In honor of Black History Month, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will be hosting an event to add more information for people of color called the “Black Life Matters Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon” in an effort to digitize and make information on black history and culture more available.
The Edit-a-Thon is one of four currently scheduled as part of Black WikiHistory Month Weekend NYC, a wiki-coordinated program focused on black history in the African diaspora, on Feb. 7. Other Edit-a-Thon events will be held at the Brooklyn Public Library, on the campus of SUNY Purchase in Westchester County in New York state, and at the Nashville Public Library in Nashville.
In an age when the answer to any question is just a click or tap away, event organizers say there is a noticeable dearth of easily accessible information concerning black history and culture, which indicates a discounting of contributions made by African Americans. “[Wikipedia] is, for [millennials], the source of information that they go to, and therefore, if they are looking up Ida B. Wells and Ida B. Wells isn’t there, then Ida B. Wells doesn’t count,” Schomburg director Khalil Muhammad, Schomburg director, told the Huffington Post. He added that The Edit-A-Thon seeks to solve this problem by providing the opportunity for volunteers to participate in adding and editing articles. Participants will be assisted by current Wikipedians that will offer support and instructions on utilizing the center’s research collection to write and edit their contributions to the site.
This is the first time that Black WikiHistory Month is being observed in the United States in association with the official Black History Month. The timing is most appropriate considering the current climate of racial awareness in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
For more information on this event and how to volunteer, visit NYPL.org.