“We are our history,” said James Baldwin. But how history is remembered depends on what materials survive, and who deems those materials worthy of preserving.
In this Radio 4 documentary, Maya Millett – a writer, editor and founder of Race Women, an archive project dedicated to honouring early Black American feminists – speaks to the archivists who are working to ensure the voices and stories of African-Americans are not forgotten.
As racism and violence against African-Americans continues, collecting, cataloguing, and preserving the truth has never been so vital in preventing the distortion of history. The historical record has the power to preserve legacies and shape identities – but it doesn’t write itself. History is an activity, and what makes it into the archives depends on the actions people take now.