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The Drum establishes a collection at the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies
One of five African American collections at the Hammond-based center, The Eddie and Carrie Wells Ponds Collection houses 235 physical copies of The Drum and photographs dating back to 1992.
The Drum Newspaper has donated 235 papers to the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies through the Nurturing Our Roots and Untold History Foundation, LLC. The collection is named after and dedicated to Eddie and Carrie Wells Ponds and will be housed at Southeastern University in Hammond, Louisiana, permanently.
This is the fifth Black American collection to be established under the direction of genealogist Antoinette Harrell, a local historian who is committed to preserving African American history in the Florida Parishes.
The collection houses physical copies of The Drum and photographs dating back to 1992.
The Ponds family began publishing the newspaper in 1986 after Eddie and his wife Carrie attended a lecture by Julian Bonds at Southeastern University. Eddie noticed that there were no news media covering the event. It sparked the desire to create a newspaper to share the news of the community that no one else would cover. Within weeks, they’d published the first issue of The Drum as a weekly, broadsheet..
The collection was well received by Keith Finley, assistant director of Southeastern Louisiana University's Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. Historically, there has been a piece of history missing from the university’s collections.
Now the community can take pride in knowing that Dr. Harrell is changing the narrative and working tirelessly to ensure that the history of African Americans in Florida Parishes is included in these collections at the center.
Since its inception, The Drum covered several Louisiana Florida Parishes. Ponds’s daughter Sharon assisted with the delivery and recalled how she photographed events and helped edit the newspaper. It has been a family business that she witnessed her parents working hard to maintain for decades.
Harrell said she was happy to see the Ponds family preserve the events, history, and stories of the people covered in The Drum over the last three decades. As part of the university archives, the Eddie and Carrie Ponds Collection helps to fill in the missing pieces of history for Black American people in the Florida Parishes.