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Black History Book  Project

I am currently in the process of creating a children's book to celebrate Black historic figures all year long.

The goal of this book is to reframe the idea of Black history being limited to just a single month in the year. 

Black history is American History.

Black History is world History. 

Black History is our shared history. 


I am currently looking for sponsors for this project.  The goal is to print the book and provide it for free to local schools and libraries. If you or your organization is interested in sponsorship opportunities please reach out to

As the illustrations are completed, this page will provide updates on which figures are featured as well as a bit of history behind each individual. Scroll to see who's up next! 


Today's Illustrated Figure:
Matthew Henson
Arctic Explorer

Matthew Alexander Henson (August 8, 1866 – March 9, 1955) was an African American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic over a period of nearly 23 years. They spent a total of 18 years on expeditions together.[1] He is best known for his participation in the 1908–1909 expedition that claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole on April 6, 1909. Henson said he was the first of their party to reach the North Pole.

Henson was born in Nanjemoy, Maryland, to sharecropper parents who were free Black Americans before the Civil War. He spent most of his early life in Washington, D.C., but left school at the age of twelve to work as a cabin boy. He later returned to Washington and worked as a salesclerk at a department store. One of his customers was Robert Peary, who in 1887 hired him as a personal valet. At the time, Peary was working on the Nicaragua Canal.

Their first Arctic expedition together was in 1891–92. Henson served as a navigator and craftsman, and was known as Peary's "first man". Like Peary, he studied Inuit survival techniques.

Source credit: Wikipedia

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