National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens National Community Curation Project In Chicago
By Monique Wingard
This past weekend marked the beginning of a new national effort to preserve the narrative and legacy of African Americans when the famed National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) hosted its first two events in ChiTown as part of the National Community Curation Project.
NMAAHC’S month-long visit kicked off Saturday with “#gODTalk,” an event at Harold Washington Cultural Center inspired by a recent study by the Pew Research Center about Black Millennials and faith, followed by “An Evening in Chicago,” a lavish, inaugural reception at CityPoint Loft, a special events venue in the South Loop.
Programming in the museum’s Chicago tour of this “digital-first initiative, bridging the generational divide,” continues this Saturday, September 14, when the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture invite the community to participate in “Digitizing Black Narratives.”
The NABJ-Chicago co-sponsored event will feature a discussion between chapter President/Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Maudlyne Ihejirika and Angela Ford, founder of the Obsidian Collection — a 2 ½-year-old, virtual portal for African American culture providing public access to material of historical, artistic and cultural significance gathered from across the country. More on The Obsidian Collection here.
Their “In Conversation,” taking place from 10-Noon at the DuSable Museum of African American History, will cover Ihejirika’s own journey to preserving her family’s history in the writing of her mother’s 2016 memoir, “Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War.” More on Ihejirika’s book here.
“Digitizing Black Narratives” is free and open to the public; however RSVP is required.
In the Community Curation portion afterward, the public will have the opportunity to have precious possessions such as old family photos, important letters and papers, VHS videos, and other family heirlooms, digitized for FREE! Yes. FREE!
Attending the inaugural reception were NABJCC’s president, Parliamentarian Gail Walker, Events Chair Brenda Butler, and Board members-at-large, Aisha Jefferson and Monique Wingard. The “#gODTalk” discussion can be viewed online, on the NMAAHC Facebook page.
The September program is part of a larger campaign to preserve, digitize, and share African American family history, and digitized materials could potentially be added to the NMAAHC’s online community collection. More on the initiative here.