Black History Month | WGLT

Black History Month

mosaic of Ida B. Wells
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Journalism is the first rough draft of history. In newsrooms across the country, that first draft has historically been written mostly by white men.

Posters and bulletin boards for Black History Month

Teachers have encountered many challenges during the past 12 months, and the craft has been evolving because of the pandemic. Now it is Black History Month, and for many teachers Black history is more than just a one-month exercise.

Bill Kemp / McLean County Museum of History

The events of the past year have encouraged the nation to acknowledge notable moments in Black history and in Bloomington-Normal, as in many places, that can be uncomfortable. 

McLean County Museum of History Librarian Bill Kemp said the museum has taken steps to educate the community on Black history in the Twin Cities to better understand the community's growing pains in recognizing a lack of racial equality. 

Kemp said this past summer's unrest regarding police brutality and racism has changed how the community approaches Black History Month this year.


The Crossroads Project at Illinois State University, which is devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion, will do a staged reading of “The DePriest Incident” next month.


A new book studying the connections Abraham Lincoln had to Illinois State University is drawing rave reviews.

Historian Tom Emery and ISU alum Carl Kasten created the 280-page book, “Abraham Lincoln and the Heritage of Illinois State University,” that uncovers the untold stories of Lincoln at ISU.

Lincoln served as counsel to the state’s Board of Education.

Students outside Normal West
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

WGLT is excited to partner with the Normal West Black Student Union to bring you daily Black Facts during Black History Month.

Here is a profile of a man who drove vice presidents and governors, wealthy landowners, visiting artists, and the prominent of Bloomington-Normal all about town more than a century ago.

During Black History Month, this episode of McHistory shows you the working life of Absalom Hawkins, a well-known African American man in the Twin Cities. It also tells you about a 19th century brain drain of African Americans.

Those who became educated had to leave the area to get jobs outside the working class. 

Christian Johnson and Tatiana Walker
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

Discovering your true identity is one of life's greatest quests. History plays a role in connecting the dots, but for African American students, the lack of information taught on their culture could leave some starving for a sense of self.

Eva Jones
McLean County Museum of History

Nearly a half-century ago, a woman named Eva Jones made history.

A woman carrying fruit and dressed in African garb  speaks during s TedX talk.
TedX Normal

It is a cruel irony that the first Christian church in what is now the country of Ghana is built in a coastal fort directly over the holding pens for the slave trade.

Briahna Joy Gray
Illinois State University

A journalist with expertise in progressive politics says Bernie Sanders is a welcome addition to a crowded, predominantly centrist group of candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination.

McHistory: Bloomington-Normal Under Jim Crow Law

Feb 16, 2019
Lue Anna Brown Sanders Clark
McLean County Museum of History

In the era of Jim Crow laws, enforced racial segregation kept blacks and whites separate at restaurants, in bathrooms, and in education.

A woman sitting next to a man in the WGLT studio  duo.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

"Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

That famous quote attributed to Edmund Burke, a one-time orator, political theorist and British member of parliament, is behind a new effort at Bloomington's oldest park.

Courtesy of University of Illinois

The teaching of America's multicultural history has come a long way from the largely white, Euro-centric version students were taught for decades. Most of that progress has been at the university level.