Getty Gives Access To 30,000 Unseen Images Documenting Black History

Getty Gives Access To 30,000 Unseen Images Documenting Black History

July 14, 2022

The Black History & Culture Collection initiative, launched by Getty Images, is now providing open access to historical images of Black lives dating back to the 1800s in both the UK and US.

Educators, content curators and researchers will be able to view around 30,000 images from the past, providing snapshots of Black history and culture away from the perpetuated narrative of slavery and colonisation. Through our advanced ways of understanding history, this initiative means we can continue preserving the lives of those before us through storytelling and images.

Project manager Kwame Asiedu, who worked on the project from Ghana for over a year, said that "the inception of this began in trying to respond to George Floyd's murder." He added: "This project is really important because it's about access and education and empowerment. For so long, those three words—regardless of whether it's an image collection— have been missing from a lot of Black communities around the world.

Cassandra Illidge, Vice President of Partnerships at Getty Images, said: "Getty Images is committed to making this historical content accessible to ensure a more authentic representation of world history and drive more meaningful dialogue. This collection was curated in partnership with a roster of prestigious historians and educators with the goal of providing unfettered access to historical and contemporary imagery which will help content creators who have been seeking an inclusive visualisation of history."

This is just the beginning of society reshaping their ways of exploring Black history in education and creative spaces through a decolonial lens.

Words: Blessing Borode
Photography: Leo Vals/Getty Images