The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history collection, turns twenty years old this year, and its work is more relevant than ever before. For The HistoryMakers 20@2020: Then and Now, The HistoryMakers Founder and President Julieanna Richardson, a Harvard-trained lawyer who combined her background in theatre arts and American Studies to create a living record of African American life, history and culture is interviewed by TV journalist Juan Williams. Housed permanently at the Library of Congress, The HistoryMakers collection of thousands of videotaped oral history interviews has grown to the largest of its kind. This one-on-one interview provides an inside look into Richardson’s motivation and vision when The HistoryMakers was only an idea mapped out at her dining room table. It also explores the building of the organization, its successes and challenges, how it has grown over the past two decades, and how it envisions its role in shaping the future as the digital repository for the black experience. Today, The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is in over 80 colleges, universities and public libraries and its website, www.thehistorymakers.org, is a “go to” resource that takes users into the lives of black people.
This 60-minute program is scheduled to stream on YouTube and Facebook Live at 12:00 noon EST on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 launching The HistoryMakers 20@2020: 20 Days and 20 Nights Convening and Celebration.
Juan Williams is one of America’s leading political writers and thinkers. Williams is currently a top political analyst for Fox Television, co-host of the daily talk show ‘The Five’ and a regular panelist for Fox News Sunday and Special Report. He is a former award winning Washington Post columnist, White House correspondent and NPR senior news correspondent. He was also the host of NPR’s nationally broadcast afternoon talk show. In addition to prize-winning op-ed columns and editorial writing for The Washington Post, Williams has also authored eight books, including three best sellers. His notable books include “Eyes on the Prize”, “Thurgood Marshall- American Revolutionary”, “Muzzled – The Assault on Honest Debate”, and “What The Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump’s War on Civil Rights”.
Julieanna L. Richardson, Founder and President of The HistoryMakers, has a unique and diverse background in theatre, television production, and the cable television industry created a unique path to founding and heading up the largest national collection effort of African American video oral histories on record since the WPA Slave Narratives. With a diverse background in law, television production and the cable television industries, she combined her various work experiences and her passion for American Studies and history to conceptualize, found and build The HistoryMakers. The HistoryMakers is a national, 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution headquartered in Chicago with regional offices in Atlanta, Georgia and the Washington, D.C. area. The HistoryMakers organization is committed to preserving, developing and providing easy access to an internationally recognized, archival collection of thousands of African American video oral histories. A 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School, Richardson graduated from Brandeis University with a double-major in Theatre Arts and American Studies, where she did extensive oral history interviews on the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes. She worked as a corporate lawyer at the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block prior to serving in the early 1980s as the Cable Administrator for the City of Chicago Office of Cable Communications. Richardson currently sits on the Honors Council of Lawyers for the Creative Arts. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Howard University (2012), Dominican University (2014) and Brandeis University (2016). She has also served as the commencement speaker for Dominican University as well as Brandeis University 65th commencement. In 2014, Black Enterprise magazine awarded Richardson its 2014 Legacy Award, its highest recognition of women’s achievement. That same year, Richardson was profiled in American Masters: The Boomer List, a PBS documentary and exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.