Washington Post: A massive new effort to name millions sold into bondage during the transatlantic slave trade. “Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade, a free, public clearinghouse that launched Tuesday with seven smaller, searchable databases, will for the first time allow anyone from academic historians to amateur family genealogists to search for individual enslaved people around the globe in one central online location.”
Getty: Explore 75 Years of Ebony Magazine. “Against the backdrop of Jim Crow, Ebony and Jet magazines addressed African American cultural and political realities. From the lives of Hollywood celebrities to the ongoing fight for human and civil rights, Johnson Publishing Company publications documented key moments in African American life that changed how we think about ourselves as a nation. A new website from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) explores the impact of Ebony and Jet magazines through an array of commanding photographs from the Johnson Publishing Company archive selected by Getty curator LeRonn Brooks and NMAAHC curator Aaron Bryant.”
University of Kansas: Bringing Black Authors’ Work Out Of Digital Shadows. “First, the Project on the History of Black Writing worked to preserve physical copies of novels by Black writers, often rescuing works from dusty attics and estate sales. In the 21st century, HBW began digitizing its library. And now, with the help of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, it is moving to make the collection even more accessible to future scholars worldwide. For Maryemma Graham, the HBW project — growing out of her grad school discoveries in 1983 — came with her to the University of Kansas in 1999. Now the Distinguished Professor of English is one of three principal investigators for a $500,000, two-year grant that will bring the collection out of the digital shadows.”
University of North Florida: The Justice Sessions: Black Society in Spanish FL and the Digital Archive. “The Justice Sessions presents ‘Black Society in Spanish Florida and the Digital Archive’ featuring Jane Landers, author and history professor. The year-long virtual webinar and discussion series “The Justice Sessions” features speakers from UNF and the local community discussing Jacksonville’s history of racial and civil rights struggles to better understand where we came from and how we can move forward united into the future.”
Emory University Event: Lift Every Voice 2020: Defining the Black Reconstruction Archive. “‘Defining the Black Reconstruction Archive’ is the first of three panels that will explore the history and significance of Reconstruction. Panelists will highlight the manner in which African American archives and Black print culture illuminate the African American experience and shape the stories that we tell. They will discuss such topics as the use of archival collections that shaped their research, and African American patriotism and activism.” I’m 99% sure this is both free and virtual.
Hyperallergic: Now Is the Perfect Time to Learn About William Greaves. “An active filmmaker for nearly 50 years before his death in 2014, William Greaves was continually at the forefront of Black independent directors in the US. He was a vital contributor to the long-running public affairs show Black Journal (episodes of which are archived online), and directed numerous short and feature documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement and Black American life….Recently, under the supervision of Greaves’s widow Louise and avant-garde filmmaker Su Friedrich, a new website dedicated to his work has launched.”
State Archives of North Carolina: The African American Education Digital Collection is now Complete. “This digital collection covers the day by day interactions of the Division of Negro Education with the African American community. The collection ranges from the early to mid 20th century and includes correspondence, articles, speeches, reports, newspaper clippings and more.”
Atlas Obscura: A Rare Day-by-Day Document of Life Aboard a Slave Ship. “THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE DATABASE documents more than 36,000 voyages in which enslaved persons were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean…. Despite the overwhelming density of these kinds of records, masking brutality with meticulous documentation, far less survives to describe daily life on these ships, or the experience of being on board. That’s what distinguishes the ‘Journal of the Slave Ship Mary,’ recently acquired by Georgetown University Library in Washington, D.C.”
Associated Press: Alabama Archives faces its legacy as Confederate ‘attic’. “Hundreds of memorials glorifying the Confederacy had been erected by the time Marie Bankhead Owen built what may have been the grandest: The Alabama Department of Archives and History, which cataloged a version of the past that was favored by many Southern whites and all but excluded Black people.”
Digital Trends: KweliTV is a streaming service that puts Black stories first. “The streaming service is home to over 400 indie films and television shows, with over 35,000 registered users and growing. But it’s more than just a ‘Black Netflix.’ Rather than try to compete with larger services that boast millions in revenue and funding, KweliTV wants to thrive in the gap, by being deliberate about the content it hosts. Spencer considers KweliTV’s list carefully curated, and maintains that the service is purposeful about only hosting movies that don’t just feature Black characters, but also feature Black directors, writers, and producers.” I don’t often cover pay services, but this site a) has a free tier, b) has a day pass for $2.99, and c) even at full price is all of $5.99 a month. If you’re a college student you can get the service for $3.99 a month.
Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: New tool to preserve historic resources from the African American Civil Rights journey in Nevada. “Whether it is the site of the 1910 Johnson-Jeffries fight in Reno that established Nevada as a live-entertainment destination, or the Harrison House in Las Vegas where African-American performers stayed in the era of segregation, the State of Nevada is home to many iconic buildings and landmarks that have helped shape the story of the Civil Rights Movement in the Silver State. Beyond the most well-known locations, there are many that are yet to be discovered. Commissioned in 2019 and funded by the National Park Service, ‘The African American Civil Rights Experience in Nevada, 1900-1979’ cultural resource guide is now available to help identify significant historic events and locations throughout Nevada that played an integral role in the African American pursuit of civil rights.”
Digital Library of Georgia; Decades of episodes of Augusta, Georgia’s pioneering African American gospel television program Parade of Quartets now available freely online. “Parade of Quartets, broadcast on WJBF-TV in Augusta, Georgia since 1954, is a rare example of a sustained African American media presence on a southern television affiliate. Hundreds of well-known Black gospel musicians such as Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the Swanee Quintet have appeared on the program. In the last few decades, the program’s content has expanded to include local and national African American political leaders’ appearances. Some of them appear in the digitized materials, which cover the period from 1980 to 2011.”
Emory University: Emory acquires archive of Black Panther Party activist Kathleen Cleaver. “Emory University has acquired the personal papers of Black Panther Party member, activist, and retired Emory Law faculty member Kathleen Cleaver. The papers, which will reside at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, span Cleaver’s career and life as an activist, particularly as a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and include personal and professional correspondence, books and photographs, as well as audiovisual and born-digital material.”
Cal State Channel Islands: Prominent Black actors to participate in an online read-a-thon produced by CSUCI Performing Arts faculty. “African American actors Phylicia Rashad, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Roy Wood Jr., are among 34 renowned Black actors from stage and screen who will join in an online weekly reading marathon of W.E.B. Du Bois’ ‘Black Reconstruction In America’ beginning on Friday, Aug. 28. ‘The ReadIn Series’ is produced by CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Performing Arts/Dance Lecturer MiRi Park with assistance from Associate Professor of Performing Arts/Dance Heather Castillo.”
I found out about this new site via a virtual event announcement. Apparently it opens in two days: the Black Craftspeople Digital Archive. From the front page: “The Black Craftspeople Digital Archive seeks to enhance what we know about black craftspeople by telling both a spatial story and a historically informed story that highlights the lives of black craftspeople and the objects they produced. The first phase of this project focuses on black craftspeople living and laboring in the eighteenth-century South Carolina Lowcountry.”