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Visual media company Getty Images has just launched the Black History & Culture Collection (BHCC), a groundbreaking initiative created to provide free non-commercial access to historical and cultural images of the African/Black Diaspora in the US and UK from the 19th century to the present day. The collection aims to grant access to rarely seen images for educators, academics, researchers, and content creators, enabling them to tell untold stories about Black culture.
The collection is available for projects focused on education around the histories and cultures of the African/Black Diaspora, dating back to the 1800s. Content created from the collection by partners must not produce revenue and/or be included in any revenue driving advertising or marketing.
The Black History & Culture Collection was carefully curated from content owned by Getty Images, in partnership with internationally recognized researchers, historians and educators, including Dr. Deborah Willis of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Jina DuVernay of Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Mark Sealy MBE and Renée Mussai of Autograph.
“Getty Images is committed to making this historical content accessible to ensure a more authentic representation of world history and drive more meaningful dialogue.” said Cassandra Illidge, Vice President of Partnerships at Getty Images. “This collection was curated in partnership with a roster of prestigious historians and educators with the goal of providing unfettered access to historical and contemporary imagery which will help content creators who have been seeking an inclusive visualization of history.”
“Getty Images visual archive can provide a unique look into the past and bring untold stories to the present,” commented Ken Mainardis, SVP of Content at Getty Images. “With the launch of the Black History & Culture Collection, we are proud to be able to unearth and open-up access to content previously unavailable or hard to find, facilitating the better telling and understanding of Black history through our visual content.”
Getty Images has partnered with many organizations and educational institutions, including Ohio State University, Black Archives, Radiate Festival, Black History Walks, and others who have already used the collection as part of educational curriculum, exhibitions, and dialogues surrounding vital events from the past, from well-known to previously unseen or untold. To help launch the collection, Getty Images worked with several influential Black voices, including Alexander Amosu, Wunmi Bello, Joshua Buatsi, Tiffani McReynolds, and others to share their own perspectives on pieces of history uncovered within the collection itself.
“To be involved with the Black History & Culture Collection and work so closely with reframing access to these images made a tremendous impact on me personally and professionally,” said Dr. Deborah Willis, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, one of the experts to help curate the collection. “It offered me ways in which to guide my students’ research projects and to show how the Black History & Culture Collection is an active/useful archive that can be used by artists, scholars, families, politicians, and students to recontextualize the past and give new meaning to images that have been largely unknown or underused.”
The Black History & Culture Collection is part of a wider program of activity Getty Images has made toward anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination. In 2021, the company established the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), supporting the digitization of archival photos from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Learn more about the collection, launch partners, curators, and content here
Credits: Creative Agency: The Mailroom