Blackistory is an African American History app available on Apple and Google platforms as well as the web. Blackistory was developed by Kairo with technical support provided by App Brewery, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee mobile innovation lab.
Blackistory consists of 1,000 multiple choice questions organized in 10 categories: Africa, Inequality, Civil Rights, Government, Community Development, Individual Achievements, Diaspora, Quotations, Music & Movement, and Arts, Writing, & Acting. The app can be played as a tutorial, single, or multiple competition. “Learning about the culture, achievements, and barriers that Blacks have experienced is important and inspirational,” said Deborah Blanks. It helps us understand the challenges our country faces in achieving racial equity. It demonstrates why Blacks work to motivate America to live up to its ideals. It also values the connection of Blacks across the world.”
The prototype for Blackistory was initially developed decades ago as Ms. Blanks’ effort to ensure that her son Geraud had a strong sense of self, his ancestors, and the history of the African American experience in the United States and throughout the diaspora. Over time, the project has expanded with contributions from various sources and has been tested in a variety of training and educational venues.
The partners made the decision to offer Blackistory free because of their commitment to spreading knowledge across the nation. The Kairo partners continue to work on the development of additional products. A study guide and website resources are currently in development. The goal is for students and educators to use the app as part of a curriculum to be developed for the beginning of the 2021/2022 school year. Kairo will sponsor opportunities for individuals and teams to compete in community wide Blackistory Knowledge Bowls to reinforce learning in fun, competitive contests in February 2022. Kairo is also developing an app to showcase Wisconsin African American history for release this summer.