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Jan Schenk (he/him) for Postman

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Where Are Black History and Culture APIs?

Here at Postman, we obsess over all things API. And inclusivity is at the heart of our mission to make API development accessible to everyone. That’s why we’re passionate about features that foster collaboration and openness—such as public workspaces, which provide access to APIs of all kinds so that developers around the world can learn and innovate.

APIs are everywhere, but are there APIs for every_thing_? Given that February is Black History Month in the US, I was curious to know whether there are APIs out on the vast “interwebz” that address themes around Black history and culture. Running on the energy of this curiosity, I wanted to build out a Postman public workspace showcasing such APIs. Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to create a seedling for community collaboration—so that we can all grow a repository of Black-related API resources together.

In a world filled with APIs for virtually anything (from recipes to music and memes), it turned out that finding APIs related to Black resources is comparable to locating a single code-breaking typo. During my search, I held onto hope that surely there must be an API that handles data on Black-owned businesses or community events featuring Black artists. It was disappointing to learn that there weren’t many that were easily discoverable.

What I did find, I included in my new Black History/Culture APIs public workspace—which is now meant to serve as a starting point for anyone to help expand. Here are some short summaries of five APIs that you can currently explore in the workspace, along with their Run in Postman buttons so that you can fork the collections and immediately work with them:

  • Black History Facts API: This open-source API offers the ability to return random facts regarding Black history. If you sign up as a developer on the Black History Facts website, you’ll also be able to contribute to the database of facts via the same API.

  • Igbo API: Igbo is a Nigerian language that’s spoken by approximately 45 million people but is considered endangered. The Igbo API aims to make the process of learning Igbo more accessible by utilizing an Igbo-English dictionary app under the hood.

  • SeatGeek API: SeatGeek is a live entertainment ticket search engine. The SeatGeek API can be used to search all events and/or performers in the SeatGeek Database with a given query parameter, such as “hip-hop” or “Kendrick Lamar.”

  • 8:46 API : 8 minutes and 46 seconds is the length of time Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck, leading to his death. This act was one of many motivators behind the global BLM protests that took place in 2020. The 8:46 API serves as a way to access reports and records of police violence against protestors for the purposes of public education. Please note that the JSON returned from calls to this API contains video content that may show police violence.

  • Twitter API : The Twitter API can be used to search for recent tweets via hashtags like #blacktechtwitter, #blackculture, and #blackexcellence among endless others.

If you check out these APIs, I hope they serve as helpful resources for further learning. And, building on our recent announcement regarding real-time collaboration in public workspaces, I’d love to know what other examples there are in the greater developer community that you’ve come across. I invite you to contribute to the Black History/Culture APIs public workspace today.

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