Teaching Black History

May 6-8, 2024

The Lost Souls Project Educators Institute is thrilled to announce Professional Development Workshops designed to empower K-12 educators to center Black life and culture as mechanisms for survival and resistance amid the institution of slavery in New Jersey.

Coupled with an interdisciplinary panel discussion on the African American experience in history and Black people’s representation in the K-12 curriculum, these workshops, facilitated by historians, archivists, and teacher educators, will provide practical strategies for analyzing and using primary sources differently. They are designed to enhance the teaching of Black history by emphasizing the humanity of freed and enslaved people during the antebellum period. By equipping educators with these practical tools, we aim to empower educators to incorporate local Black history confidently into their classroom instruction.

All participants have the opportunity to earn professional development credit. For participants who attend all three events, they will receive a certificate of completion, supplemental resources to the Lost Souls curriculum and a tote bag filled with valuable personal and classroom resources.

Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson, The Paul Robeson House of Princeton’s Programs Chair, will be participating in the panel discussion Humanizing Blackness: Teaching to Undo What Teaching Has Done on May 6th.

A Conversation with Dr. Barbara Ransby

Monday, May 20, 2024

Join panelists from The Paul Robeson House of Princeton and Generational African American Student Association (GAASA) of Princeton University as we discuss Dr. Barbra Ransby’s Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson.

Dr. Barbara Ransby is the John D. MacArthur Chair, and Distinguished Professor, in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She also directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative, a project that promotes connections between academics and community organizers doing work on social justice. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Michigan, where she was a Mellon Fellow.

Dr. Ransby is author of two award-winning books: Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (2003); and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson (2013). She is also author of a third book published in August 2018 entitled: Making All Black Lives Matter: Re-imagining Freedom in the 21st Century.

Learn more about Dr. Barbara Ransby and her book Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson.

The first 50 people to register will receive a free copy of Eslanda for pickup at the Princeton Public Library.


Paul Robeson

Sunday, March 31, 2024
Easter Sunrise Service

The Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church & Nassau Presbyterian Church Joint Easter Sunrise Service at The Princeton Cemetery
6:30 AM

Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Multimedia celebration of the legacy of Paul Robeson, including the presentation of the Robeson Clay Project
5:30-7:00 PM (Free)


Saturday, April 13, 2024
Robeson Day – starting at the Arts Council of Princeton (Free)

10:15 AM: Introduction and announcement of 2024 Robeson Scholars & Fellows

10:40 AM: Wreath laying

10:45 AM: Mayoral proclamation

11:00 AM: Paul Robeson Oratory and Arts Competition

2:00 PM: Robeson House and Princeton Sites Tour

MLK Day of Service Teach In & Curriculum Exchange

Focus on the W poster

Monday, January 15, 2024
9AM – 12PM
Princeton Middle School, Princeton NJ

Together with community partners, we are preparing to facilitate workshops with educators and community members as part of our MLK Jr. Day of Service.

We are honored to have Dr. Lillie Johnson Edwards, Professor Emerita of History and African American studies at Drew University, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Edwards, a celebrated historian and public intellectual, brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to our teach-in. Her extensive experience includes serving as a founding director of Pan-African Studies and receiving numerous awards for her teaching excellence. A recipient of her doctorate in history from the University of Chicago, Dr. Edwards has also distinguished herself through lectures and consultations for various esteemed institutions, corporations, and historical societies.

As the current vice chair of the Oberlin College and Conservatory Board of Trustees and a life member of several prominent historical associations, Dr. Edwards brings a deep understanding of African American history and its crucial role in education. Her current role as chair of New Jersey’s Amistad Commission, appointed by Governor Phil Murphy, highlights her commitment to integrating African American studies into the K-12 curriculum.

Join us for this enlightening event as we explore the significant contributions of women in the civil rights movement.

Presenting partners

Dr. Jennifer Garcon is the Librarian for Modern and Contemporary Special Collections at Princeton University Library,  and a steering committee member of Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia, an activist archivist group working with BIPOC communities and organizations in the Mid-Atlantic to save, document, and preserve their historical archives and records. Garcon’s work centers on building a comprehensive archive of contemporary cultural heritage by engaging resource-sharing and redistributive post-custodial practices. She has worked, written, and spoken broadly about the ethics and pedagogy of community-engaged projects, digital methodologies, data loss, and safeguarding historical archives in communities experiencing gentrification. Her work has been in partnership with the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Miami.

