Browse Projects

Prevnext

100% Complete

2 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Telegram to Althea Gibson from Ray Robinson

In 1959, Althea Gibson’s autobiography “I Always Wanted to Be Somebody” hit the shelves. According to the NY Times Book Review, “you can read all about the girl from Harlem they call the Jackie Robinson of tennis. Her book is amazingly candid…The language is the language Althea uses, and the frankness with which she speaks of her life is not only refreshing but fascinating.” Gibson was one of the most formidable sportswomen of the mid-20th century. She was the number-one-ranked female tennis player in the world in 1957 and 1958, a two-time Wimbledon ladies singles champion, two-time U.S. Open ladies singles champion, winner of multiple doubles and mixed doubles tournaments, and a professional golfer. Gibson took to tennis as a teen and despite her skill was often prohibited from playing in elite tournaments because of her race. In 1950, lobbying by the American Tennis Association and former tennis player Alice Marble forced the U.S. Tennis Association’s hand and Gibson became the first African American to compete in the U.S. Nationals. Help us transcribe her 1957 Wightman Cup medal and several congratulatory telegrams so that we can learn how others described this fascinating woman in their own words.

Go

100% Complete

2 Total Pages 2 Contributing Members

Wightman Cup Medal

In 1959, Althea Gibson’s autobiography “I Always Wanted to Be Somebody” hit the shelves. According to the NY Times Book Review, “you can read all about the girl from Harlem they call the Jackie Robinson of tennis. Her book is amazingly candid…The language is the language Althea uses, and the frankness with which she speaks of her life is not only refreshing but fascinating.” Gibson was one of the most formidable sportswomen of the mid-20th century. She was the number-one-ranked female tennis player in the world in 1957 and 1958, a two-time Wimbledon ladies singles champion, two-time U.S. Open ladies singles champion, winner of multiple doubles and mixed doubles tournaments, and a professional golfer. Gibson took to tennis as a teen and despite her skill was often prohibited from playing in elite tournaments because of her race. In 1950, lobbying by the American Tennis Association and former tennis player Alice Marble forced the U.S. Tennis Association’s hand and Gibson became the first African American to compete in the U.S. Nationals. Help us transcribe her 1957 Wightman Cup medal and several congratulatory telegrams so that we can learn how others described this fascinating woman in their own words.

Go

100% Complete

4 Total Pages 8 Contributing Members

Pocket watch inscribed to William Lloyd Garrison from George Thompson

William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879) is best known as the founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1832. The AASS called for immediate emancipation and, acting upon a belief in human equality, accepted men and women, black and white as members. Garrison was also the editor and publisher of The Liberator, a weekly anti-slavery paper that ran from 1831 to 1865 calling for the "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves" in the United States. In 1832, William Lloyd Garrison met George Thompson a member of the UK Parliament and an anti-slavery orator while traveling in Scotland. Their close relationship led to Garrison naming his son, George Thompson Garrison, after his friend. Thompson returned to the U.S. in 1850 and presented William Lloyd Garrison with this engraved gold watch to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Liberator.

Go

100% Complete

49 Total Pages 39 Contributing Members

A Cinema Apart: African American Film Memorabilia (Larry Richards Collection)

During the segregation era, an independent industry dedicated to the production of “race movies” for African American audiences emerged in response to the exclusion of black artists from Hollywood and to counter the negative, stereotypical representations of African Americans in mainstream movies. The Richards Collection features rare items that document this formative period. Larry Richards began collecting around 1986 after receiving a race film poster (The Bull-Dogger) to exhibit in the 4th annual film festival during Black History Month at the Free Library of Philadelphia. His collection of race film memorabilia spans most genres, including musicals, westerns, and horror. Richards’ collection contains over 700 objects covering a period of time from the early age of cinema up through the 1950s. Help us transcribe these race film materials and learn about some of the popular films in this genre.

