Category Archives: ~ pop culture

February: Heritage Month

February is African American History Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.


Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

The Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence and called slavery an “abominable crime,” yet he was a lifelong slaveholder. The exhibition will provide a look at the lives of six slave families living at Monticello alongside Jefferson and his family.

View the Online Exhibition »

The Spirit of Tuskegee

A restored PT-13 Stearman biplane, like those on which the Tuskegee Airmen trained, will become part of the permanent collection at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Christened The Spirit of Tuskegee, you can watch its progress as the aircraft is flown cross country to Washington, DC.

Visit The Spirit of Tuskegee Blog (external link)

Photos of the Harlem Renaissance

The Carl Van Vechten Photographs Collection at the Library of Congress consists of 1,395 photographs taken by American photographer Carl Van Vechten between 1932 and 1964. The bulk of the collection consists of portrait photographs of celebrities, including many figures from the Harlem Renaissance.

View the collection »

Veterans History

veteran's history thumbnailAfrican Americans serving in the military service throughout U.S. history have often fought on two fronts: fighting the actual enemy and fighting a system of segregation and exclusion.

Veterans History Project (Library of Congress)

The Tuskegee Airmen (National Park Service)

Veterans History

African Americans serving in the military service throughout U.S. history have often fought on two fronts: fighting the actual enemy and fighting a system of segregation and exclusion.

[- African American History at our National Parks -]

For Teachers

African American malePut the power of primary sources to work in the classroom. Browse ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids.

Educational resources »

Shopping while Black … it’s not a crime – a repost

Shopping while Black is not a crime.Barneys NYJoin us in demanding that the NYPD immediately conduct a full investigation into the arrests made outside of Barneys.

Join Us

For months, Trayon Christian — a 19-year-old Black college student from Queens — set aside money from a part-time job to buy a $349 designer belt from Barneys New York.1 But in April, as he exited the luxury department store with both the belt and his receipt he was swarmed by undercover cops, peppered with questions, handcuffed and locked in a jail cell.2 While providing several forms of identification to match his debit card, police taunted Trayon with questions like “How could you afford a belt like this?” “Where did you get this money from?”3

Barneys issued a vague statement, disclaiming responsibility for Trayon’s arrest, but more than 47 arrests have been made outside of the Madison Ave. store — hinting at the possibility of a dedicated NYPD task force.4 The public has a right to know the racial breakdown of the suspects arrested, how many were actually charged with a crime, and what role the luxury department store played in these arrests.

Join us in demanding that the NYPD immediately conduct a full investigation of the arrests made outside of Barneys. We’ll also send this message to senior executives at Barneys to remind them that the practice of profiling Black customers is unacceptable. It only takes a moment.

Clearly Trayon isn’t the only Black person who has been stopped by NYPD after an expensive purchase at this particular store. Just a day after Trayon filed his complaint, 21-year-old Kayla Phillips has come forward and claims that she too was surrounded by undercover cops just blocks from the Manhattan store who pushed her up against the wall after she purchased a designer handbag with her debit card.5

Unfortunately Black folks are too often subjected to this brand of deeply offensive and humiliating treatment by security guards and police officers at the businesses we patronize.  And in recent years, the NYPD has become notorious  for targeting Black and Latino residents — subjecting our communities to thousands of illegal stops, searches, and frisks each day that lead to unlawful arrests, constant harassment, and in some cases, serious injury or death.6,7

Enough is enough. In order to end the culture of police misconduct and racial profiling we must demand accountability for these discriminatory practices. Will you sign this petition today and forward it to your family and friends?

Thanks and Peace,

–Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Aimée, William, Hannah and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.    October 25th, 2013

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1. “Barneys accused teen of using fake debit card for $349 belt because he’s a ‘young black American male’:lawsuit,” New York Daily News, 10-22-13

2. “Trayon Christian Complaint,” New York City Clerk, 10-21-13

3.See Reference 1

4. “Another black Barneys shopper accused of credit card fraud after buying $2,500 purse: claim,” New York Daily News, 08-10-13

5.See Reference 4

6. “Judge approves class action lawsuit over NYPD’s stop-and-frisk searches,” The Raw Story, 05-16-12

7. “After Detective’s Firing, Tensions Linger in Sean Bell Case,” New York Times, 03-25-12