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SOHP News & Features Archive



The Southern Oral History Program will attend the Oral History Association Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin Oct. 8-12. SOHP faculty, staff, and students will present on a variety of topics–from digital methodologies to activism in academia. Director Malinda Lowery will also screen her award-winning film Private Violence. If you’re in Madison, check out their presentations and take part in conversations about the current state of oral history.

Emerging Methodologies in Oral History, Panel
Thu, October 9, 8:30 to 10:00am, Madison Concourse Hotel, 1, Senate A
Oral Histories on Display: Curating a Physical and Digital Exhibit for the SOHP’s 40th Anniversary, Jaycie Vos

Charting Future Directions for Oral History Projects, Panel
Thu, October 9, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Madison Concourse Hotel, 2, Conference II
Beth Millwood (Chair), Rob Shapard

Academics as Activists, Plenary
Fri, October 10, 10:15 to 11:45am, Madison Concourse Hotel, 2, Wisconsin
Rachel Seidman and Jacquelyn Dowd Hall

Film screening of “Private Violence”
Fri, October 10, 7:30 to 9:30pm, Madison Public Library, Community Room
Malinda Maynor Lowery

Recording Voices and Empowering Communities: Oral History, Community Engagement, and Social Justice, Roundtable
Sat, October 11, 8:30 to 10:00am, Madison Concourse Hotel, 1, Senate B
Hannah Gill (Chair), Sarah  McNamara

Moving to Reach Our (Full, Digital) Potential, Roundtable
Sat, October 11, 10:15 to 11:45am, Madison Concourse Hotel, 2, University A
Jaycie Vos, Seth Kotch, Virginia Ferris

Women in Motion: Examinations of Women’s Activism, Panel
Sat, October 11, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Madison Concourse Hotel, 2, University C
Chair: Malinda Maynor Lowery

Stories of Shape and Motion: Perspectives on Creating and Curating Audiovisual Collections of the Long Black Freedom Struggle, Panel
Sun, October 12, 9:30 to 11:00am, Madison Concourse Hotel, 2, University B
Negotiating the Boundaries: The Pragmatics of Managing Oral History Projects, Seth Kotch

Above, SOHP staff: Jaycie Vos, Rachel Seidman, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Malinda Maynor Lowery, and Rachel Olsen.

2014 NC Women’s Summit

ncwomenssummitJoin Women AdvaNCe, the Women’s Center at NCSU, and the Southern Oral History Program at UNC Chapel Hill for a day of critical thinking, leadership training, and stories from our state’s most powerful women. Tickets are $12 per person and scholarships are available. For more information, visit the event website here.

Fall 2014 SOHP Interns

SOHP Interns Fall 2014Our newest crop of interns (pictured, left) are hard at work doing research, conducting interviews, and helping out at SOHP. Learn more about them on our Staff page, follow their posts on the Field Notes Blog, and stay tuned for an announcement of their oral history performance at the end of the semester.


The SOHP Internship, 2013-2014

all-four-internsCongratulations to all of our undergraduate interns from this past year on a job well done! Thanks to their hard work we’ll be adding 16 oral histories on the Carolina Gay Association and sexuality at UNC since the 1970s to our collection.

Our Spring interns just completed their oral history performance for an enthusiastic crowd at the Love House, reading excerpts of their interviews with individuals including E. Patrick Johnson, Randall Kenan, and Terri Phoenix.

Read more about this year’s internship from field scholar Evan Faulkenbury, our Internship Coordinator, in his blog post here, and in field scholar Katie Womble’s post here.

NEH Grant will support Latino oral history initiative at UNC

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant of $240,000 to NEW ROOTS: Improving Global Access of Latino Oral Histories, a collaborative initiative of the Latino Migration Project, The Southern Oral History Program, and the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Oral-History-mapThe New Roots Latino Oral History Initiative was established in 2007 to document demographic transformations in the U.S. South by collecting extraordinary stories of migration, settlement, and integration in North Carolina. The collection receives regular contributions of at least forty interviews annually from UNC scholars through an ongoing research program of the Latino Migration Project at the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives. Oral histories are archived with the Southern Oral History Program and their collections in the Southern Historical Collection in the University of Libraries of UNC Chapel Hill. The NEH grant, which is awarded from the NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources division, will make the New Roots collection accessible to new regional, national and global public constituencies, particularly within Spanish-speaking Latino and Latin American communities. Activities will include the creation of a visually engaging bilingual website for public audiences and people who have contributed their stories; a digital catalogue and finding aids in English and Spanish; an interactive portal for teachers to share lesson plans; and a dissemination plan with Latino communities, K-16 educators, national and international oral history networks, and Mexican universities in the origin states of migrants living in North Carolina. The project will be based at UNC Chapel Hill and carried out over the course of three years.