Go

100% Complete

72 Total Pages 24 Contributing Members

Diary written by Jessie Greer, 1919

Diaries are an invaluable resource into the lives of individuals at a certain point in time. Jessie Greer, a sixteen-year-old living in Cincinnati, Ohio, kept a dairy in the months following the end of World War I. The diary dates from February 21 to April 14, 1919. Greer’s diary shows an often-overlooked part of the war, how the people who remained at home continued their daily lives as soldiers fought overseas. Greer describes her interactions with family and friends and her work with the YMCA. In an entry on March 10, 1919, Greer describes a homecoming parade of African American soldiers. Help us transcribe this diary and discover what daily life was like for an African American teenager during the World War I era.

Go

100% Complete

2 Total Pages 12 Contributing Members

Plywood Panel Mural from Resurrection City

During the Poor People’s Campaign, participants at Resurrection City on the National Mall painted this mural, often referred to as “Hunger’s Wall” on twelve plywood boards. This mural illustrates the interracial nature and diverse concerns of the demonstrators. Vincent deForest, an activist with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) who participated in the Poor People’s Campaign, salvaged this mural after the Resurrection City encampment was shut down. After storing them for decades, deForest donated these panels to the NMAAHC in 2012. The text on this mural is scattered across all twelve panels. To ease transcription, we’ve separated the mural into two sections (top and bottom). You may find it useful to refer to the original image of the mural in its entirety, or other sections of the mural by clicking through this project. Please transcribe the text on the mural as follows: • Don't describe images; please transcribe the text only. • Please start each message on a new line to indicate they are separate/different/unique. • Do not worry about transcribing the messages in any particular order as long as they are all transcribed. Help us transcribe these panels and learn more about the diverse concerns of the participants of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Go

100% Complete

149 Total Pages 34 Contributing Members

Cpl. Roy Underwood Plummer’s World War I Diary

Roy Underwood Plummer (1896–1966) was born in Washington, D.C., and enlisted in the Army in 1917. Corporal Plummer served in Company C of the 506th Engineer Battalion. Plummer was one of approximately 160,000 African Americans who served as Services of Supply (SOS) troops charged with mainlining the military supply networks in France during the war. After serving in the Army, Plummer attended Howard University Medical School and established a successful practice in Washington, D.C. This Army and Navy diary was made specifically for soldiers serving during World War I. The pre-printed pages include sections to record enlistment and service details, a French-English vocabulary guide, an address log of friends and fellow soldiers, and much more. Plummer’s diary entries discuss several topics including his insights on relations between US and French soldiers and citizens, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, weather conditions, food and places that he visited, other African American companies and their bands, German prisoners of war, the study of French language by African American soldiers, and the racial conflict between US servicemen. Help us transcribe this rare example of the African American soldier’s experience during World War I.

Go

100% Complete

44 Total Pages 0 Contributing Members

Shearer Summer Theater Collection

Martha’s Vineyard is known for its leisure activities and summers. From the 1940s to the 1980s, the Shearer Summer Theater, an African American theater company, produced shows for locals and tourists alike. The Shearer Summer Theater was the brainchild of Elizabeth “Liz” White, a dresser on Broadway, who directed, and even bought a two story house to act as the stage in the 1950s for the plays. In the 1980s, White completed her first film, a presentation of Othello. Help us transcribe this program from a screening of Liz White’s presentation of Othello at Howard University.

Go

100% Complete

233 Total Pages 0 Contributing Members

National Baptist Publishing Board Publications

In the midst of the Great Depression, Henry A. Boyd, secretary of the National Baptist Publishing Board submitted the 34th Annual Report of the National Baptist Publishing Board to the chairman and members of the Board. Boyd notes, "We are pleased to report that notwithstanding the unusual financial depression and the shortage of funds, with the unemployment situation, there has been only a slight decrease in the circulation during the past year, of these publications." Help us transcribe this report and learn more about the workings and publications of the National Baptist Publishing Board.

Go

100% Complete

5,789 Total Pages 0 Contributing Members

Delegate Magazine

Founded by Pittsburgh Courier journalist C. Melvin Patrick, each yearly-issue of Delegate contains hundreds of photographs providing coverage of African American professional and fraternal organizations, special events, award recognitions, individuals of note, and newsworthy situations. The magazine was a virtual year in review of African American life in the United States during the 1960s and 1980s. Published by MelPat Associates, Delegate magazines were distributed free of charge by African American organizations at their conferences and meetings. Help us transcribe this issue to make the names, places, and events discoverable to all.

Go

Pages