“Black Midwest history is urgent, unique, amazing, yet overlooked – until now,” said Dr. Ashley Howard, University of Iowa Professor and one of the African American Midwest scholars guiding the project.
“America’s reckoning on race began in the Midwest, in Ferguson, Flint, and Minneapolis, but Black Midwest history has been lost in that conversation. Our project aspires to correct that.”
RACIAL VIOLENCE IN THE MIDWEST
INTERACTIVE MAPS & PHOTOS
An interactive map documents 200 lynchings of African Americans in the region; another page is dedicated to mass racial violence, including the 1917 East St. Louis massacre, the 1919 Chicago riot, and the 1943 and ’68 Detroit Riots.
SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS, HOLLYWOOD MOVIES
The site also features links to Black Midwest popular culture, including:
- A Spotify playlist featuring legendary Black Midwest musicians, from Motown artists, to Charlie Parker, Chuck Berry to Aretha Franklin.
- Movies and documentaries focusing on the Black Midwest history, including HBO’s Oscar winner Judas and the Black Messiah, Netflix’s The Underground Railroad, and ABC’s Women of the Movement.
AFRICAN AMERICAN MIDWEST SCHOLARS/CONSULTING PRODUCERS
The team guiding the project include leading scholars of the African American Midwest who are serving as consulting producers, including:
- Dr. Terrion Williamson, Professor of Black Studies, University of Illinois-Chicago
- Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin
- Dr. Ashley Howard, Professor of History, University of Iowa
- Dr. Erik McDuffie, Professor of History, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana
- Dr. Crystal Moten, Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- Christopher Wilson, Director of African American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- Donald Hancock, Professor, University of Cincinnati
Also serving as consulting producers are Jenna Hanchard, Emmy- and Edward R. Murrow Award-nominee and host of the Lola’s Ink podcast; and Lend Frison, Director/Producer of La Mancha Film Co.
Dan Manatt, award-winning documentary filmmaker of Democracy Films is serving as coordinating producer.
AfricanAmericanMidwest.com is the companion website to the public television documentary film, The African American Midwest: A 400 Year Fight for Freedom, in development.
Documentary project participants include the Midwestern History Association, Democracy Films, and the Milwaukee Filmmakers Alliance. Support for the project is being provided by Humanities Iowa; Humanities Kansas; Indiana Humanities; and Wisconsin Humanities.
For more information, visit AfricanAmericanMidwest.com
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