Clicks to the Black World

15 Jan

by Sylviane A. Diouf, Curator of Digital Collections, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Digital Schomburg’s online exhibitions on various aspects of the black experience have truly become a global phenomenon. They are attracting visitors from all over the world. From Argentina to Zimbabwe and Montenegro and the Maldives in between. What do they know that perhaps you don’t?

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience remains the most visited curated exhibition of The New York Public Library. With a few clicks, visitors from 206 countries and territories, including Kazakhstan, Tonga, Suriname, Mongolia and Malawi, continue to explore its 16,000 pages of texts (392 books, book chapters, and articles) 8,300 illustrations, 67 maps and 100 lesson plans. In Motion offers a new interpretation of African-American history that focuses on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent to remake themselves and their worlds. In 13 defining movements this exhibition documents 400 years of migration to, within and out of the United States. From the move West to the Return South; from the Great Migration to the contemporary Caribbean and African immigration; from Haitians in Louisiana to African Americans in Liberia, In Motion maps out dynamic journeys of hope.

Africana Age: African & Diasporan Transformations in the 20th Century takes an in-depth look at the social, political, economic, and cultural transformations that occurred in the 20th century and paved the way for major positive developments in the post-colonial, post-segregation, post-apartheid first decade of the 21st century.

It has been viewed in 153 countries. Topics such as African Resistance to Colonization, African Americans and World War I, Black Power and Pan-Africanism, have found readers not only throughout the Black World but also in Myanmar, Indonesia, New Zealand, Brunei and Fiji. But it is the essay “The Colonization of Africa” that has been a surprise hit. It is the most visited single page of The New York Public Library’s online exhibitions.

African dynasties in India? 1.5 to 2 million African descendants in Iraq? Afro-Pakistani culture? There is much more to discover in The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World. From Arabia and Iran to India and Sri Lanka, this exhibition maps out a truly unique and fascinating story of struggles and achievements across a variety of societies, cultures, religions, languages and times. It has attracted curious minds in India, Pakistan, Yemen and Oman as could be expected but moreover it has reached 87 countries as diverse as Greece, Finland, Israel, Ukraine, and Argentina.

Informative essays by renowned scholars experts in their fields; unique documents and illustrations from the rich collections of the Center; easy navigation and attractive design have made the Schomburg’s online exhibitions an international success.

What the numbers and the reach tell us is that knowledge about African and African Diasporan history and culture is in great demand the world over and Digital Schomburg’s online exhibitions are at the vanguard in its dissemination.

See for yourself! Come and discover these and other exhibitions. Visit Online Exhibitions.

Digital Schomburg is more than exhibitions. It offers access to books, audio-visual resources, back issues of our newsletter, and selected links to high-quality sites, and large databases of books, articles, oral histories, images, maps, interviews, and television program

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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in African American News



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