When I think of Black History and try to pull together a comprehensive archive of what it means, the first place that comes to mind is the DuSable Museum in Chicago, but that is probably because I am from Chicago. The Museum is small, and focuses on the Midwest, but it is full of amazing and interesting information. Then I think of the stories handed down throughout my family and the countless achievements of other black people and wonder how to best document these events. Due to the circumstances of our history, many of these historical facts have been passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation with little to no written documentation. However, our history is rich, and most, if not all of us, have some amazing story to contribute. That is why for most of the black community, black history month is so important. It is a time to remember the greats in Black History as well as reflect on the black history in our own families. I am sure that most of us forget to ask our parents, grandparents, and if we are lucky enough, our great grandparents about their lives, but when we remember, we always learn something remarkable that brings us closer to understanding where we come from.
This brings us to this DayInBlackHistory.com. Described as a community driven, interactive online periodical about the black experience, “day in black history” is a comprehensive online location of historical black related facts, news, and events.
The site starts out with black history related events and news from today (the date you visit the website). Each event or news listing is sortable for the week, and the best part about the site is that if it’s missing an event , you can simply add it. The site is more or less a wiki of black history, allowing the every day folk to document those little historical nuggets and share them with others.
DayInBlackHistory.com has been active since 2007, but based on their polls, it seems as if it experienced a period of inactivity. The site has since seen a resurgence, and will hopefully continue to gain the community participation needed to drive their success. Black history is so diverse and segmented, the only way we could complete the story of our history is to piece together all the little snippets of information.
A Google search on black history archives turns up multiple sites with minimal amounts of information that has a very specific purpose, most of which of designs that make the pages seem like they were forgotten after 2002. Here is a snippet of some of the results:
The History makers
Virginia Black History Archives:
National Archives on Black History:
I hope that as we continue to move forward, the internet can become a place where archives of our history are just a keyword search away and easy to find. The internet changes things. We are lucky in that we live in a day where we get to write our history on our terms, and easily share it with everyone.
Do you have any great Black/African-American History sites? Feel free to link me in the comments.