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  • Writer's pictureAngela Ford

The Obsidian Collection Origin Story

I used to listen to TED Talks on Tuesdays. It was my way to get snippets of good information on good topics in short form. My goal was to give a talk someday. My friend nominated me to APPLY to speak at TEDx Wrigleyville. That TEDx chapter is extremely competitive so I was open to their final decision. I am honored they chose me to speak. I wanted to speak about what we are doing and why it is so necessary.

My talk starts with a reflection of my childhood.My parents bought our home in 1967. We were the second Black family on the block. Within two years, there were only two White families remaining. My mother lived there 47 years to her death and my sister owns the house now.I am still friends with the children I grew up with. Many still own the family homes.When I visit the block, we refer to the homes by the last name of the first Black family. We’d say, “The Washington house just sold to a beautiful young family!”

I’m still in contact with more than half the people in this photo. Some of their children call me “Auntie Angie.” We grew up filled with love, laughter and good news. I want the same for the young Black children of today.

We’re committed to reclaiming the Black Narrative. That is no small feat as media has condensed to very few voices. Those voices either have nothing to say about the Black diaspora or something negative. I didn’t grow up that way. There were hundreds of Black newspapers in America and I had access to good news every day.

All the Obsidian Collection’s programming is designed to make accessible both writers and images for Black media outlets to tell accurate stories. We are getting it done. This TEDx Talk helps us spread the word.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

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