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Black History Corrections: Howard University Focuses on Wikipedia

Students and faculty from one of the nation’s top historically black colleges, Howard University, set out to fill in the missing puzzle pieces to Wikipidea’s picture of black history. They have started educating the world by adding bits of black history that the site had no record of.

According to the Washington Post, students decided:

“With Black History month upon them, camped out at a Howard research center that houses one of the world’s largest repositories of Africana and African diaspora information and, over coffee and pizza, worked to add some tint to Wikipedia’s white.”

James Hare, president of Wikimedia D.C., the foundation that runs Wikipidea, told the Post:

“The stereotype of a Wikipedia editor is a 30-year-old white man, and so most of the articles written are about stuff that interests 30-year-old white men,”  Hare added, “So a lot of black history is left out.”

The foundation, Wikimedia, is making strides to fill in more of the missing information pertaining to black history by soliciting researchers and institutional resources from Howard, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in New York City and National Public Radio.

The Post reports:

“Both academics and researchers working with the foundation agree that the online encyclopedia suffers from a dearth of information about black history, too often petering out when the topics extend past the well-known names and events of slavery and the civil rights movement. In the Internet age, this is no trivial matter: To many people, a topic does not exist if it does not have a Wikipedia page.”

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