I went to a great talk this week. Dr. Charles Blockson provided an African American historical overview of his cultural artifacts. Many of you may know him, he is so renowned. He is a black studies scholar and author who was born in Philadelphia and has assembled one of the world's largest private anthologies of African American history.
Having a natural interest in history and his culture, Blockson traveled extensively around the world where he acquired rare African, African American and African Caribbean publications and artifacts dating back to the sixteenth century. Over the course of his professional life time, he's amassed such a whopping collection that in 1984 Blockson donated many of his rare artifacts to Temple University who established the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. Dr. Blockson's center archives prints, photographs, slave narratives, manuscripts, letters, sheet music and other objects dating back to the 16th century. For example, he has the first edition works by Phyllis Wheatley and W.E.B. DuBois; African Bibles; correspondence of Haitian Revolutionaries; Paul Robeson's sheet music; narratives by Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass; and over 500,000 photographs including Harriet Tubman.
So history can stand in the present... that is, with Dr. Charles Blockson. See below my best photo of Dr. Blockson (to my left) with me and Mr. Paxton K. Baker, who is a cultural icon also as an established business tycoon, executive producer and philanthropist. I had a very good day!!