Accessing African-American Archives

Accessing African-American Archives

The Johns Hopkins University will collaborate with Baltimore’s Afro-American Newspapers to open the 115-year-old newspaper company’s historic archives thanks to a $476,000 grant. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project will involve the university’s Center for Africana Studies and Center for Educational Resources at the Sheridan Libraries.

“At the core of the broader Diaspora Pathways Initiative is the quest to understand how African-Americans have, historically and currently, perceived their roles in an ever-changing world — one that is affected by processes such as immigration, the quest for full citizenship rights, multiculturalism, globalism and internal regional change,” says Dr. Ben Vinson, director of the Center for Africana Studies and a professor of Latin American history at Johns Hopkins. “Through the unprocessed archives of the Afro, we can obtain a new and privileged view and ultimately think differently about Blackness in Baltimore.”

Founded in 1892 by John Murphy Sr., a former slave, the Afro is the nation’s longest running family-owned Black weekly newspaper.



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