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Black History Artifacts on Display at Suffolk

Carol A. Gordon teaches Suffolk students about the unspoken history of African Americans during Black History Month
Giselle Castro
Carol A Gordon, founder of Unspoken History Treasures poses with her two granddaughters in front of a poster of African-American heroes on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Compass News/ Giselle Castro)

Suffolk Community College is celebrating Black History Month and the 2024 theme “African-Americans and the ARTS” showcases historical objects such as popular vinyls and toys to infamous blackface masks and paint used by past white actors. 

Carol A. Gordon, 71, of Massapequa, shows Suffolk students about Black history through items she collected for over 40 years. Gordon’s collection-known as the “Unspoken History Treasures,” is very well known in Long Island as she turned her home into an African-American history museum. 

Gordons’ reasoning for starting was that her uncle, Thomas Bramble, gifted her pieces after the Black Power movement in 1966 to begin collecting history because he feared society was going to erase and throw it away. 

“History is everywhere, even though you think is derogatory,” Gordon said. “It’s history, and you have to know it, to learn from it.” 

Gordon was accompanied by her two granddaughters, Nala Holmes, 19, of Bay Shore, and Essence Holmes,17, of Bay Shore. The girls said they proud of their grandmother for collecting history, saying it’s important to know about it with the government trying to take it away. 

“I believe Black History is something difficult to teach since most schools don’t touch on most hard topics,” said Nala Holmes.

Gordon introduced Suffolk students to the history of changing breakfast brand Aunt Jemima to be portrayed as ugly because they didn’t want wives to get jealous. Later on, they were seen to take Aunt Jemima and parboiled rice brand Uncle Ben off the boxes. That only leaves Quaker Oats, which is portrayed by a white actor Wilford Brimley. 

Carol A. Gordon shows Suffolk County Community College Students Historical Figures on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024.(Compass News/ Giselle Castro)

Gordon said, “We reversed Black history to the way it was because we’re not presented.” 


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Giselle Castro
Giselle Castro, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Giselle Castro is a journalism major from Central Islip and the Arts & Entertainment Editor for Compass News. Castro wants to attend F.I.T. to continue her education in fashion media.

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