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The Lorain Historical Society aims be a leader in local history preservation, education, and community engagement for ALL of Lorain. We are dedicated to making sure that our archives tell the most complete, accurate and inclusive story of our great International City to future generations. To that end, we have launched the Lorain Black History Archive. Through this project and with help from the funders below, we will work with community members and organizations to help document the rich history of Black Lorain.

Looking Back. Moving Forward.

In Black communities, for various reasons, history is often passed down verbally.  Events of the past end up taking the shape of legends.   The stories of prominent people go undocumented, and sometimes forgotten. Our Community Research Team works to verify, document and archive this oral history - - digging into crates, newspapers and historical records to reveal and protect important information about Black Lorain.

Why this work is important

Much of Black history is passed from generation to generation verbally, if at all.  

Black history has gone largely undocumented in libraries and archives, and therefore most of it lives and dies with the communities' elders.  It is urgent that we find and preserve primary source documents and capture first-person narratives from the oldest generations while we still have an opportunity.

Because knowing the past helps shape the future.

Sankofa (SAHN-koh-fah) is a word in the Twi language of Ghana meaning “to retrieve". It also refers to the  Adinkra symbol represented either with a stylized heart shape (pictured above) or by a bird that is looking backward while facing forward.  In the spirit of Sankofa, the Lorain Black History Archive aims to collect and share info about the past so that the Lorain community can use it to build a better tomorrow.

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Learn More

The Lorain Black History Archive is an effort to increase our collection of oral histories, photographs, documents and items from the Black community in Lorain and to work with the community to document Black history right here in our city!

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