Black history was missing from archives. Let’s change that. – Julieanna L. Richardson – TEDxMileHigh

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Have you ever heard of Alonzo Pettie, the oldest living Black cowboy? Or The Golden Thirteen, the nation’s first Black Naval officers? What about all-Black towns like Mt. Bayou, Blackdom, and Allensworth? The legacy of Black life in the United States has profoundly shaped the country, but too often, we’ve failed to document and preserve the histories of Black Americans. That’s why Julieanna L. Richardson created HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive. In this joyful, inspiring talk, Richardson tells us the incredible stories of Black Americans she’s interviewed for her archive and explains why we must preserve records of Black experiences for future generations. Julieanna L. Richardson is the Founder and President of The HistoryMakers, the largest national collection of African American video oral histories on record since the WPA Slave Narratives. At Brandeis University, she did extensive oral history interviews on the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1980 and worked as a corporate lawyer, prior to serving as the Cable Administrator for the City of Chicago. In 2014, Richardson was profiled in American Masters: The Boomer List, a PBS documentary and exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at