Making Freedom: African Americans in U.S. History & the Making Freedom Digital Curriculum

African American history is United States history. 
The recent national reckoning with racial injustice sharpens our focus on the role of education in understanding the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of African Americans in U.S. history. There is a growing call for high-quality curricula about African American history supported by robust professional learning opportunities for educators to support ccurate, inclusive teaching about U.S. history.

Making Freedom: African Americans in U.S. History is Primary Source’s pioneering five-volume sourcebook series that spans African American history from the 1600s to 1970, demonstrating the social agency and intellectual achievement of African Americans in the collective history and cultural development of the United States. Since its publication, Massachusetts teachers have utilized these sourcebooks to educate students in alignment with the literacy component of the state’s Common Core State Standards for ELA and Literacy in History/Social Studies. Today, these lessons have the potential to support teachers as they engage with contemporary concerns about history and racial justice. 

Through the Making Freedom Digital Curriculum project, we will revise, update, and disseminate these invaluable sourcebooks so they will be accessible to teachers everywhere and will have an enduring impact on students. 

Making Freedom Digital Curriculum will include:

  • High-quality lessons and robust professional development about African American history
  • Content spanning 420 years of African American history, with up-to-date resources and teaching strategies in alignment with state standards for high-quality instruction
  • A focus on an accurate, inclusive understanding of our nation’s history, with examples of Black voices, perspectives, and experiences that provide context to conventional narratives in U.S history
  • Collaboration with African American scholars and expert teachers to create inspiring and engaging multi-dimensional lessons

Educators, contact Deborah Cunningham, Senior Program Director, at for more information about Making Freedom: African Americans in U.S. History

Contact Judith Katz, Director of Development, at for more information about how you can support the Making Freedom Digital Curriculum project.