History in the United States is largely recorded from a white perspective. Black stories and histories can be hard to find because what was saved from the past does not reflect the whole picture. At the Hudson River Maritime Museum we are working to add more Black history resources to our collection and partner with organizations in our region that are expanding access to the knowledge of the way in which Africans and their descendants have profoundly shaped American history, including the maritime history of the Hudson River.
Museums play a unique role in shaping the narrative and connecting communities to resources that help everyone better understand local and national histories. To that end, here are some of the organizations working in the Hudson Valley, as well as some local and national resources, that show how Black history is American history.
The Library at the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center works in the Ponckhockie neighborhood and throughout Kingston with community programs, children’s literacy and after school programs, and more, with hundreds of books available. The African Roots Library partners with the Hudson River Maritime Museum in co-hosting the Conference on Black History in the Hudson Valley. You can learn more and donate at africanrootslibrary.org.
The Underground Railroad Education Center in Albany, NY tells the story of Stephen and Harriet Meyers, the Underground Railroad in New York, and its connections to today. The Underground Railroad Education Center is a new partner in the Conference on Black History in the Hudson Valley. You can learn more and donate at undergroundrailroadhistory.org.
Other local Black history organizations to seek out and support include:
For information on Africans and African Americans in the Hudson Valley:
For information on Black maritime history:
Several organizations have also collected readings lists about Black history and addressing racism with children, including:
To learn more about race relations today, how to become anti-racist, and the history of racism in the United States:
We encourage you to use your local library or local independent booksellers when sourcing the books listed here.
This list was compiled by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff with assistance from our community partners. Please let us know of other sources and organizations. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them to this post.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.