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Listen to Press Record Episode 16: Confederate Monuments

In this episode of Press Record, we are focusing on a confederate monument on UNC’s campus called Silent Sam. For decades he’s been a source controversy, and currently students and local activists are calling for his removal. We hope that by exploring the issues surrounding Silent Sam and what he means to generations of North Carolinians, we can help unpack the wider issues. We’ll hear from John Sellars, an African American student activist who attended UNC in the 1960s, during the early years of the university’s integration, Mistyre Bonds, a current African American student activist, and Dr. William Sturkey, a history professor here at UNC.

Listen here!

Apply for SOHP’s 2018 Carolina K-12 Teaching Fellows Program


Oral history interviews provide tangible access to the past, with narrators offering first-hand descriptions in their own voices of historical events, ideas, and mindsets. Bringing K-12 students into close contact with these unique auditory sources can give them a very real sense of what it was like in years past, leading to personal connections, the development of critical thinking skills, and an interest in history that is sometimes missing in middle and high school youth. With this in mind, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Southern Oral History Program (SOHP), in collaboration with Carolina K-12, is excited to announce and solicit applications for its second summer of the Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellows in Civil Rights.

This unique program will provide fifteen middle and high school teachers from around the state with an intensive exploration of how to utilize oral histories that relate to the long Civil Rights Movement in the K-12 classroom in effective, meaningful, and creative ways. For more information, visit our K-12 Carolina Teaching Fellows Program page.

Annie Brown Kennedy, Black Voting Rights and Black Elected Officials

Historically, the issue of Black voting rights has been tied up with Black political power, Black landownership, and the possibilities for Black communities.  Black elected officials have played key roles in shaping Black communities both in all-Black towns and cities and in multi-racial and white-dominated locations.  The upcoming Black Communities Conference, sponsored by the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) and several other entities at UNC, will examine these and other issues.

Many interviews related to Black voting rights and Black elected officials are available in the SOHP archive .  Here, we highlight an interview with Annie Brown Kennedy, the first Black woman to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly.  Read more about Annie Brown Kennedy on our blog.

SOHP Interviews featured in Exhibit About Housing Inequality in Durham

In preparation for Durham’s sesquicentennial in 2019, a group of historians and community members formed the Bull City 150 project to document and interrogate the city’s past. An exhibit based on their research, titled “Uneven Ground: The Foundations of Housing Inequality in Durham, NC,” recently opened to broad acclaim.  It documents Black Durham and the history of shifting manifestations of race and class inequalities and features several interviews from UNC’s Southern Oral History Project (SOHP) archive.  The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) is a co-sponsor of Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration, which will take place at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC, also known as the “Bull City,” in April 2018.   From its early days just after the Civil War to the present, Durham’s Black communities have had a rich history of organizing and resilience in the face of inequality, oppression and white supremacy.  Read more about the exhibit and find links to the relevant SOHP interviews on our blog.

Two Exhibits on the 1969 Foodworker’s Strike

In 1969, UNC food workers participated in work strikes that showed the intersection of labor rights, women’s rights, and African American rights. Check out this interactive map and this audio documentary made by our SOHP 2017 undergrad summer interns, Sydney Lopez and Liv Linn, to learn more about the history of food workers rights on campus. You can read Sydney’s reflection on creating the projects on our blog.

Press Record: Environmental Racism and Oral History Part 2

Danielle conducts interviews in Studio South Zero. Photo credit Torkwase Dyson

In Part 2, you’ll hear more about specific moments from the oral histories they collected, how Danielle and Pavithra showcased their oral histories to the public, and how they continue to press forward in research and activism amidst bleak realities of environmental racism. Listen to the complete mini-series here. Don’t forget to subscribe, like us, and comment on iTunes!


Deciding the Future Course of Our North Carolina Rivers

Matthew Starr bu the Upper Neuse river in Raleigh
Photo by Ray Black III, courtesy of Walter Magazine

Check out former field scholar and recent PhD, Rob Shapard’s, post about his interview with Matthew Starr, “a Raleigh native, Army veteran, and self-described ‘North Carolina environmental nerd’ who monitors the health of the Upper Neuse River.” Rob writes about how we all are tied to the fate of North Carolina’s rivers.




