Headlines of Yore

How Charles L. Blockson turned childhood disrespect into a mission to create Black history collections

He donated thousands of items to Temple University and Penn State.

Charles L. Blockson in his home office, 1971

Charles L. Blockson in his home office, 1971

Wikimedia Commons

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Told as a child his heritage had no history worth learning, Charles L. Blockson made it his life’s mission to not only prove the statement horrifically wrong, but to make it harder for others to make the same bigoted pronunciations.

The Norristown native and Penn State grad passed up a career in professional sports to become a historian, amassing a huge collection of Black American memorabilia and artifacts.

He gifted the items to two universities — his alma mater and Temple — which both maintain special collections in his name.

Scroll through the thread below to read how Blockson worked to bring Black history to the fore.

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