For Black History Month 2024 the New York State Archives’ presents, “Before Brown: Desegregating New York’s Public Schools.” This exhibit highlights early mid-20th century school segregation battles in Hempstead and Hillburn that were taken on by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a civil rights firm founded by Thurgood Marshall. The display, located on the 11th floor in the Cultural Education Center, will be up throughout the month of February. For a closer look at the documents and access to educational materials, visit the Civil Rights section of

In recognition of Black History Month, the State Archives is highlighting a selection of documents in an online exhibit. This exhibit, featuring three areas: Civil Rights, Military Service, and Slavery in New York, also includes lesson plans for K-12 educators on and links related to New York Archives magazine articles. 

Explore the documents below.