“The New Roots project will provide wider access to this record of the many changes affecting North Carolina. The bilingual features of the project are especially noteworthy in expanding access and will be a model for similar projects to making oral histories at UNC more discoverable to a wider audience,” said Richard Szary, Director of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections.

Contact: Hannah Gill, Project Director
Contact: 919-962-5453

Remembering Maya Angelou

In the Fall of 2002, SOHP staff members Angela Hornsby and Kerry Taylor conducted interviews that documented the history of African American businesses in Greensboro, North Carolina. This was part of a larger project entitled “Remembering Black Main Streets.”

mayaOn 10 September, author and poet Maya Angelou was on hand for the opening of a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop that was intended to anchor the revitalization of East Market Street, which had once been the center of a thriving black business district. After preliminary remarks from Krispy Kreme officials and local civic and business leaders, Angelou offered the following reflections on renewal and redevelopment. She concluded by reciting her poem “And Still I rise.”

Listen to the audio from this event here

Look where we’ve all come from. Yes. Indeed, I honor Michael King and Mrs. King for believing. A man is as good as his woman. A woman is as good as her man. True. True. Neither is better than the other. In truth, neither can really make it without the other. To come so far, you’ve had faith, not only in God, but in each other. This is a blessing. In itself you’ve blessed us all. I thank the Krispy Kreme for having faith. That’s stepping out on the word. When you risked millions and millions of dollars, that means you’re stepping out on somebody’s word. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Certainly nobody saw that Krispy Kreme would occupy this corner and start the revival of the whole corridor. That is faith.

To read the full text of this speech, click this link.

Thanks to Kerry Taylor for compiling this.

Meet the New Moxie Scholars!

moxies2014SOHP is excited to announce our new crop of Moxie Scholars in partnership with the Carolina Women’s Center, the Department of Women and Gender Studies, and the History Department. Read about our new 2014 Moxie Project scholars here.

Moxie Project Summer Updates

Our Moxie Scholars are hard at work in their summer internships in women’s organizations around the Triangle. Want to stay up-to-date on their activities? Read the Moxie blog and sign up to receive the brand new “Moxie Memos” newsletter!

New Addition:  N.C. Memorial Hospital Oral History Project

hist25Oral histories from Dr. Raul Necochea’s fall 2013 seminar: The Revenge of the Sick: History of Medicine from the Patient’s Point of View are now online! This is the second year Dr. Necochea has donated materials from this seminar to our collection, and we are excited about this collaboration with the UNC School of Medicine. His students interviewed clinicians who worked at North Carolina Memorial Hospital from the 1950s to the 1980s. The interviews were guided by the question, “What was considered ‘good doctoring’ decades ago?” These interviews seek to provide perspective on how definitions of medical competence and professionalism change and remain over time by asking experienced clinicians for stories that illustrate their training and how they practiced in circumstances that may be different from those today. The interviews also contribute to the institutional memory of the UNCSOM by preserving testimonies of older practitioners familiar with the history of the University of North Carolina Health Care System.You can access the interviews in our database here.

Featured Interview: Timothy Jacobs

Timothy Jacobs, a member of the Tuscarora people in eastern North Carolina, has lived a life of activism fighting for his tribe’s rights. Famously, in February of 1988, Jacobs, along with Eddie Hatcher, took part in the armed seizure of the Lumberton, N.C., Robesonian newspaper to call attention to local corruption and mistreatment of Native Americans. In this clip, Jacobs describes his family’s history of activism and how it influenced his own views and actions.To read and listen to the entire interview, which explores many other aspects of Jacobs’ activism, click here.

SOHP Undergraduate Interns: Spring 2014

(back row, left to right) Aaron Hayworth, Turner Henderson, and graduate student Rob Shapard. (Bottom left to right) Katie Crook, Coco Wilder, and graduate student Morgan Jones. Meet our Spring 2014 undergraduate interns! Katie, Coco, Aaron, and Turner share their individual projects with the program and research interests for their oral history interviews. Take a look at their stories here.

Happy 40th Anniversary SOHP!IMG_4518

Thanks to everyone who attended our 40th Anniversary Celebration at Wilson Library on April 4th, 2014. We couldn’t do all that we do without you.View photos from the event (as well as our slideshow of Photos from the Vault) on our SmugMug page.

