Inside the nation's largest African American video oral history archive

The creator of a Black history archive called "The Historymakers" is helping future generations learn about the many accomplishments of African Americans, past and present.

Video Transcript

- All this month, eyewitness's is looking at the importance of teaching Black history as American history to all children. And tonight, we introduce you to the creator of a Black history archive which will help future generations learn about the many accomplishments of African-Americans, past and present. Eyewitness News anchor Sandra Bookman has the story.

JULIEANNA RICHARDSON: We just lost Hank Aaron. And people are leaving here. We just lost Cicely Tyson. They're leaving here in rapid succession.

SANDRA BOOKMAN: And Julieanna Richardson has made it her life's mission to make sure the accomplishments of people like Aaron and Tyson are not forgotten. She's the founder and President of The History Makers, the nation's largest African-American video oral history archive.

JULIEANNA RICHARDSON: I want to give the Black community their place in history. I mean, and I want to make sure that we leave a documentary record.

SANDRA BOOKMAN: The History Makers is, essentially, a digital repository for the Black experience. Its nearly 3,400 interviews includes leaders in 15 different categories from the arts to business to politics, medicine, and religion. Many of them well known.

HANK AARON: Henry Louis Aaron. H-E-N-R-Y is the first--

SANDRA BOOKMAN: Even a young Barack Obama, then a Senator from Illinois, thinking about his future.

BARACK OBAMA: My career is still largely ahead of me as opposed to behind me.

SANDRA BOOKMAN: Others not famous at all, but who succeeded despite the odds, and whose stories form the backbone not just of Black history, but of America's history, like chemist Sondra Akins.

SONDRA AKINS: That was the way to disprove the myth of Black inferiority.

SANDRA BOOKMAN: The hope is that these unique first person testimonies will give future generations a more complete look at the lives and legacy of African-Americans.

JULIEANNA RICHARDSON: We wanted to be able to show all the areas that we have impacted, not only US society but the world.

SANDRA BOOKMAN: The History Makers' one of the kind collection is housed permanently at the Library of Congress.