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Have you ever wondered what inspired Terry McMillan to become a writer or why Amsale Aberra entered the bridal business? These answers can be found at The HistoryMakers.

Headquartered in Chicago, this non-profit institution houses over three-thousand oral histories of notable Black Americans. Some famous figures who have had the honor of an HistoryMakers interview include Marcus Samuelsson, Phylicia Rashad, and former Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder.

Created in 1999 by lawyer turned public historian Julieanna L. Richardson, The HistoryMakers was established to supplement the minimal resources for Black American oral history. Before The HistoryMakers, the WPA Slave Narratives was the only similarly sized oral history collection that addressed the Black American experience.

The organization’s mission is to highlight what they call “America’s Missing Stories” and to provide information that “enlightens, entertains and educates the public, helping to refashion a more inclusive record of American history.”

Visitors do not need to travel to the Windy City to access the collection; they can visit The HistoryMakers at www.thehistorymakers.org, or the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

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