Press Record: Environment Racism and Oral History: Part 1

Montgomery, AL at the site of what will be the new Slavery to Freedom Museum, operated by the Equal Justice Initiative. Photo Credit: Danielle Purifoy

After a brief summer hiatus, we are thrilled to bring you Part I of Press Record’s first mini-series. The series will focus on environmental racism in the South through the lens of oral history and storytelling. A few months ago, Carol Prince sat down with  two scholars doing research on environmental racism using oral history, Danielle Purifoy and Pavithra Vasudevan. What you will hear in this episode is the first excerpt from their two and a half hour conversation. Listen and subscribe and rate us on iTunes!

Rachel Seidman Appointed SOHP Director!

We’re thrilled to announce that Rachel Seidman, former Associate Director of the SOHP, is our new Director! Our former Director, Malinda Lowery, is the new Director for the Center for the Study of the American South. We’re excited to see where Rachel’s leadership takes us! Congrats, Rachel and Malinda!


 Press Record  Episode 13: New Roots/Nuevas Raíces


This month, Press Record dives into an ongoing project about oral history and immigration in North Carolina. In the following episode, Carol sits down with Maria Ramírez and Laura Villa who both worked on the New Roots/Nuevas Raíces Project. New Roots/ Nuevas Raíces is a bilingual digital archive that contains oral histories from Latin American migrants in North Carolina as well as North Carolinians who have worked closely with migrants in the state. In the half hour, you’ll hear oral history clips, conversations about what went into making a bilingual digital archive, and how New Roots has moved beyond the walls of academia. You can listen to the episode below through SoundCloud and please subscribe and rate us on iTunes here!


Press Record: Episode 12: Revisiting Backways

Photo Sep 26, 12 34 37 PM

This month, we revisit questions about silence, rural segregation, and research. This episode features a conversation between Carol Price and Rachel Cotterman, field scholars here at the SOHP. Rachel is a geography PhD student currently working on Backways and in this episode offers her reflections on the evolution of her research, what silences in the archives and in interviews mean to her, and her own personal connection to this project. We hope this episode gives you an inside look at some of the research going on here at the SOHP and the questions our field scholars are navigating in the process of doing oral history.

You can listen to the episode through SoundCloud and please subscribe and rate us on iTunes here!

  University History and Oral History

Renee Alexander Craft featured in The Daily Tar Heel, 1992
Renee Alexander Craft featured in The Daily Tar Heel, 1992

Check out Charlotte Fryar’s, blog post on her recent interviews: “The unusual thing about interviewing students and alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill as a student and alumna of the same institution, is just that—you are always connected in some way to the stories that people share about their time at Carolina…”

Read the full post here.


 Press Record Episode 11: Oral History and the Equal Rights Amendment

ERA.YES!For our first episode of 2017, we continue our discussion of women and politics in the South by focusing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). While we were putting together last month’s episode, we noticed many women organizers and political leaders mentioned battles over the ERA in their interviews. As we dug deeper, we realized we had more than enough material to make an entirely new episode.

Listen here and don’t forget to rate us and subscribe on iTunes!

Digital Exhibit: Rural Electrification

dansville-lineCheck out the new digital exhibit about rural electrification, featuring a newly-released collection of interviews conducted by the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives that describes how the advent of electricity transformed rural life.

Backways Update in Field Notes

img_8375-300x225Read Rachel Cotterman’s blog post on Harvey’s Chapel, an AME church outside of Hillsborough that was forced to move after the road on which it was located fell into a state of disrepair. Learn more about the Back Ways Project on racial segregation in the rural South here.


SOHP and The Process Series Collaboration on The Black Pioneers

14642472_1247480865319615_8531675736521382859_nSouthern Oral History Program interns interviewed members of the “Black Pioneers”—the earliest African American students who attended UNC between 1952 and 1972. Using the personal accounts recorded from their interviews and told through performance, remarkable stories emerge of lasting change at UNC and beyond.

