Don’t Duck History
A Conversation with Program Manager and Founder Tracy Clark
This week we had the distinct honor of speaking with Tracy Clark, program manager and founder, of Don’t Duck History. Her fiscally sponsored program has been with United Charitable since 2015 and its mission is as relevant as ever. Don’t Duck History serves to promote and facilitate the learning and sharing of American history, along with its personal and social implications, and to highlight the history of Americans whose stories are not often presented in traditional American history textbooks.
Don’t Duck History supports its mission by participating in several action items such as:
- Giving voice to various groups/subjects that tend to be under-represented in American History books.
- Fostering opportunities for conversation, in order to give Americans a more personal view and understanding of the melting pot that we are.
- Fostering conversations within families about their own history, with the hope of instilling pride and appreciation for family accomplishments as they relate to American history.
- Including recent events, thereby demonstrating that we are constantly making history.
- Hosting events, which will allow people to gather together and learn with and from each other.
- Providing services to individuals, groups, municipalities, and other organizations.
Due to COVID, Don’t Duck History, has had to put their in-person events on pause, however, that doesn’t stop them. They continue to engage with their community through their social channels, website, and email. Tracy remains heartily committed to her cause and states,
“I watched the memorial service of George Floyd, and since we were made aware of the manner of his death, I have noticed that others are recognizing the importance of learning American history. In order to make a difference in our criminal justice system, the first thing we need to do is understand the history.”
Before COVID struck and quarantine measures came into effect, Don’t Duck History hosted an event for the Norfolk community showing a screening of the HBO Documentary: True Justice. Community members such as Norfolk’s Sheriff Joe Baron, Chief of Police Larry Boone, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood, and many others came out to learn about racial injustice in our criminal justice system. The event was met with overwhelming support and requests from members of the community to continue having events of this type.
We asked Tracy how she is inspired to keep going even in difficult times and she said:
“I recognize the need [to teach others about history] and see others recognize it too. I get messages from people saying that it works.”
Tracy and her program, Don’t Duck History, maintain an active Facebook page where they continuously post incredible artifacts such as old photos and newspaper clippings along with the history lessons behind them. Most of these articles and stories are seldom shared in our traditional American History books. For example, in one of their latest posts, you learn about Mr. John Mitchell, Jr., the longest-serving editor of the Richmond Planet, an early Black Newspaper. To read more about him and his legacy, click here: Don’t Duck History Facebook Post
After a hopeful and empowering conversation, Tracy left us with this important message
“You don’t have to know everything, but you have to be willing to learn.
It can be uncomfortable but that’s how change happens.”
Join us in supporting her mission by donating to Don’t Duck History along with other programs and organizations that are doing their best to make this world a better place.