The Archives of Historic Black Newspapers Are Going Digital | Smart News

Within a decade of the Chicago Defender’s founding in 1905, Robert Sengstacke Abbott’s weekly had become the most influential black newspaper in the United States. It helped fuel the Great Migration, campaigned for anti-lynching legislation and offered vital coverage of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot. Now, as Adrienne Samuels Gibbs of Chicago magazine reports, digital archivists for the black legacy press are teaming up with Google Arts & Culture to ensure that the Defender’s journalism is preserved for many years to come.

The effort is part of a larger plan to digitize the archives of black newspapers from across the country: the Dallas Post Tribune, the Washington Informer, the Afro American,…

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