4. The Blackivists

The Blackivists, a collective of professionally trained Black archivists in Chicago, partner with institutions and community groups to help preserve the city’s Black cultural heritage as well as model reparative approaches to archives and archiving. Daniel talks with Ashley Farmer, who teamed up with the Blackivists to produce the AHR History Lab piece “Toward an Archival Reckoning” for the June 2022 issue. One of the collective—Stacie Williams—joins Ashley to talk about the group’s work. And Adom Getachew checks in to set this project in the context of a larger arc of upcoming Lab entries on the theme of “engaged history.”

In this Episode

  • Adom Getachew (Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago)
  • Ashley Farmer (associate professor of African and African diaspora studies and history at the University of Texas at Austin)
  • Stacie Williams (division chief of archives and special collections at the Chicago Public Library; member of the Blackivists collective)
  • Daniel Story (host and producer, digital scholarship librarian at University of California, Santa Cruz)




  • “Your Love” by Frankie Knuckles
  • “Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers
  • “The Whistle Song” by Frankie Knuckles
  • “Diamond in the Back” by Curtis Mayfield

By Blue Dot Sessions



  • Produced by Adom Getachew, Ashley Farmer, and Daniel Story
  • Audio engineering assistance by Myles Rider-Alexis
  • Transcription support by Syrus Jin