Resources for teachers and students related to the history of the Harrisburg region. This is a developing collection.

Old Eighth Ward Educational Guides

Do you want to talk about the history of the Old Eighth Ward with your students?

In February of 2020, Sankofa African-American Theatre Company created a stage production about the Old Eighth Ward and the Commonwealth Monument Project titled Voices of the Old Eighth: Rhythms of Resilience. The production was sponsored by the Dauphin County Commissioners, which enabled 629 secondary students and teachers from the county to attend several matinee performances.

The play featured research by community contributors of the Commonwealth Monument Project including Messiah’s Digital Harrisburg Initiative and Center for Public Humanities. The Messiah University teams also created a student study guide for those viewing the play and a teacher resource guide with suggestions for discussions, activities, and further resources for educators interested in teaching their students about the Old Eighth Ward. The student study guide and teacher resource guide both provide an overview of the Old Eighth Ward, the key players who lived there, the Capitol Extension Project, the United States Census data, and the larger timeline of the road to the 15th and 19th Amendments. You can view PDFs of these resources below!

The Afrolumens Project

A website by George F. Nagle, dedicated to the history of Harrisburg’s African American community from colonial times through the Civil War, with some later material.

A Time to Act: a WITF Documentary on Civil Rights in Harrisburg

A four-part documentary series by WITF produced in 1968 focusing on conversations regarding racial discrimination, segregation, housing, economic opportunity, and civil rights in Harrisburg. Parts 1 and 2 and Parts 3 and 4.

Witnessing York