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Burning Spear Media in the UFDC

A guide to the digitized content from Burning Spear Media in the University of Florida's Digital Collections

Preserving the Journalistic Recordings of Burning Spear Media, 1971-1999

A circular emblem has a green background with a hand holding a spear in black. The head of the spear is surrounded in yellow and orange flames. The words "Voice of the International African Revolution" are in a ring around the emblem. Below the emblem is "BURNINGSPEARMEDIA" in orange and black font.

The George A. Smathers Libraries and Burning Spear Media have partnered to digitize and make publicly accessible over 1,495 audio and video recordings. These media document the history of the Black Power struggle through activities of the Uhuru Movement. Recordings include conferences, workshops, Freedom Schools, Sunday Meetings, homeless activism, protest marches, speeches, electoral campaign activities, and activists’ personal accounts. They chronicle the survival, continuity, and growth of the movement for Black Power and African Internationalism from 1971 to 1999.

This project is supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Mellon Foundation, which will allow the Libraries to ingest and preserve these recordings, making them freely available through UF’s Digital Collections. Once completed, this project will offer rare resources for current and future generations of students, activists, journalists, filmmakers, historians, and the general public. Issues of the Burning Spear Newspaper going back to 1969 have already been digitized by the UF libraries and are available in the UF Florida Digital Newspaper Collection.

The initials of CLIR in a red square brandmark and the full name of the Council on Library and Information Resources to the right in black font.

Project Update

The first batch of media, including reel-to-reel, audio cassettes, and VHS tapes, is currently being processed by digitization and media migration specialist Preserve South. The second batch, including audio cassettes, VHS tapes, BetaMax tapes, and one Umatic cassette, is being sorted and prepared for shipping by our project team.

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