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Charles Blockson’s grade school teacher told him Black people have no history. He set out to prove her wrong

Published by
The Philadelphia Inquirer

A 1942 classroom with old-style wooden desks, a chalkboard, and a large, blown-up grade-school class photo showing Charles L. Blockson, one of only a handful of Black children in a predominantly white group, greets you early in the exhibition. Blockson looks shy and pensive in the class photo. But it was a fourth-grade history class that fueled Blockson, then just 9 years old, with anger and lifelong determination. The reconstituted classroom is part of the “Charles L. Blockson Exhibition: an African and Afro-American Collection,” which opened Friday at the Centre Theater Gallery in Norristown…

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