The African American Museum & Library at Oakland was recently awarded a Recordings at Risk grant for $19,950 from the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize and preserve Black Panther Party and social protest films from the Henry J. Williams Jr. Film Collection.
The project will digitize and provide online access to 98 films and 4 audiotapes documenting Black Panther Party and student and union protest movements from the late 1960s to the 1970s. The films include footage shot by the documentary film collective California Newsreel of the Black Panther Party and its leaders in Oakland, California in the 1960s; union and student protest films of Vietnam War activists; United Automobile Workers and Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union union strikes; Farah Manufacturing Company strike of 1972; and student protests at high schools in Oakland, California, following the police shooting of 14 year-old Melvin Black in 1979.
AAMLO was one of only 16 grant recipients and is excited to be able to provide increased access to these nationally significant films. The films are expected to go online and be publicly accessible in the Spring of 2019.