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Wikipedia’s ‘Black History’ Will Get Taught a Lesson by Howard Students

A laptop computer displays Wikipedia’s front page.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
A laptop computer displays Wikipedia’s front page.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

All of Wikipedia’s pages, topics and entries related to African-American history will be getting some sprucing up by students and faculty members from Howard University, according to HBCU Digest.


The “edit-a-thon” is part of a Black History Month initiative to be held at the school’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center on Feb. 19. Eligible content ranges from entries about influential people in African-American history to legislation fought for by black Americans, as well as the mass protests and pop-culture moments that have affected African Americans. Community members are free to attend and watch as Howard students and professors “correct and make additions to Wikipedia entries with African-American historical significance,” the Digest reports. 

This isn’t the first initiative aimed at tweaking Wikipedia’s content on African-American history. The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will also be editing existing Wiki entries throughout the month of February, as well as creating new pages focused on “prominent [black] figures who might have been overlooked,” this Essence report describes. 


Howard Dodson, the director of MSRC, described how some of Wikipedia’s entries pertaining to African-American history are not substantive enough and don’t include the nuances of the topic. Dodson said that Howard is the perfect place to take on the task of improving a lot of the Wiki content that users look to when educating themselves about black-American history.

“Howard University is the ideal place to hold an edit-a-thon on this broad and underserved subject area,” Dodsk said. “Howard has pioneered in the development of scholarship on the global black experience, with hundreds of scholars and graduate students focusing on Africana-related themes.” 

Read more at HBCU Digest and Essence.

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