Read the article from the Indy Weekly here!


Telling Our Stories of Home

TOSHSOHP is excited to co-sponsor the upcoming conference festival “Telling Our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African and African-Diaspora Communities.” Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this celebration will host over 25 brilliant national and international artists, scholars, and activists at UNC over the course of a 6-day conference. Events will include collaborative panel discussions, storytelling, a film series, and the reading of a play commissioned for the event, Torn Asunder, which was produced from the scholarly text, Help Me to Find My People. To learn more about the event, visit the website here. We hope to see you there!


SOHP at NCPH 2016

ncph publicityWe’re getting excited for our first ever trip to the annual meeting of the National Council on Public History! This Friday, March 18th, SOHP will lead a roundtable titled “Listen Up: Podcasts for Pedagogy and Public History” where we’ll talk about our podcast, Press Record, as well as general podcasting tips, tricks, and brainstorming. The discussion will be lead by our friend and podcasting pro Susan Davis, as well as SOHP staff Renée Alexander Craft, Rachel Seidman, and Jaycie Vos. Join us there, tweet with us, and follow along with the hashtags #NCPH2016 #s38

Women’s History Walking Tour

taylor giving walking tour squareOn Friday, March 4th, SOHP field scholar Taylor Livingston will lead the “Digging In Our Heels/Angels On Campus” oral history walking tour of UNC Chapel Hill, which focuses on women’s history at the university. The tour was developed as a collaboration between SOHP and the Visitors’ Center to be a part of their Priceless Gem tour series. All are welcome! The tour will begin at 3:00PM at the Visitors’ Center, located in the West Wing of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. More info here.

The Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Summer Research Fellowship

jdh smOn September 20th, 2014, more than 120 people gathered at UNC to celebrate and honor the legacy of SOHP’s founding director, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, as she retires from the Department of History. Now, to honor Jacquelyn in a permanent way, we’re excited to announce a fundraising effort for the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Summer Research Fellowship Fund. Learn more about this fund, which will support graduate student research.

40th Anniversary Digital Exhibit

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.49.04 AMOur digital exhibit commemorating the SOHP 40th Anniversary Celebration on April 4th, 2014 is live! Take a tour through decades of materials including old documents, interview clips, photographs, and even a video clip of our panel discussion with Howard Lee, Valeria Lee, Jacquelyn Hall, Jessie Wilkerson, and Bill Chafe.  Check it out here.

Join Us at the New Roots Reception!

new roots invitationOn Wednesday, February 24th, SOHP (along with the Latino Migration Project, the Center for the Study of the American South, and UNC University Libraries) is co-sponsoring a program and reception in celebration of the recently-launched New Roots/Nuevas Raíces: Voices from Carolina del Norte oral history website and digital information system! Join us at 5:30PM at the FedEx Global Education Center at UNC Chapel Hill. All are welcome. Click here to view the event on Facebook, and click on the invitation to the right for more info.

Introducing PRESS RECORD: the SOHP podcast

FullSizeRenderWe’re so excited to introduce Press Record, a podcast about the joys and challenges of learning history by talking to those who lived it. In our pilot episode we discuss silence and power in oral history. Can oral history teach us to be better listeners? Can we learn how to pay attention–not just to what is being said, but to what isn’t? We’ll talk with Southern Oral History Program founding Director Jacquelyn Dowd Hall about a 1974 interview with Katherine DuPre Lumpkin that is shot through with silences; you’ll get tips on how to handle it a question you ask leads to a long silence; and we’ll hear clips from our collection in which three different women talk about the relationship between silence and their own activism. Learn more and listen here.

Kimber Thomas Receives Luther Brown Prize

kimber and billSOHP Field Scholar and American Studies graduate student Kimber Thomas was recently awarded the second annual Luther Brown Prize for her paper and presentation, “Black Characterization in the Southern Soul-Blues,” at the International Conference on the Blues hosted by Delta State University in October. The prize is awarded to an emerging scholar whose paper and presentation advances greater understanding and appreciation of the Mississippi Delta’s cultural heritage. Congratulations, Kimber!

