Charles L. Blockson, African American History, Black History, Underground Railroad, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Black historian wins coveted Philadelphia Award – The Philadelphia Tribune Long before Charles L. Blockson became a prominent historian, scholar and author, he was boy with a budding passion for the history of his people that could be found bound between the pages of books.

In a Tribune interview with the recently named recipient of the 2016 Philadelphia Award, Blockson recalled a white, elementary school teacher telling him, “Negros had no history.” They were born to serve whites, she informed her young student.

Blockson said that when he shared the comments with his parents, they countered, “Negroes have a strong history.” And his father, Charles, and mother, Annie, began exposing him to lessons on prominent people of his race.

Now, at age 83, Blockson is considered a world-class historian of the African-American experience. He will receive the coveted Philadelphia Award this spring in recognition of his lifelong, personal mission to document the African-American history of Philadelphia and around the country for future generations.

Charles L. Blockson, African American History, Black History, Underground Railroad, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Charles L. Blockson, African American History, Black History, Underground Railroad, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Charles L. Blockson, African American History, Black History, Underground Railroad, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


Temple University (commonly referred to as Temple) is a state-related-public doctoral university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded in 1884 by Baptist Minister Russell Conwell. In 1882, Conwell came to Pennsylvania to lead the Grace Baptist Church while he began tutoring working class citizens late at night to accommodate their work schedules. These students, later dubbed “night owls,” were taught in the basement of Conwell’s Baptist Temple, hence the origin of the university’s name and mascot. By 1907, the institution revised its institutional status and incorporated as a university.

In 2015, Temple received $227.5 million in research funding, ranking it 93rd out of 905 institutions in the NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey. As of 2016, more than 39,500 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students were enrolled in over 400 academic degree programs offered at seven campuses and sites in Pennsylvania, and international campuses in Rome, Tokyo, Singapore and London. Temple is among the nation’s largest providers of professional education (law, medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, dentistry, and architecture), preparing the largest body of professional practitioners in Pennsylvania.[ (Wikipedia).