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EPISODE 7: Oral History for Movement Building

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From the Southern Oral History Program, this is Press Record: a podcast about the joys and challenges of learning history by talking to those who lived it.

EPISODE 7: Oral History for Movement Building

Press Record is back for the first episode of the school year! The main questions guiding this month’s episode are: how have activists incorporated oral history into their work and how can oral historians take their work outside the academy and begin to mobilize in their communities? The complete answers to these questions, of course, are beyond the scope of 35 minutes. However, in three segments, you will hear an array of responses that will hopefully begin the conversation.

First, we hear from Dan Kerr about his time organizing the Cleveland Homelessness Oral History Project and his views on oral history and activism. Next, Carol Prince discusses her experience at a workshop on oral history and movement building in Charleston, SC. In that segment, you will also hear from other folks from the community who attended the workshop and why they chose to use oral history in their own projects. Finally, you’ll hear a clip from the SOHP archive of Linda Upton Hill, a feminist activist storyteller who was involved in Knoxville, TN’s Carpetbag Theater Project on how she understands activism, storytelling, and oral history.

Producer’s Note:

In light of recent events and mobilization in Charlotte, North Carolina, we wanted to acknowledge that this episode does not address the current movement-building taking place in response to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.We began production on the episode in late August and were finishing edits as protests in Charlotte began to unfold. In response to the organizing work occurring right now, Press Record will release an episode featuring oral histories of Charlotte, North Carolina in the next two weeks. This episode will consist of interview clips mined from the Southern Oral History Program’s series on economic justice and school desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hopefully, these interviews will offer additional historical context and serve as tools to talk about a history of economic and political disfranchisement that informs today’s activism in Charlotte and the organizing strategies being mobilized.

Find the SOHP’s twitter page here. Feel free to tweet your feedback or share your thoughts on oral history and movement building or email your comments, questions, or ideas to us at pressrecordsohp@gmail.com!

You can listen to Episode 7 below through SoundCloud and please subscribe and rate us on iTunes here!

 

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Pictured left, participants in the Oral History Project view video interviews in the public square in Cleveland, OH. Pictured right, an oral history workshop.

Pictured above, participants in the Cleveland Homelessness Oral History Project view video interviews in the public square in Cleveland, OH. Below, an oral history workshop. (Photos courtesy of Dan Kerr).

From goKnoxville: "Linda Upton Hill tells stories to a group of children at the 10-year anniversary of the dedication of Haley Heritage Square in this 2008 file photo."

From goKnoxville: “Linda Upton Hill tells stories to a group of children at the 10-year anniversary of the dedication of Haley Heritage Square in this 2008 file photo.”

Additional Resources:

Find more information about Dan Kerr and his work here. His newest article is titled, “Allan Nevins Is Not My Grandfather: The Roots of Radical Oral History Practice in the United States.” Oral History Review 43, no. 2 (2016): 367-391. https://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed September 23, 2016)

Find out more information on the Citadel Oral History Program.

Find the full interview with Linda Upton Hill here.

For more information on current protest activity in Charlotte, visit Charlotte Uprising’s new website.

Check back in the next few weeks for more information about Charlotte, North Carolina and Oral History.

EPISODE ARCHIVE

Episode 1: Silence Speaks Volumes

Episode 2: Back Ways

Episode 3: Feminism and Oral History

Episode 4: LGBTQ Southern Oral History and Activism

Episode 5: Pet Sounds

Episode 6: Sweet Emotion

Episode 8: Voices From Charlotte

Episode 9: Veterans and Oral History

Episode 10: Women and Politics in the South

Episode 11: Oral History and the ERA

Episode 12: Revisiting “Back Ways”

Episode 13: New Roots/ Nuevas Raíces