Evan Faulkenbury on “Oral History & Childhood Memories”

SOHP Field Scholar and History graduate student Evan Faulkenbury published an article on the Oral History Review’s blog, titled “Oral History and Childhood Memories.” In it he discusses the importance of starting oral history interviews with questions about the interviewee’s childhood, no matter how irrelevant it may seem to the topic at hand. Read more and listen to clips from interviews that Evan has conducted for SOHP here.

Apply Now: Spring 2016 SOHP Undergrad Internship

internflyerWe’re now accepting applications to our undergraduate internship program for the Spring 2016 semester! This competitive program provides experiential education in the intellectual, organizational, and practical work of oral history. It includes a research project, “beat” work at the SOHP office, and participation in a weekly seminar. For more information about the program, visit our internship page. Applications are due November 23rd, 2015, sent to; download the application here.

Jaycie Vos on Metadata

jaycie_in_charlestonCoordinator of Collections Jaycie Vos continues to do great things with metadata in her case study, “New Roots: An Oral History Metadata Case Study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” which was recently featured on the Oral History in the Digital Age website. Her article discusses how the New Roots initiative (part of the Latino Migration Project) utilizes metadata in CONTENTdm in new ways to create an accessible Omeka-powered bilingual website for accessing oral histories. This is part of a larger series on the OHA Metadata Task Force, which Jaycie co-founded and will present on this week at the OHA 2015 Annual Meeting. For more information on her panel, “Metadata: Not Your Average Toothbrush,” visit the OHA program website here.

CSAS Director Kenneth Janken Wins Connor Award

jankenCSAS Director Kenneth Janken is the 2015 recipient of the R. D. W. Connor Award, given by the Historical Society of North Carolina for the best article to have appeared in the North Carolina Historical Review each year. His winning article is entitled “Remembering the Wilmington Ten: African American Politics and Judicial Corruption in the 1970s,” and featured research from the SOHP collections. Congratulations, Dr. Janken!

SOHP Intern Podcast: “Rebellion”

handbookThe Fall 2014 SOHP interns released the first SOHP Intern oral history podcast. In this installment, undergraduate interns David Farrow and Rachel Worsham discuss two different types of rebellion at UNC. Act 1 focuses on the dismantling of  rules applicable only to women students at Carolina, led by Sharon Rose Powell. Act 2 discusses the Lenoir Foodworkers’ Strike from the perspective of Ashley David, a member of the Black Student Movement. Using the SOHP archives, the interns highlight and explore the role of rebellion at UNC. To listen to the podcast, visit our Soundcloud page here.

“Private Violence” Film Screening 10/28

private violenceJoin us for the upcoming screening of the documentary film “Private Violence” at the Varsity Theatre on Wednesday, October 28th at 6:30PM, hosted by the Working Group in Feminism and History. This film explores a simple, but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home.

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with representatives from the Carolina Women’s Center and the Compass Center, as well as Kit Gruelle, a survivor and advocate featured in the film. This event is co-sponsored by the Carolina Women’s Center and SOHP, and will benefit the Compass Center for Women and Families, which provides domestic violence services in Chapel Hill. View the flyer above for more info; to RSVP, visit the Facebook page.

Join Us at the 2015 NC Women’s Summit

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 12.51.00 PMThe 2015 NC Women’s Summit will take place on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC). This year’s summit will feature keynote speakers Melissa Harris-Perry, Executive Director of WFU’s Pro Humanitate Institute, and Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. SOHP is proud to co-host the NC Women’s Summit once more, alongside Women AdvaNCe, Scholars for North Carolina’s Future, and the Women’s Center at Wake Forest University. Purchase a ticket and learn more about the event here.

