The Villager newspaper, owned and operated by Tommy L. Wyatt, has been a community cornerstone in Austin since 1973. It grew out of the Black Registry, a directory for the city’s African American community, first published by Wyatt in 1970.
The Austin History Center has acquired the photo archives of the Villager. From Jan. 30-April 19, it will display "Our Community, Our Voice: Photographs from the Villager Newspaper," a selection of images curated by Kymberly Keeton, the center's archivist and librarian for materials related to the African American community, and Madeline Moya, the center’s media archivist. The opening reception on Jan. 30 is timed to a free, four-day African American genealogy conference, "Growing Your Roots."
"The Villager is the most sought-after African American newspaper in the capital," Keeton says. "It allows the community to archive its own news. Readers often submit their own stories without a ‘you pay, we publish’ policy."
"This exhibit is an opportunity for the community to see a selection of this very large collection, more than 5,000 images," Moya says, "and to experience the dynamism of Austin’s African American community with a glimpse into some untold stories."
See a sample of the photos below.
IF YOU GO
"Our Community, Our Voice: Photographs from the Villager Newspaper"
When: Jan. 30-April 19
Where: Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe St.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Information: 512-974-7480, library.austintexas.gov/ahc
Growing Your Roots 2020: African-American Genealogy Conference
When: Jan. 30-Feb. 2
Where: Austin Central Public Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St.
Information: 512-974-7390, library.austintexas.gov/ahc/growingyourroots