Getty launches Black History and Culture collection

Duke Ellington leans over a piano. French colonial troops stand at attention during the First World War. Abolitionists, cricket teams, Malcom X, The Jackson 5, a Dior show. These images are among tens of thousands spanning more than 200 years of Black and African people, places and events in Getty Images’ new Black History and Culture collection.

“We recognize that the historically dominant cultural structures that have built the photography industry and archive are grounded in white supremacy dating back to the 19th century and beyond,” the agency shared on the initiative’s website. . “However, the black experience has often been framed from a white gaze, informed by the ideology of white superiority and associated structural racism. Use this collection of rarely seen photographs to enhance and bring to light untold stories from the past.

Getty Images launched the Black History & Culture Collection with input from historians and educators including Dr. Deborah Willis of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Jina DuVernay of Clark Atlanta University and Renée Mussai of the agency. British artist Autograph. This is a compilation of approximately 30,000 assets covering many aspects of the African/Black Diaspora from the 1800s.

Related: How Getty’s Olympic photos are taken, edited and sent to the world in just two minutes

Who is the Black History and Culture collection for?

The Black History & Culture Collection is freely available for non-commercial projects that promote African/Black Diaspora education.

“The Black History and Culture collection was created for non-commercial use to build on existing educational materials, paving the way for a deeper understanding of black history,” writes Getty Images.

From Serena Williams and Booker T. Washington to the Tuskegee Institute and a West Indies cricket match, the collection takes users through the decades. Those looking for something in particular can sort the results by categories, including black British culture, entrepreneurship, families, civil rights, science and technology, and fashion, to name a few.

“It’s not all there, but there’s enough material to begin a process of reorganizing how we tell stories, why we tell stories. The availability of new content depicting black bodies, depicting black spaces , depicting black history across the waters shows that even black people have been part of our history,” says Dr. Tukufu Zuberi of the University of Pennsylvania, whose specialty is sociology and race relations. helped organize the collection.

How it works?

The Black History & Culture collection consists of content owned exclusively by Getty Images. The agency argues that the repository is by no means exhaustive, but that it starts with these assets because it owns the rights to them and can therefore provide them for free.

This excludes content from partners who make their photos available on the platform, but the agency said the other part of this initiative is to fill gaps in imagery. She hopes partners will join her in the effort. People who have black historical content and want to contribute can contact the agency.

For those wishing to use the assets in a project, they can request up to 500 images by filling out a request form. Content is free to use as long as it is not commercial, but once a project goes commercial (including advertising and broadcast costs), images will need to be licensed.

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