Southern Studies Fellow Desiree S. Evans will conduct a three-hour workshop open to African-American community members exploring the role of oral history in recording and documenting Black communities and Black families in the American South.
For many African Americans, Black history is often a complicated space to work in. There are some stories our families don’t share with us about their lives and their pasts due to trauma. For this reason, the Black community and the Black family can be a tricky place to start our work as budding oral historians. Yet as Black people we understand that recording our stories and lives is so vital when so much of our history has been hidden from us, having been purposefully left out of the historical archive and erased in public histories. Oral history interviews can offer us much- needed access to our past, to stories they may not have been heard otherwise, and to important stories in danger of being lost forever.
In this introductory workshop, participants will learn the basic techniques for using oral history to document and preserve their community and family stories. We’ll discuss common challenges: convincing people to participate, delving into sensitive subjects and secrets, and working with interviewees who may suffer from trauma. We’ll also discuss the potential for oral history to repair and transform relationships.
The workshop will provide a basic overall introduction to oral history fieldwork, theory, and practice. Participants will learn best practices for planning a project, choosing interview questions, and conducting an interview, and receive tutorials on recording techniques and the basics of using audio equipment.
There is no cost to attend the workshop, but registration is requested in advance. RSVP at the link below to let us know you're coming!
For the safety of all participants, masks are encouraged.