An Autoethnographic chronicle

The evolution of self-documentation in African American community archives


  • kYmberly Keeton University of North Texas



African American, community archives, social issues, access, entrepreneurship


There is a lack of African American community archives in Black libraries, museums, and institutions of higher learning in the Midwest and South of the United States. To better understand why this was/is happening, my doctoral research explores how individuals in Black communities archiving their personal and communal history. It is informed by a mixed-methods approach including autoethnography, phenomenology, material probing, and creative research techniques. By extension, the methods are non-exhaustive to help examine issues affecting African American communities in Texas from a personal and communal perspective in that prohibit its participation, and responsibility for self-documenting and collecting its local narratives for inclusion in Black Spaces, i.e., Black Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (BGLAM). The results of the first stage of this study suggest the need for a researcher to be involved as a participant and documentarian in community archival work in the African American community.


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Juried Papers