Within the early 1970’s, Toni Morrison and Middleton A. Harris, together with a crew of collectors, sought to mix pictures, artifacts and paperwork into one narrative that may someway seize the depth and breadth of what it has meant to be Black in America. Their grasp work, “The Black E book,” printed in 1974, included slave public sale notices and sheet music for work songs and freedom chants; transcripts from the trials of fugitive slaves; posters from Black Hollywood movies within the Thirties and ’40s; patents from Black inventors. The entries had been heartbreaking, amusing, stunning and provoking. Morrison knew then, as we now know, that we’re each dwelling within the historical past we’ve been handed and shaping the one we are going to hand off to future generations.
Within the spirit of “The Black E book,” “Black Historical past, Continued” is a sequence that may discover pivotal moments and transformative figures in Black tradition. We imagine the story a part of Black Historical past is significant as a result of, like components in a periodic desk, every story is a constructing block of risk.
Trying to the previous, the current and the longer term, we’ll be partaking writers, visible storytellers and our rising expertise crew to not simply inform huge tales, however to inform them in ways in which Morrison and Harris couldn’t have imagined after they had been sitting within the workplaces of Random Home placing collectively a guide. We’ll even be partnering with New York Occasions Stay for a number of occasions. Our undertaking didn’t begin on Feb. 1 and it gained’t finish on Feb. 28. Black Historical past Month is nearly over however “Black Historical past, Continued” is simply getting began. We hope you’ll go to us usually.
— Veronica Chambers
Edited by Veronica Chambers, Dodai Stewart, Adam Sternbergh, Marcelle Hopkins. Picture modifying by Amanda Webster. Designed and produced by Michael Beswetherick, Antonio de Luca, Ruru Kuo. Video analysis by Dahlia Kozlowsky. Picture illustration by Ruru Kuo. Extra help from Jeremy Allen, David Klopfenstein, Lauren Messman and Lauren Reddy.