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:
- 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,
(key word: Thomas Balch Library).
- 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.
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.
- African American Communities in Loudoun County
A project of the Friends of the Balch Black History Committee,
of African American Communities in Loudoun County, written by
Deborah Lee, provides a rich resource for teachers. Click here
for the accompanying map.
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
The following links will be important to you as you use the documents
included at this site:
Sections of the U.S. Constitution
Constitution: Article I: Section 2
The “Civil War” Amendments
(Ratified December 1865)
(Ratified July 1868)
(Ratified February 1870)
(Ratified 1964): No poll tax in federal elections.
- Relevant Documents including Presidential
Orders, Supreme Court Decisions and Legislation:
Compromise of 1850
This legislation tightened the Fugitive Slave Law, making it
much more difficult for slaves in the South to escape.
Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862
Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
The freeing of slaves in areas still rebelling against the union.
v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
The landmark case overturning the “separate but equal”
language of Plessy v. Ferguson
Civil Rights Act of 1964
A law desegregating public facilities.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Protection of a citizen’s right to vote.