"My main goal in life is to build a good library of Black history — knowledge is a form of Black power and this is my part in it."

— Charles L. Blockson


An African and Afro-American Collection

The Centre Theater Gallery is proud to announce its first powerful showcase:
The Charles L. Blockson Exhibition.

The focus of the collection is related to the global Black experience and highlights the life work of Mr. Blockson, a Norristown native who has amassed one of the largest collections of African American history in the nation, and is a leading expert on the Underground Railroad.

The Charles L. Blockson Exhibition was created in coordination with Mr. Blockson, along with Temple University's Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection





From his early childhood in Norristown, Charles accumulated an incredible collection of rare materials documenting the story of African Americans. The historian and scholar is the author of 13 books, including on the Underground Railroad, about which he is an expert.

The Charles L. Blockson exhibition is a celebration of his life's work and the major contributions he made to the recorded history and culture of African Americans, continental Africans, and the African diaspora.

The Charles L. Blockson exhibition will be on display in the newly constructed second-floor gallery in Centre Theater at 208 DeKalb Street in Norristown.

Excerpt from a WPSU Penn State original production, this short-form documentary tells the story of Charles L. Blockson’s lifelong journey to unearth and preserve the history, culture, and contributions of people of African descent.
"From the shackles we emerged into writers, judges, preachers, ministers, actors... all kinds of endeavors in life.

It gives me strength and determination to carry on."

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