As a child growing up in the 1940s, Charles Blockson was once told by a white teacher that black people had made no contributions to history.
Even as a fourth-grader, Blockson, who is black, knew better. So he began collecting proof.
Today, the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University contains more than 30,000 historical items, some dating to the 16th century. It includes Paul Robeson's sheet music, African Bibles, rare letters and manuscripts, slave narratives, correspondence of Haitian revolutionaries and a first-edition book by W.E.B DuBois.