Black History Month - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Black History Month

 In Arts & Mysteries Blog, Woodworking Blogs

As you all know, February is Black History month. School kids will learn about the likes of George Washington Carver and Dr. Charles Drew. If they are really lucky, they will get to hear stories about the Tuskegee Airmen. I got to meet some of them when I was in the service. Their presentation was one of the most gripping and moving I’ve ever heard.

Let’s blame it on our collective ignorance or lack of interest, but by mid month, shamefully, our kids are learning about the likes of Eddie Murphy. So while I’m in roll-up-my-sleeves-and-help mode, I thought I’d like to add a few days worth of Black History that you might find interesting.

I know there are some who resent Black History Month. And I might be convinced that it can be counterproductive as a political tool. But my interest isn’t political, it’s woodworking. I think you’ll like what I have to offer on the subject.

In fact, for me it’s just a chance to delve into the personal lives of folks who lived long ago. Hand tool woodworkers inevitably end up questioning the intentions of woodworkers long passed. We know what tools they had (pretty much). What we want to know is how they used them and what were their inetntions with them. The more we understand of the lives they led, the better off we are (as interpretters of their sensibilities and work).

Stay tuned!


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Showing 7 comments
  • Jerome BIas

    Just a quick note I am suppose to heading off to class. BUt if you ever get the chance to visit Preswould plantation in Mecklenburg, VA. They have a huge amount of slave built furniture that is incredibly well documented to be from the estate. Heck, William and Mary has all of the family papers. This one of the few time that we can document who the artisans were. If only someone would take the interst and the time.

    Anyway here is a link:

    They have an absolutely incredible collection of 18th and early 19th century furniture and asundry decorative arts. Huge collection.

    Jerome Bias

  • Tico Vogt

    My wife, a writing professor, has researched many slave narratives and histories and through the books she has around I’ve done a fair amount of reading. One thing that struck me early on was the role of carpentry. It’s probably fair to say that most of the antebellum South and much of the North was built with the highly skilled hands of African Americans. I’m looking forward to learning about individual histories.

  • Stephen Bachner

    There was that Chelor fellor (it’s supposed to rhyme ;o) ) who did nice work.

  • Mike Siemsen

    I bet Jerome Bias is watching!

  • Mike Holden

    Remember to mention that Hemming’s fella from round Virginia. Seems that a whole presentation could be made about his shops work – grin! (Jefferson’s woodworking at Colonial Williamsburg)

  • Jonas

    Do you mean to say that all over your nation, black peoples history get special attention in February??? (seems a strange way of teaching history).
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the woodworking part that is to come.

  • Jamie Bacon

    Nice Teaser! I’ll stay tuned.

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