Tell Us Your Story

In honor of our 40th anniversary, we invite the people who have graciously shared and captured stories to now tell us about your experience. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.

Sign Up for Our Walking Tour

See  campus landmarks and listen to stories told by the actual voices from oral histories in our collection! These tours will be led by one of our interns and will take place during our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, April 4 at 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, and 2:30 pm. Spots are limited, so sign up using the form here.

40th Anniversary Schedule of Events


Our 40th Anniversary Celebration is just around the corner! We’d be delighted to have you join us on  April 4 at Wilson Library for a panel discussion, walking tour of campus, student performance, cake, and more! Click on the image for details.

We’ve been working on an interactive exhibit, and in order to maximize your experience, we encourage you to download a free QR code reader.  With your smartphone, you can search the app store for a free QR code reader. We recommend the free apps QR Reader By TapMedia Ltd and AT&T Code Scanner.


If you don’t have a smartphone, don’t worry – we will have listening stations with iPads so you can still access the interactive pieces of the exhibit.



SOHP Featured in “Talkback” Panel following Sweet Tea Performance

SOHP Associate Director Rachel Seidman and former Interim Director Della Pollock will be featured in a panel discussion about the many uses of oral history following the matinee performance on Sunday, February 16 of E. Patrick Johnson’s play, Sweet Tea.  Join us in this exciting opportunity to hear directly from E. Patrick Johnson, whose interviews with black gay  men and black lesbians of the South will be deposited here at the Southern Oral History Program, and to join in an engaging conversation about oral history and performance.

Jane M. Saks and Project& present SWEET TEA: BLACK GAY MEN OF THE SOUTH
Written and performed by E. Patrick Johnson; Directed by Joseph Megel
Based on his award-winning book, E. Patrick Johnson stars in this new one-man exploration into the southern black gay community. A fascinating, validating oral history inspired by the author’s personal journey, Sweet Tea explores the perceptions, angst, triumphs and vulnerabilities of this minority within a minority. With passion and insight, Johnson reinforces the spoken-word tradition while challenging stereotypes – and finding humor, humanity and hope within.
February 12-22, 2014
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris Street, Durham
Info and tickets:

Oral History Making with Immigrant Communities

This three-part “open class” will explore methods, ethical issues, and resources at UNC Chapel Hill for researchers and students conducting and using oral histories with immigrants, with a special focus on working with local Spanish-speaking communities. All classes will take place in the Fed Ex Global Education Center in room 1009 from 3:30-4:45 on Feb. 6, 11, and 13. For more info, visit and see this flyer.

Fighting for Bread and RosesJoey Fink

Former SOHP field scholar and UNC History Department Ph.D. candidate Joey Fink spoke with Frank Stasio on WUNC radio recently about the unionization of labor in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. In this interesting interview, Fink discusses the hostility of mid-twentieth century North Carolina to the unionization of workers. She argues that as the Civil Rights movement moved into a new phase in the 1970s, the time was ripe for a push toward more women’s and workers’ rights, along with racial equality. Fink is especially interested in sexual politics and the creation of unions to bring both genders and races together. The unionization of workers in the 1970s, she argues, helped secure more rights for these minorities. The story of the unionization of workers in Roanoke Rapids was eventually adapted into a feature film starring Sally Field, Norma Rae

Malinda Maynor Lowery Named Director of SOHP

malindaThe Center for the Study of the American South proudly announces Malinda Maynor Lowery as the new director of the Southern Oral History Program. Her appointment began on July 1, 2013. Lowery, Associate Professor of History, is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Her book, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (UNC Press, 2010), received the Labriola American Indian Center National Book Award. Lowery succeeds Professor of Performance and Cultural Studies Della Pollock, who was Interim Director of the SOHP between 2011 and 2013, and Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Founding Director Emerita and Julia Cherry Spruill Professor of History. Read more here.

The Civil Rights History Project

The Civil Rights History Project is a joint undertaking of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. Mandated by an Act of Congress in 2009, the project sought to inventory civil rights oral history collections around the country and then supplement those collections with a series of new interviews with civil rights veterans. The Southern Oral History Program was contracted to conduct those interviews, and we did, filming fifty interviews from Oakland, CA to New York City. We have begun a second phase group of fifty oral histories and will soon begin interviewing with a stellar team including historians John Dittmer, David Cline, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, and Will Griffin and filmmakers John Bishop and Petna Ndaliko.