Jacquelyn Hall and Jessie Wilkerson Receive LAWCHA Awards

lawchaHuge congratulations to founding SOHP director Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and SOHP alumna Jessie Wilkerson on receiving awards from the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA)! Jessie received the Herbert Gutman Prize for best PhD dissertation in the field of labor and working class history for her dissertation, completed at UNC under Jacquelyn Hall’s direction, entitled “Where Movements Meet: From the War on Poverty to Grassroots Feminism in the Appalachian South.” Jacquelyn received the award for Distinguished Service to Labor and Working-Class History for her exemplary contributions to the field and its members over so many years. Her prizewinning scholarship has brought the South and its women to the forefront of labor and working class history.

Remembering Julian Bond

jbondChampion of equal rights Julian Bond passed away on August 15th, 2015. His legacy as one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a former president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and a former chairman of the NAACP, among many other accomplishments, will continue to shape the landscape of social justice for generations. SOHP is lucky enough to have conducted several interviews with Mr. Bond over the course of his impressive career. Listen and read along with one of them here.

2015 Moxie Scholars Begin Summer Work

2015moxiesThe 2015 Moxie Scholars have begun their summer internships at women’s organizations in the Triangle! Clara will be working at Women AdvaNCe, Kadejah and Emily will be working at the Pauli Murray Project, and Anne and Z will be working at NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA). In addition to their internships, each Moxie Scholar will attend weekly seminars, conduct two oral history interviews, and present a final project to the public on July 2nd. Follow along with the Moxies on their website here, and make sure to save the date and join us for their final performance!

SNCA’s Michelle Francis Scholarship Awarded to Jaycie Vos

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.48.25 AMAt the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) 2015 Conference, SOHP’s Coordinator of Collections Jaycie Vos was awarded the Michelle Francis Scholarship, which seeks to provide SNCA members with access to professional development opportunities by attending the annual SNCA conference. Jaycie presented at this year’s conference alongside field scholar Katie Womble and UNC archivist Jennifer Coggins on “Hearing and Seeing: Exploring University History through Podcasts and Primary Source Documents.” Congratulations, Jaycie!

Spring 2015 Intern Performance interns

Don’t miss our Spring 2015 undergraduate interns‘ oral history performance this Wednesday, April 29th at 1:00PM. Samantha, Liz, Holly, and Bryan will present the culmination of their semester’s work on the history of feminist activism at UNC. All are welcome to join us! For more information, visit the event page here.

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Receives 2015 Ambrose Award

jdhThe Living History Society at Rutgers University has awarded the 2015 Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award to Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Founding Director of the Southern Oral History Program and Julia Spruill Professor Emerita at UNC. The award annually honors an individual who has significantly contributed to the field and practice of oral history. Past recipients have included Tom Brokaw (2005), Steven Spielberg (2006), Studs Terkel (2007), Rick Atkinson (2008), Ken Burns (2009), David Isay (2010), Elizabeth and Michael Norman (2011), Isabel Wilkerson (2012), Michael Beschloss (2013), and Peter Bergen (2014).

“All of us at the Southern Oral History Program are thrilled that Jacquelyn’s important contributions to the field are being recognized with this well-deserved award,” says Rachel Seidman, SOHP’s Associate Director. The award, named for the late historian and author Stephen E. Ambrose, will be presented to Hall during Rutgers’ Alumni Weekend in April.

Listen Now: Oral Histories Featured at 2014 NC Women’s Summit

jfryeThe 2014 NC Women’s Summit featured the voices of some of the state’s most powerful women coming together for a day of critical thinking, leadership training, and storytelling; but it also featured voices of women from the SOHP archives speaking on activism, education, and healthcare in the American South. Now you can listen to these interview clips here. (And be sure to also check out videos and photos from this amazing event!)

Moxie Project 2014

moxiemuralIn July the Moxie Scholars presented their final project, a fabulous 30-minute documentary about their experiences and a group mural (shown; click image for full-size version). Thank you to all the Moxie Scholars, internship supervisors, partners, friends, and colleagues who have supported the Moxie Project this year! Make sure to read our scholars’ own blog posts at the Moxie Blog, and stay tuned for audio from their interviews.



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.

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.