Founded in February 2021 by Rachelle Chase, Uniting Through History provides creative opportunities for people to learn about the experiences of Black Americans in a way that allows them to connect with those experiences. Enabling people to “connect” with history is an integral part of the educational projects we work on. Because by connecting, we feel that people really “get” what they are learning and by getting it—in this instance, by really understanding the significance of the experiences of Black Americans—people who were previously unaware become aware of the extent that Black history is American history, while those previously aware take even greater pride in the fact.
With knowledge, understanding, and greater appreciation of the experiences, accomplishments, and contributions African Americans have made—and continue to make—we can begin to combat racism and unite as a country. We recognize that the history of all people of color is equally important in this process and as we grow, Uniting Through History’s focus will expand to include the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Several of our initial projects, such as our Hip History Contest and our partnership with the University of Northern Iowa on the Main Street 360° project, bring the history of Buxton, Iowa to life. Buxton was a coal mining town of 5,000 residents established in 1900 by the Consolidation Coal Company, where Blacks were the majority, were leaders in the community, and were treated equally with whites. Buxton is a great example of two of our driving principles—unity and that Black history is American history.
Our new History Book Club shifts the spotlight from Buxton to other experiences, contributions, and accomplishments of Black Americans. Each month, we will read a different book, discuss it, identify ways we can individually share the history learned to combat racism and promote unity—and then take action.
We invite you to learn more about our founder, Rachelle Chase, and our projects.