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The Civil Rights History Project

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The Civil Rights History Project is an undertaking of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. In its first phase, the SOHP interview team conducted fifty interviews with civil rights movement veterans from coast to coast. They recorded interviews with rural activists in Arkansas, organizers in Detroit, folk singers in New York, and many more. From these interviews emerged important stories of transformative struggle, suffering, and justice-seeking.

This year, we began a second phase of the project, and will soon begin collecting another fifty oral histories. Our interviewing team is anchored by videographer and ethnographer John Bishop, who will film most of the fifty interviews. John is joined by fellow videographer Petna Ndaliko and historians John Dittmer (author of Local People), David Cline (author of Creating Choice), Emilye Crosby (author of A Little Taste of Freedom), Will Griffin, and Hasan Kwame Jeffries (author of Bloody Lowndes). The SOHP’s Seth Kotch is principal investigator and Project Supervisor.