ITHACA, N.Y. –– As protests for racial justice continue around the country, and around the world, the History Center in Tompkins County has begun a new collection detailing the Black Lives Matter and solidarity movements within Tompkins County.
The History Center is asking for the public to share their experiences from protests through personal writing, photos, videos or protest signs.
“History happens all the time, we don’t even notice it,” said Donna Eschenbrenner, the Director of Archives and Research Services. “But this movement is transformative and will change the course of history.”
Protests were sparked nationwide last month by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. In Ithaca, there have been several rallies, marches and protests that have drawn massive crowds to march and hear speakers from the Black community.
The submissions will be added to the Black Lives Matter archive, which will accompany the History Center’s Black History Collection. The History Center has a comprehensive archive of pictures, writings, and other artifacts of Black history in Tompkins County, highlighting organizations such as Club Essence –– a grassroots organization that promotes unity, fellowship, and support among African American women.
“Our mission is to collect and preserve Tompkins County history and Black history is a big part of that,” Eschenbrenner said.
Submissions have been scarce so far but the History Center hopes to change that by reaching out to the public through social media and newsletters.
So far they’ve received signs, photos, and videos from the protests and an electronic quilt curated by faculty and students at Tompkins County Community College.
“What we are missing in quantity, we are making up in quality,” Eschenbrenner added
All submissions can be sent to Donna Eschenbrenner at firstname.lastname@example.org with information regarding the time, date, and location of the images and names of authors for the written submissions.
While the History Center is closed due to COVID-19 resources can be accessed through their website. They hope to re-open to the public later this summer.