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Although the documents and resources found at this site are specifically linked to one of eight Essential Understandings, other resources will be generally helpful in preparing a unit about African American history. They include:

  1. The Thomas Balch Library

    Since we are able to include only a small portion of the documents and other resources available at the Balch about African American history, we invite you to visit the Balch Library or its website, www.leesburgva.org (key word: Thomas Balch Library).

  2. A Chronology of African American History in Loudoun County

    As you choose from the documents included at this site, you will find it extremely helpful to use a chronology of African American history in Loudoun County by local historian, Eugene Scheel. Mr. Scheel presented the chronology to the Balch Library in 1999. He recently updated and edited it, and has graciously given us permission to make it available to you on line. Any history teacher in Loudoun County who is teaching African American history should visit this chronology. Further, we believe it will provide an important context for using the resources at this site.
  3. The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom: Loudoun Members

    A National Park Service program, the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom “provides technical assistance to organizations that are attempting to identify, document, preserve and interpret sites, . . .routes, and landscapes relating to the Underground Railroad.” The Balch Library, Oatlands Plantation, and the Loudoun County Courthouse are all members of this network. Click on any of these locations to learn why each of the three was so designated.

  4. African American Communities in Loudoun County

    A project of the Friends of the Balch Black History Committee, this history of African American Communities in Loudoun County, written by Deborah Lee, provides a rich resource for teachers. Click here for the accompanying map.

  5. Vocabulary

    As your students use the documents at this site, they may find certain vocabulary words and terms unfamiliar. For your convenience, a vocabulary list is included here. Although it is not comprehensive, it will provide a basis for building a more complete bank of words with your students.

    The following links will be important to you as you use the documents included at this site:

  6. Relevant Sections of the U.S. Constitution

    U.S. Constitution: Article I: Section 2

    The “Civil War” Amendments

    Amendment XIII
    (Ratified December 1865)

    Amendment XIV
    (Ratified July 1868)

    Amendment XV
    (Ratified February 1870)

    Amendment XXIV
    (Ratified 1964): No poll tax in federal elections.

  7. Relevant Documents including Presidential Orders, Supreme Court Decisions and Legislation:

    The Compromise of 1850
    This legislation tightened the Fugitive Slave Law, making it much more difficult for slaves in the South to escape.

    Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862

    The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
    The freeing of slaves in areas still rebelling against the union.

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
    The landmark case overturning the “separate but equal” language of Plessy v. Ferguson

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964
    A law desegregating public facilities.

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965
    Protection of a citizen’s right to vote.

  8. Bibliography



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