UW News

March 9, 2016

Quintard Taylor’s BlackPast.org history site gets redesign, first executive director

UW News

Chieko Phillips

Chieko Phillips

BlackPast.org, the online reference guide to African-American history started by University of Washington history professor Quintard Taylor, is getting an executive director and a website redesign.

Blackpast’s board of directors has named UW alumna Chieko Phillips the first executive director of the history website. Phillips has a master’s degree in museology from the UW and comes to the website from several years creating public reflection spaces for the Northwest African American Museum.

The website on African-American history also will receive its largest-ever gift of pro bono work in the form of a redesign by Jackson Fish Market, a boutique design and digital transformation agency. The redesign will make the site easier to read and allow multiple images for each entry.

Phillips said she looks forward to guiding the site through its redesign, “and experimenting with innovative ways for BlackPast to activate its content for those who use its vast resources.”

“Dr. Taylor has done a tremendous job of growing BlackPast.org’s content,” said Phillips. “It’s a project I couldn’t say no to.”

BlackPast.org was started by Taylor in 2007 with fewer than 100 entries. It now has 13,000 pages of material, with about 4,000 online encyclopedia entries in all. Visitors to the site numbered 3.8 million in 2015, and have already exceeded one million in 2016.

“We intend to have lesson plans with each entry to make it easier to get BlackPast into classrooms,” said Taylor. “The new design will make it much easier for people to post our information on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.”

He said the redesign support from Jackson Fish Market “will help ensure BlackPast.org is around a century from now.”


For more information about BlackPast.org, contact J. Paul Blake at 206-543-3958 or jpblake@uw.edu, or Phillips at 770-464-6066.