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The CHALLENGE

HISTORY's reimagining of the landmark series ROOTS told the powerful story of an enslaved family's struggle to preserve their name and identity. We needed to drive awareness on social media in a way that did justice to this epic series.

 

THE EXECUTION

We partnered with the Freedmen's Bureau Project to create Reading for ROOTS, a multi-platform campaign that mobilized the public to help transcribe thousands of historical records of former enslaved people. The transcriptions were used to create a searchable digital archive so that modern African American families can rediscover their roots.

THE RESULTS

In less than 3 weeks, participants transcribed over 6,000 documents containing more than 14,000 names, all with the potential to help 22 million African American families reconnect with their ancestors and rebuild their family trees.

We used social posts in order to transcribe names, uncover paths, and reconnect families.

 

#ReadingforRoots helped the Freedmen's Bureau Project reach 100% of their goal in just 3 short weeks, finishing the project in time to donate the entire database to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. just before it opened.