Urbana-Champaign Local History Resources

The Champaign County African American Heritage Trail

The Champaign County African American Heritage Trail is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit, whose mission is to educate today’s residents and visitors about the rich cultural history of a people whose stories have been largely unrecognized. Our vision is to inspire conversation, expand understanding, and contribute to a better society.

Memories of the African American Cultural Center at UIUC

Curated by the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, this short blog post contains excerpts from an oral history online exhibit, “Blues Dancing and its African American Roots Oral HIstories.” 

Elevating Voices: Visualizing Social Justice Through Art

A description of the art installation/gallery housed in the School of Social Work at UIUC

A Home of Their Own

A short documentary about the history of Black students at the University of Illinois from the 1930s and 1940s.

The Legacy of Project 500 at 50: Interviews with Carletta Donaldson

A collection of video interviews of Urbana-Champaign community members and members of the Project 500.  Produced by Urbana Public TV; Channel 6

Carlos Montezuma: Changing is Not Vanishing

A short documentary about Wassaja (aka Carlos Montezuma), who was the first Native American to graduate from the University of Illinois, and possibly the first Native American to earn an MD in the United States.

eBlack Champaign-Urbana

eBlackCU is a locally created wiki about African-American history and culture in Champaign-Urbana. It was very active for several years as part of a research project at UIUC; however, it does not appear to have been updated recently.  Visit the detailed introduction to eBlackCU to learn more about what eBlackCU is doing, and how it can be used to find information on local African-American history and culture.

Doris Hoskins Archive at the Museum of the Grand Prairie

The Doris K. Wylie Hoskins Archive contains thousands of archival materials related to Champaign County and east central Illinois African American history. Donated in 2007, it is housed at the Museum of the Grand Prairie. 

American History Teachers’ Collaborative

A Teaching American History Grant project that was run by Urbana School District #116 from 2003-2014.  The site is incomplete, but it does house dozens of lesson plans and primary documents about a wide variety of topics related to the social, cultural, and political history of Urbana-Champaign and surrounding communities. 

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