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Sprint Revolutionizes Black History Month with "Textoids"


Using Text Messaging To Educate Consumers

RESTON, Va. — 02/08/2006, Sprint (NYSE:S) and The HistoryMakers, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving African-American history through first-person stories, today announced “Moments in Black History,” a series of daily, ground-breaking “textoids” delivered via text message during the month of February. The program allows wireless-phone users to opt in to receive a daily Black History factoid with a link to Sprint’s Black History Month Web site, Here, users can find additional information on that fact of the day and other compelling narratives about African Americans.

The new service is available via text message to Sprint subscribers on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and the Nextel Nationwide Network. Subscribers can opt in at or by texting the message “PRIDE” to number 6101 on their mobile phones. Standard text-messaging charges apply. Additionally, anyone interested in receiving the “textoids” via email can sign up at at no charge.

“This project is innovative to say the least,” said Tammy Edwards, director of inclusion and diversity for Sprint. “We know that our customers rely on their mobile phones to stay connected and in touch, so we are utilizing the popularity and ease of text messaging to educate people about the contributions African Americans have made to America.”

The “textoids” will feature African Americans who have made and are making contributions in various areas such as art, business, education, law, military, religion and science, and will feature facts on HistoryMakers such as William Bonaparte, Jr., telecommunications entrepreneur; Ruth Beckford, dancer; Carl Long, Negro League baseball player; Dorothy Lane McIntyre, aviator; and Chester L. Blair, attorney.

Founder and Executive Director of The HistoryMakers, Julianna Richardson said, “We are enthused about our partnership with Sprint. The HistoryMakers’ goal is to develop the nation’s largest living repository of first-person narratives in order to show the myriad of contributions that African American have made and continue to make. On our website, we not only feature the more popular Black History makers like Ossie Davis and Marion Wright Edelman, but we also acknowledge lesser known African Americans for the impact they have made as well. Teaming with Sprint is a new and innovative way to tell these stories of success, triumph, and in all cases… stories of inspiration.”

“The Sprint ’Moments in Black History’ program is our way of demonstrating our commitment to our diverse customer base,” added Edwards. “We are the first in the industry to use text messaging to celebrate Black History Month, and we hope to extend this technology to all occasions that celebrate diversity and inclusion.”

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit

About The HistoryMakers
The HistoryMakers represents the single largest archival project in the world, outdistancing the existing video oral history collections of New York’s Schomburg Library and the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum. The HistoryMakers is unique among these other collections of African-American heritage, because of its massive scope. Like other oral history collections, The HistoryMakers collection hearkens back to the earliest and most authentic efforts to capture the voice of a people, while introducing state-of-the-art technology and increased accessibility. The HistoryMakers want to provide a living proof that African-American history did not begin or end with the civil rights movement. For more information, please visit


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