies. Vivian Crawford discusses the Crawford Hotel, the first owned by African Americans in Philadelphia. Alexis Moore share stories of her father, lawyer and activist Cecil B. Moore, and his efforts to integrate Girard College. Moore is joined by members of the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters and members of the Black Panther Party, including Bobby Seale, who talk about the legacy of their important organizations. Distinguished scholar and Chair of Temple’s Department of African American Studies, Molefi Asante, also joins the discussion.
A tour of the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit; part of the Blockson Collection at Temple University.
Dr. Collier-Thomas speaks on the interracial religious movement between the 1920s and 1950s and how it laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement later in the century. A professor in the Department of History and the former director of the Temple University Center for African American Life and Culture, Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas has written on this subject in her latest book, Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion. She is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.
In 2013, Temple University’s Blockson Museum celebrated the seventieth year of founder Charles Blockson’s efforts to preserve African American history by hosting a special event. Blockson delivers a compelling speech of his struggle with the racial inequality in his hometown of Norristown and of how he became inspired to collect items of the African American experience, leading to the establishment of the Blockson Museum at Temple University.
Blockson Collection founder Charles L. Blockson discusses his latest publication, The President’s House Revisited Behind the Scenes: The Samuel Fraunces Story (STILL Publications, 2013). The book is a novel which explores the life of a black man who worked as a spy, cook and steward for George Washington at the President’s House in Philadelphia.
The Blockson Collection for a conversation with three African American entrepreneurs who are shaking up the beverage industry. The Wall Street Journal calls sommelier, winemaker and designer André Hueston Mack “a wine overachiever.” Mack was the first African American to be named Best Young Sommelier in America. Daniel Bryant, owner and creator of Running Tigers Wine, aims to educate through programs such as “Wine Tasting 101: African Americans in the Wine Industry,” at the University of California, Davis. Bryant believes the African American community is typically overlooked by the wine industry, but he’s looking to change that. Brian Duncan is the wine director of Bin 36 Restaurants in Chicago, where he also develops house wines that are served in restaurants across the region.
The distinguished poet, professor and publisher Dr. Haki Madhubuti shares his thoughts on current social, cultural and political issues and challenges facing African Americans in our society today.