Kankakee, Illinois: Imperial International Learning Corporation, circa 1970. 10 Audio Cassettes (24 cm.), each housed with accompanying 35 educational booklets inside a photo pictorial cardboard case. Titles on box in black and white on front and spine. Most cassettes rest in white packing material with instructional booklets beneath. Ex-Libris with "Woodcreek" written in black felt on 8 cases, 2 cases with affixed labels, "Property of Lansing School District". Nine cases with library cards and cardboard holders taped to the front (some cards or holders missing). Item #72
During the 1970s, the "Black Heritage" series of audio recordings and booklets featured the biographies of famous African-Americans in answer to the demand by parents and the educational system to supply young children with historical diversity and context. As many textbooks of the time did not equally satsify the cultural contribution of people of color, the Imperial International Learning Corporation used the advantage of a cultural shift and introduced history on cassettes as more and more young people owned or had access to personal listening devices. Although there is some doubt that the biography of Frederick Douglass sounds better on a Boombox, it was a nod that education through the textbook was insufficient and that there was a rising need for inclusion and diversity of educational consumption. Each box contains a cassette and 35 booklets featuring questions and answers regarding the subject's life. African- American, biographical subjects include Joe Louis, Crispus Attucks, Louis Armstrong, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Sidney Poitier, Jesse Owens, Thurgood Marshall and Mary McLeod Bethune. This set represents 10 out of the 28 cassettes ultimately distributed. Scarce, as WorldCat lists only two institutions with complete sets. A great example of audio history as history.