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A Landmark African-American History Project Needs Your Help

If history is indeed written by the winners, then there’s a good chance everyone else will be left out. Black people have been here since before the United States even existed, but centuries of racism have erased their stories from historical records.

The Freedmen’s Bureau Project hopes to remedy that problem. The project is a joint initiative from FamilySearch International, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, and the California African American Museum. By this time next year, the project will have digitized more than 1.5 million documents—but they need your help.

The organization known as the Freedmen’s Bureau was created in the 1860s to help newly freed slaves. The Bureau worked to provide black Americans with all the necessities of daily life, including schools, hospitals, food, clothing, and community. In its seven years of existence, the Bureau amassed pages and pages of hand-written records documenting the details of marriages, military service, school enrollment, loans, and medical histories of as many as 4 million Americans. These records represent a wealth of information, information that could bring modern Americans vital information about their family histories.

But these records aren’t going to digitize themselves. The project is currently enrolling volunteer archivists to help input the records’ rich data in a searchable online database. As of this writing, project members and volunteers have completed inputting information from 26 percent of 1.5 million bureau records.

“Everyone needs to know who they are,” said Diane Watson, former U.S. Representative and U.S. Ambassador, in a press release [PDF]. “They need to know something about their background. They need to know the traits that run through the lines … The Freedmen’s Project will fill in those gaps.”

For more information and to find out how to volunteer, visit discoverfreedmen.org.

Header image via Freedmen's Bureau Project.

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The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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