UMOJA Black History Covers

The History of Jazz, Hanah Jon Taylor

Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams

Tour of the University of Wisconsin’s State Historical Society


When the system does not tell the truth about the Black Experience and the histories of other people of color, it falls on the shoulders of community members to tell the truth, efforts that ebb and flow because they don’t have the sustaining power of being part of society’s institutions of education.—Richard Scott, KOJO Productions

The Mystery of Black History is a series of lectures, films, field trips and conversations that connect local events to the national, revealing the history, often hidden or suppressed, of African Americans in Wisconsin. The Mystery of Black History is offered in partnership with other organizations, including the UW State Historical Society and the Urban League of Greater Madison

Programming occurs the third Saturday of the month, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Urban League of Greater Madison, 2222 S. Park Street. It is free and open to the public.

MBH was created by Richard Scott, Pamela Soward, Dr. Ruben Anthony Jr., Hedi Rudd of the Urban League, and Stephanie Bradley Wilson. The group originally showed Hidden Colors at the Urban League attracting a large audience. The group decided to pursue the truth of Black History on a monthly basis.

In the mental health field—I’m in the UJIMA program—we address the intergenerational trauma, which is a part of that, the self-hatred because you don’t know who you are. This has helped a lot of people to feel much better about themselves.—Pamela Soward, Journey Mental Health Ujima treatment program

2016 Mystery of Black History Series

 Watch the events calendar for updates about future programs in the Mystery of Black History Series.


If you don’t feel good about yourself, then chances are, you’re not going to feel good about someone who looks like you. There is a scriptural admonition to love thy neighbor as yourself. But if you don’t love yourself, how can you love your neighbor? How can you value something that you don’t know even exists? The majority of the people who came to the Mystery of Black History presentations had no idea that we even had a historical society here. And I was on campus for six years and passed by that building a thousand times. I never knew what was inside. —Richard Scott, KOJO Productions