New York Times: Six Decades After the Banana Boat, Harry Belafonte’s Archive Sails Home. “The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library, has acquired Mr. Belafonte’s personal archive — a vast maze of photographs, recordings, films, letters, artwork, clipping albums and other materials. It illuminates not just his career as an musician and actor, but as an activist and connector who seemed to know everyone, from Paul Robeson and Marlon Brando to Martin Luther King Jr., the Kennedys and Nelson Mandela.”
Getty Blog: Consortium Forms Advisory Council, Announces Plans to Preserve Historic Ebony and Jet Photographic Archive. “The nonprofit consortium that acquired the archive of Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony, Jet and other iconic publications, today announced an Advisory Council that will inform the preservation and future use of the historic photographic collection to ensure the archive is made available for broad public use. The archive includes 3.35 million negatives and slides, 983,000 photographs, 166,000 contact sheets, and 9,000 audio and visual recordings, comprising the most significant collection illustrating African American life in the 20th century.”
NARA: Confederate Slave Payrolls Shed Light on Lives of 19th Century African American Families. “They are single lines, often with no last name, on paper yellowed but legible after 155 years, among thousands scrawled in loping letters that make up nearly 6,000 Confederate Slave Payroll records, a trove of Civil War documents digitized for the first time by National Archives staff in a multiyear project that concluded in January. For years, the Confederate Army required owners to loan their slaves to the military. From Virginia to Florida, the enslaved conscripts were forced to dig trenches and work at ordnance factories and arsenals, mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, or shore up forts.”
Christian Science Monitor: New website shines light on hidden figures in black history. “The website Black Quotidian features profiles of hundreds of lesser known African American figures who made their marks in U.S. society. The creator, a Dartmouth College professor, wanted to provide a fresh look at the lives of ordinary black Americans.” I didn’t see the URL of the site anywhere in the story! It’s http://blackquotidian.org/ .
Florida State University News: FSU professor establishes new Emmett Till Lecture and Archives Fund. “The Emmett Till Lecture and Archives Fund will provide much needed support to maintain, enhance, promote and grow the Emmett Till Archives at Florida State University Libraries. The fund will primarily support an annual Emmett Till Archives lecture and add to the collection. Other activities provided by the fund may include travel for researchers and students to work with the collections and funds for student scholarships and projects produced from the Till Archives.”
The Washington Post: A lost history, recovered: Faded records tell the story of school segregation in Virginia. “Half a century later, [Ethel Rae] Smith’s words have emerged through the discovery of more than 10,000 pages of records capturing the history of Loudoun County’s all-black, rural schoolhouses between the end of the Civil War and desegregation in the 1970s. The records, left to molder for decades in an abandoned building, include report cards, curriculums, class rosters, health and insurance records, photographs and faded maps.”
University of Maryland: College Park Community Of Lakeland To Get New Digital Archive. “A National Endowment for the Humanities grant will enhance the ability of Lakeland residents to manage their cultural heritage. In the late 19th century, a small African American community named Lakeland took root just beyond the grounds of what was then called the Maryland Agricultural College, now the University of Maryland. Lakeland thrived for decades, even in the face of historical forces like segregation, suburbanization, school desegregation and urban renewal, which plagued African American towns and cities across the nation throughout the 20th century.”