Opportunities with AFRO PWW

Libraries, museums, and archives serving Black communities have increased access to their holdings through digitization. These institutions house a wealth of primary resources that capture the history, culture, and essence of their communities. The AFRO PWW initiative seeks to optimize this access by offering several opportunities for collaboration. The ultimate goal is to bridge the "digital divide" by providing digital publishing related services to scholars and librarians at HBCUs, museums and archives that serve Black communities, as well as faculty and staff at minority serving institutions (MSI) whose research focuses on the Black experience.

Participants at an AFRO PWW workshop hosted by Jackson State University.

We expect to accomplish this goal by conducting free workshops designed to teach participants how to use some of the open access digital publishing tools, which will allow them to take that knowledge back to their own particular institutions: a kind of "train the trainers" project. AFRO PWW also is designed to assist in forming collaborative relationships between libraries with digital collections and academics seeking outlets for publishing their works online. The initiative also offers cooperative publishing opportunities to libraries at institutions with limited access to technology and digital publishing resources.

A longterm goal of the AFRO PWW project is for HBCUs to establish more autonomy and control over publishing in general and digital publishing in particular. We anticipate that the workflows developed by our project's library-based digital publishing model will be adopted and adapted by HBCU librarians and shaped to fit their institution's specific needs. Digital tools for libraries and archives like those provided by AFRO PWW can help make these resources available to local scholars and collaborators at other institutions. For a list of the digital publishing platforms we use visit our Tools page.

Panel co-sponsored by ASALH and AFRO PWW. From left to right: Dr. Tyechia Lynn Thompson, Dr. Felicia Harris, Dr. Kenton Rambsy, and moderator Dr. Ronald W. Bailey.

AFRO PWW has formed a collaborative relationship with the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University (JSU). In addition to JSU hosting our first workshop, we are working to develop a digital version of a traveling exhibit that highlights the life and legacy of Margaret Walker. Through a collaborative arrangement with Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, AFRO PWW co-sponsored national conference panels have resulted in the publication of three issues of this innovative born-digital peer-review journal. The first, an issue focusing on health issues in the Black community and the other two address digital publishing issues and their impact on bringing Black Studies into the forefront of the digital age. See our Featured Projects page for a look at works-in-progress for our AFRO PWW publications series.