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Legacy Archive Document
Date: 1997 May 21

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EAP Secretariat's Archive
1997 May 21

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
MAY 21, 1997
.......... CONTACT INFORMATION:
Jackie Jones & Sandra Fowler
Fisk Race Relations Institute

HOLDINGS Project

HOLDINGS Partnership Documents African-American Legacy Details of HOLDINGS, a unique partnership between several prestigious African-American organizations, will be announced:

Wednesday, May 21, 1997 
11:00 a.m.
Four Seasons Hotel
Chicago, Illinois, USA

HOLDINGS, the acronym for Holding Our Library Documents Insures Nobility, Greatness and Strength, is a long-term initiative designed to preserve valuable, one-of-a-kind historical records and artifacts that document the early African-American experience.

"The goal of HOLDINGS is to preserve, protect and distribute the historical and intellectual properties of Black people throughout the Black Diaspora. It's important to preserve the legacy of our ancestors and document our struggles and accomplishments. We must be aware that keeping records intact is crucial for the accurate telling of the African-American story. In order to do this, we recognize the need for maintaining proprietary control over our intellectual properties." said Dr. Raymond Winbush, director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and one of HOLDING founding partners.

Urban City Foods, Burger King, the La-Van and Wendy Hawkins Foundation, the National Council of Negro Women, the National Council of Black Studies, and Historically Black Colleges & Universities are founding partners in this monumental effort.

Accessible archives will include, but certainly shall not be limited to:

  • The George Gershwin Collection

  • Selected Writings of W.E.B. Du Bois

  • Abraham Lincoln's Bible given to him by slaves upon their release

  • The Writings of Mary McLeod Bethune

  • The Gospel Collection which includes Thomas Dorsey's "Precious Lord Take My Hand," Charles Chestnut, and Chicago's famous Black Alderman Bill Dawson.

"These documents are a lasting legacy." said La-Van Hawkins, Chairman of Urban City Foods, Burger King and the La-Van and Wendy Hawkins Foundation. 

"It is time for America to realize we have African-American intellectual scholars, inventors, writers, athletes and entertainers, among others, who have a special place in history and helped build this great country. There exists an enormous amount of factual material that supports the contributions made by our people." Mr. Hawkins explained.

In addition to the preservation of historical records, the HOLDINGS project will provide technical assistance in collecting and preserving valuable archival documents. Organizations with historical documents related to African-Americans will be invited to participate in this on-going effort.

"Furthermore, I personally ask those capable of supporting this process to come to the table. Whether corporate executive, professional athlete, entertainer, scholar, foundation or community leader, let us join forces and recognize how important this is. It is because of my belief in this project that I pledge my financial support."

"In addition, technology is the way of the new millennium and this project will allow everyone to have access to important information, that would not otherwise be available. Coming from Cabrini Green makes me have a special appreciation for this new technology. With access to a school or community computer you can expand your environment and learn about success stories and know that there is a different world beyond your neighborhood." Hawkins said.

Dr. Dorothy Height, President of the National Council of Negro Women said, "This [project] is long overdue for African-Americans. We have such a rich history that most of the American people are totally unaware of. This is the mechanism to educate, motivate and inspire. Additionally, it is important that women know the true roots of their power."

Among those expected to attend the event are: 

  • Mrs. Wendy Hawkins, Hawkins Foundation

  • Dr. Rutherford H. Adkins, President Fisk University

  • Dr. Bill Little, National Council of Black Studies

  • Falah Al-Hadid, Technology Resolution, Inc.

  • Joyce A. Joyce, Chicago State University

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, Gwendolyn Brooks

Other invited guests include: 

  • Harry Allen, Public Enemy

  • Maya Angelou, Author

  • Jessie Carney Smith, Head Librarian Fisk University

  • John H. Johnson, Publisher

  • Michael Jordan, Athlete

  • Delores Jordan, Community Activist

  • R. Kelly, Singer

  • Oprah Winfrey, Talk Show Host

  • John Singleton, Film Director

  • Secretary of Education, Richard Riley

  • Dr. Mabel Pfifer, International Telecommunications Consortium

<<END OF PRESS RELEASE>>

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Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography
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Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography

Encyclopaedia Africana Project
1997 May 21
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