The National Football League and NFL Films have announced a new partnership with the Chicago based non-profit, The HistoryMakers to highlight the stories of African American players and others who have played a major role in the league’s history.
The NFL will provide the organization, which has the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, funding and hundreds of hours of footage from interviews with Black football legends from the past and present, including Pro Football Hall of Fame players.
The league will also donate their production services to interview prominent African American football players for inclusion to The HistoryMakers archives, which are permanently housed at the Library of Congress.
“We are thrilled to team up with The HistoryMakers and contribute to their rich video archives of African American history,” Ross Ketover, Senior Executive of NFL Films, said in a written release shared with ESSENCE.
“This will truly be a mutually beneficial relationship as our NFL Films interviews will be seen by a whole new audience, while The HistoryMakers will be able to add much-needed history to its national archives to educate millions for years to come,” Ketover added.
The HistoryMakers mission is to preserve the untold and personal stories of well-known and unsung African Americans and make them widely available.
The organization’s one-of-a-kind collection is described as an “unprecedented and irreplaceable physical and online record of African American lives, accomplishments, and contributions through unique first-person testimony.”
“We feel a deep debt of gratitude to the NFL and NFL Films for this incredible gift as this level of commitment will help move The HistoryMakers sports initiative forward in ways that we need and previously could not have imagined,” said Julieanna Richardson, Founder & President of The HistoryMakers.
“Our goal since our inception has always been to document the African American experience across a variety of disciplines and this commitment will ensure that the stories of African American football legends and African Americans who have played a critical role in NFL history will now become part of this nation’s patrimony.”
Since its founding in 1999, The HistoryMakers, have recorded nearly 3,400 video oral history interviews (11,000 hours) in 413 cities and towns, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Norway across various disciplines.