History Center Celebrates Newspaper That's Chronicled Black Life In Austin Since 1973
The exhibit, Our Community, Our Voice: Photographs from The Villager Newspaper, features images published in the weekly paper since it was founded by Tommy Wyatt in 1973.
"Our philosophy is we wanted to put together the historical record of the black community and the good things about the black community," Wyatt says of The Villager. "In our daily papers, all you could see when we made the front page is when an African American had done something bad, killed somebody or got arrested for whatever."
It's a sentiment shared by the Austin History Center's African American community archivist kYmberly Keeton who, in working on the exhibit, pored through hundreds of photos from The Villager.
"[Wyatt] speaks about the goodness of black people," Keeton says. "When you look at other newspapers, you won't get to see the debutants. You won't get to see the straight-A students that come from our community being featured weekly."
The Austin History Center's exhibit on The Villager will be on display Jan. 30 to April 19. An opening reception is planned Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The exhibit is part of the Austin History Center’s kickoff to its first-ever African American genealogy conference, Growing Your Roots.
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