As we strive to become the most interactive African American Digital Archive, Dakar Foundation has created an open letter challenge to engage community college students in researching the 13th amendment, Black History Month, and implementing an updatable -monthly social media platform to activate a year-long campaign to mobilize the Black Communities to Buy and Shop Black on  an observance day, December, 6th, 2021.

We’ll kick off the awareness phase, February 28th by streaming a town-hall discussion of like-minded stakeholders around the strategy to design, build, and run a world class e-commerce exchange with best of breed standards of tools and data science. This discussion will be augmented by publishing an interactive timeline of contributions past and present of Black self-determination, innovation, and accomplishment as well as making the case for the observance of Black Frëëdom Day, December 6th, 2021. Stay tuned for op ed to be signed by one of our great living symbols of the civil rights movement of the 21st century.

We’ll cite contributions in 5 key areas; sports, entertainment, military, engineering, leadership. These areas will provide a platform to grow the legend and grow the many factoids with including how public knowledge of the Black experience and the contributions of African Americans in every category is extremely limited and thwarts the inclusion and equity to American society as a whole.

America sits at a critically important crossroads where racist ideology is on the rise and documentation and preservation of 20th African American life, history and culture is at risk of being lost forever if action is not taken now. Many key public figures have passed away and will pass without having their stories documented and preserved for the permanent record.  The problem we want to address is controlling the narrative, as too many times the stories of our people are controlled by those who cannot or will not preserve them for the permanent record, for example the Microsoft,Africana Encarta project.

Dakar applauds archives such as The HistoryMakers, Skip Gates Encarta, and the NMAAHC, yet this is a race against time and political will to collaborate and stitch together all of the disparate efforts to a digital registry of factoids that can be enhanced by todays immersive media tools. Increasing public understanding and awareness of this crisis is the secondary reason we have to socialize this pending bottle neck, and thus a virtual Townhall of stakeholders to demonstrate the ways ahead for an immersive evergreen project underpinned by student voice and agency and supported by challenged based mentorship such as an Edding wall of fame.

Dakar selects, Feb. 28th, 2021 to shine a light on the urgency of this issue as well as provide a showcase of definitive tools, Dr. Carl Mack’s Black Heritage Calendar to accelerate the process of digitizing, curating, and accessioning facts that will allow us to aggregate efforts and consensus on the pages that will become the treatment (content) for building out an Immersive Video Wall of Fame, past, present and future.

“The challenges facing our country at this moment reinforce the need to preserve and elevate the truth about the African American experience. We must work together to massively digitize the personal collections of our HistoryMakers and other African American leaders. Otherwise, the continued distortion of the truth of African American contributions to our culture and democracy will continue.

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Our need is urgent, especially as the next generation of storytellers, curators, and stewards of our legacy is now taking the lead, “Our mainstream institutions have not approached preservation work equitably to be inclusive of the African American experience creating a heritage gap that is contributing to the divisions in America we are experiencing today. But even more important, there is also a funding gap to support and uplift this work, while also engaging generation Z and Alpha via reaction videos.  Example below

And that needs to change.” Since its inception, With education as its mission, its one-of-a-kind collection is housed permanently at the Library of Congress and provides an unprecedented and irreplaceable physical and online record of African American lives, accomplishments, and contributions through unique first-person testimony.

Our ultimate goal is to daisy-chain all of the vetted digital archives that have has been licensed by almost 80 colleges, universities (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Howard, Spelman, Morehouse, Ohio State, University of Oregon), K-12 schools, and public libraries (Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, etc.) for use by faculty, students and patrons. This has been particularly relevant in the COVID-19 era and the focus on online learning. This aggregation archive now and well into the future will provide a more complete understanding of who we are as Americans, as well as where we have come from, and where we are going as a nation.