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Willie O'Ree, the first black NHL player, debuted for the Boston Bruins in 1958. The Root

Only the puck was black: a story of race and the NHL

Last week’s release of Black Ice – the memoir of Val James, the first African American to play in the NHL – brought me back to when I was a teenager living in Boston. It was the winter of 1978 – the year…
Sicily, 1943: Whose blood was this U.S. soldier getting? NARA

Desegregating blood: A civil rights struggle to remember

Until 1950 the Red Cross segregated blood. It was thousands of African-Americans during World War II who forced the Red Cross to include them as donors and helped pave the way for activism of the 1960s.
Husband and Wife, Sunday Morning, Detroit, Michigan, 1950. Photograph by Gordon Parks. Courtesy and © The Gordon Parks Foundation. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Gordon Parks exhibit offers intimate glimpse into segregation-era life for African Americans

In the spring of 1950, Gordon Parks, the first African-American photographer for Life Magazine, returned to his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas. On assignment for the magazine, Parks photographed his middle…
US National Archives and Records Administration

The ‘nuts and bolts’ heroes of the civil rights movement

Black History Month provides an opportunity to pull back the curtain and turn the spotlight on individuals who made a difference in the successes of the civil rights movement during the 1960s. I had the…

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