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African American history is a living history—one that spans hundreds of years from the first black conquistador, Juan Garrido (“Handsome John”), to Barack Obama and beyond. But these stories haven’t always been shared or taught, which is why the role of historians and storytellers in advancing our understanding of the African diaspora has been so important.
Along with enacting unprecedented social change, the civil rights movement also spawned powerful music and creative expression that helped a nation come to terms with its grief and rage over racial injustice.