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Many organizations and institutions are working to digitize pieces of Black history. Nearly two weeks after it was announced that the African American Museum & Library at Oakland received a grant to digitize rare footage of Black protests from the 60s and 70s, the Obsidian Collection revealed that they are working to bring vintage Black newspapers to Google, Chicago Magazine reported.

The individuals behind the Obsidian Collection serve as archivists for publications that include the Baltimore Afro American, The Chicago Defender and other Black newspapers, the news outlet writes. The group has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture to cultivate online exhibitions that highlight all of the Black publications from different eras throughout American history.

“More than just digitizing it for researchers, I’m passionate about the next generation seeing how awesome we are and in changing the narrative permeating the American conversation right now about African Americans,” project lead Angela Ford told Chicago Magazine. “What I love about Google Arts and Culture is you could be standing in line at the grocery store and viewing our archives. We’ll keep rotating them in and out and keep pushing them through social media. We want everyone to see us.”

Eight of the free digital exhibitions are now available to view on Google. In the collection, there are articles about legendary boxer Joe Louis, stories about Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago, and other pieces that capture the essence of what it was like to be Black in America during the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights movement.

As technology advances, many institutions are determined to digitally preserve Black history. Last year, the National Museum of African American History in Washington created the Community Curation Program to help Black families digitize old photos and footage.


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