Kristal C. Langford is a writer, scholar, New Jersey public historian and cofounder of Counternarratives, a New Jersey based educational and historical interpretation consulting firm offering interpretative strategies to overlooked histories of the marginalized. She is also a lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Community Service and Social Justice (formerly Africana World Studies) at William Paterson University, where she teaches courses on the intersectionality of race, racism, and psychology; race and education, and on occasion, gender studies with an emphasis on the Black and Caribbean Women experience for undergraduate students. She’s featured on the New York Emmy nominated PBS documentary two-part series, The Price of Silence: The Forgotten History of Slavery in New Jersey. In addition, she also co-authored the Lost Souls Public Memorial Project Teaching Guide. She’s completing her doctorate at Rutgers New Brunswick Graduate School of Education.

Stephanie Schwartz is the Curator of Collections and Research at the Historical Society of Princeton. Prior to becoming Curator in 2016, Stephanie served as HSP’s Research Assistant, answering all external and in-house inquiries using the HSP collection. She now oversees all collections management and research services at HSP. She also works with staff to develop museum exhibitions and collection-based programming. Stephanie holds a BA in History and a certificate in Museum Studies from Connecticut College, and an MS in Archives Management from Simmons College. She has also worked at HBO, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New Jersey State Archives, and the Mercer County Library System.

Paul Robeson 125th Anniversary Concert featuring Kevin Maynor

Robeson Anniversary Concert flyer

Sunday, October 15, 2023
Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton
3:00 PM


Join us for an extraordinary evening as we celebrate the 125th birthday of Paul Robeson. This event is more than just a concert; it’s a tribute to a legacy, a gathering of community, and a beacon of historical preservation.

Headlined by Kevin Maynor, Renowned Bass Soloist

Kevin Maynor, acclaimed for his rich and expressive voice, will be gracing the stage to perform a selection of Paul Robeson songs. His performances have enthralled audiences across the globe. Learn more about Kevin Maynor:

Westminster Jubilee Singers

Composed of students selected by audition, the Westminster Jubilee Singers is modeled after the historically acclaimed Fisk Jubilee Singers. Its repertoire, while specialized and select, is very diverse and focuses on solo and ensemble artistic expressions from its singers. Part of Westminster Choir College’s Sacred Music Department, the ensemble performs literature that includes African-American spirituals and folk songs; classical music by African-American composers; gospel music and secular songs by musical greats such as William Dawson, Duke Ellington, Walter Hawkins, AndraéCrouch, Richard Smallwood, Kirk Franklin and Dr. Nathan Carter, as well as Westminster graduates, Rosephanye Powell, Donald Dillard and M. Roger Holland. Also explored and performed are works by non-African-American composers, including George Gershwin, Alice Parker, Robert Shaw, Robert Page, Gail Poch, Steve Pilkington and others who have composed and/or arranged music of the African-American experience. View a performance by the Westminster Jubilee Singers here.

Honored guest: Susan Robeson

We are immensely privileged to welcome Susan Robeson to the Robeson Anniversary Concert. As a beacon of her grandfather’s legacy, she will grace us with the opening remarks and guide us through the event as our esteemed moderator. VIP ticket holders will have the exclusive honor of joining Susan Robeson at the event’s VIP reception, an opportunity to connect and engage in an intimate setting celebrating the enduring legacy of Paul Robeson.

Special guests: Patricia Smith and the Witherspoon Church Verse Speaking Choir

We are thrilled to have Patricia Smith, Princeton’s esteemed poet laureate, joining us. The Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church Verse Speaking Choir will be performing a newly commissioned Paul Robeson poem by Patricia Smith.

Learn more about Patricia Smith here.

Preserving Paul Robeson’s Legacy

The Paul Robeson 125th Anniversary Concert is not just an evening of soul-stirring music, it’s a fundraiser to support the renovation of the Robeson House in Princeton. The proceeds from this concert will be instrumental in breathing life into this historic site, transforming it into a vibrant community space and residential lodging for the underserved.

The mission doesn’t end at the renovation. We’re committed to nurturing and preserving the legacy of Paul Robeson through various educational and cultural programs. Your ticket isn’t merely an entry to a night of exquisite music, but a step towards keeping Robeson’s spirit alive in the hearts and minds of the next generation.

For me, it is not the house, but what it represents. The Robeson House, like the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood it anchors, is rooted in history but not locked in the past. The house stands proud and represents a future in which social justice issues are debated, programs developed, and community resources rallied to breathe life into the philosophy and legacy of Paul Robeson, a brave American patriot who used his many talents to fight for the rights and respect of all people worldwide.