The Colored Conventions Project
University of Delaware
Volunteers Needed to Transcribe Minutes
Thirty-five years before the abolition of slavery, visionary American prophet Bishop Richard Allen hosted a national gathering of Black men and women at Mother Bethel, Philadelphia.
At this, the first Colored Convention 1830, delegates from African American communities gathered, elections were held, committees appointed and official conversations about the African-American response to racial crises of the day were held. At the conclusion of the meeting, resolutions were passed and a statement of understanding presented by the president of the convention Bishop Richard Allen, copies of which were issued and made available to the public. Does this process sound familiar?
At the conclusion of that first Colored Convention, a signal moment in African-American history, Christianity and citizenship took place under the auspices and direction of the venerable Bishop Richard Allen within the embrace of African Methodism. The calculated and superbly organized democratic Colored Convention, the first of many held throughout the nineteenth century, marked the entrance of an organized, representative African-American voice into public American discourse.
Bishop Allen and the AME church are part of the genesis of what came to be known as Liberation Theology later giving birth to Civil Rights Movement and the myriad organizations local, national and international dedicated to racial uplift, justice and Christian brotherhood. We have lost much to the passage of time but the history of these Colored Conventions and the seminal role played by both our founders and the church they blessed us to inherit does exist.
We are inviting the AME church to reclaim our history by participating in the transcribing process of the minutes of Colored Convention meetings which took place in our home states and churches. Please visit the Colored Conventions website at coloredconventions.org. to gain a better understanding of the transcribing process. By transcribing the documents we will help make the entire database searchable and therefore more accessible. The transcribing process is simple but critical to ensuring that accurate records are kept and the information available to present and future AME congregants and scholars alike.
Come help us transcribe the minutes of the Colored Conventions!
During the 19th century, African Americans sent thousands of delegates to conventions they held across the U.S. and Canada. They organized to fight for political, labor, social and educational equality. Yet records of these gatherings have been all but forgotten. The Colored Conventions Project presents them online together for the first time.
Records from the more than 65 conventions are hard to search and share. We are asking people to help us correct transcriptions to create a full and searchable edition of colored convention minutes. When completed, students and researchers can learn about this rich chapter in our history as never before.
There were 15 Colored Conventions held in AME churches (that we have identified). The list can be found on the site here http://coloredconventions.org/transcribe-minutes?set=ame and in the list at the end of the "pitch" for VOLUNTEERS to help transcribe some of the proceedings. Attached also is a press release.
Transcribing is very easy! The minutes are type written and have been scanned in. However we have to make corrections so the scanned document matches the historical record exactly--there is no substitute for a careful eye. We are asking for a time commitment of two hours--at intervals convenient to you. You can log in and transcribe for as long or as little as you like.
1.) Click the Transcribe Minutes button. You will be asked if you have ever transcribed minutes and or used Scripto. If you do not have an account, you will have to create one.
2.) Log into Scripto--click on the hyper link on the transcribe minutes page. Create an account and save your log in information. Saving your user name and password information will make it easier to log into your account to transcribe the future because the program will remember you when you log in again.
3.) Go back to the Transcribe Minutes page. Click on the button. The minutes are posted by thumb-nails. Choose which set of minutes you want to transcribe. Each thumb-nail has a task bar underneath that shows how much has been transcribed. Click on the image. Look to the top right and log into Scripto. You will be automatically taken to the minutes you selected.
Now! See below:
Each transcription page displays a PDF image of a single page of a convention's minutes. The current version of the transcription appears below it.
1.) Make the transcription match the PDF image.
There are 2 scroll bars--both are on the left. One to control the minutes at the top of the screen and the other to control the transcribing section on the bottom of the screen.
2.) Click the "Save Transcription" button below the transcription to save your work. Save often!
To see the current saved version of the transcription, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
3.) Click the red "Submit" button on the bottom right of the screen.
To continue transcribing, click "Next Page" button, or go back to the Transcribe Minutes page to select a new document.
May God continue to bless and keep you in His grace.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact:
Dr Verda Bradley
(Chief Executive Officer - CLEDC)
We look forward to hearing from you as we embark on this phase of reclamation and restoration.
Denise Burgher and Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman
for the Colored Conventions Project
P. Gabrielle Foreman
Ned B. Allen Professor of English
Professor of Black Studies
Senior Library Research Fellow
Faculty Director, The Colored Conventions Project
The University of Delaware