Today the LCRM Project team finalized a file that we have been working on for a few months. It contains 2.5 hours of audio and 1 hour of video in the form of 100 excerpts from archival sources—mostly interviews with 10 individuals, but also some film footage from 1968. The file is our latest enhanced e-book, Blowout! Sal Castro and the Struggle for Educational Justice by Mario García and Sal Castro. The book is about the student walkouts in 1968 that started the Chicano rights movement.
Published in hardcover in 2011 by UNC Press, Blowout! is an ideal candidate to become an enhanced e-book because it is based on oral-history interviews. Sal Castro’s first-person narrative, as transcribed by Professor García of U.C. Santa Barbara from some 50 interview tapes, forms the central narrative. In the print version, brief quotes from the students are interspersed throughout the book. In the enhanced version, we were able to include much more of these interviews, transforming a one-person narrative into more of a multi-voiced production.
We have also included a number of documents. A few standout items are J.F. Kennedy’s Los Angeles itinerary from the day he met with Castro only one week before he won the 1960 Presidential election, a telegram containing Senator Robert Kennedy’s endorsement of the students’ efforts, a page from a student newspaper expressing outrage at biased treatment by teachers and administrators, and materials given to students attending the Chicano Youth Leadership Conference (CYLC) in 1964, 1965, and 2004. (When you read the book, you’ll understand how important this CYLC material was in helping to shape generations of Chicano leaders.) All told, these important items comprise 100 pages of documents and images that the reader can enlarge to see more detail. Earlier this afternoon, we sent the file to Professor García for checking on his iPad. Official release of the enhanced e-book for iPhone and iPad via Amazon’s Kindle app, and for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, is scheduled for November. Stay tuned! Once the enhanced e-book is available via Kindle, we will make a video demonstration, the way we did for Freedom’s Teacher.
First published in 2009, this biography tells the story of civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987), who developed a citizenship education program that enabled tens of thousands of African Americans to register to vote and to link the power of the ballot to concrete strategies for individual and communal empowerment.
Clark, who began her own teaching career in 1916, grounded her approach in the philosophy and practice of southern black activist educators in the decades leading up to the 1950s and 1960s, and then trained a committed cadre of black women to lead this grassroots literacy revolution in community stores, beauty shops, and churches throughout the South. In this engaging biography, Katherine Charron tells the story of Clark, from her coming of age in the South Carolina lowcountry to her activism with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the movement’s heyday.
The September execution of Troy Davis reawakened the debate over the use of the death penalty in the United States and reminded publishers of the variety of illuminating scholarship published by university presses, ranging in concentration from general history to legality and ethics to the depiction of capital punishment in the arts. Here is the final guide, collecting those works for the development of “knowledge, not information”:
Check out this piece on the Southern Oral History Program’s work in Kenya this past summer. Carolina students traveled there with Interim Director Della Pollock to interview rural Kenyans who were forced to resettle to make way for mining projects. The article includes some great audio. Take a look.
On May 12, 2009, the U. S. Congress authorized a national initiative by passing The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009 (PDF here, if you’re interested). The law directs the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to conduct a survey of existing oral history collections with relevance to the Civil Rights Movement, and to record new interviews with people who participated in the Movement. The survey information and portions of selected interviews will be made available worldwide through the Project website. The interviews will become a permanent part of the national library and the national museum.
This portal principally focuses on making available information about relevant audiovisual collections throughout the country. Because the collections reside at a wide range of institutions, we are not able to provide access to the collections themselves. The repositories include local historical societies, university special collections, and public libraries. The database will allow users to search for and locate information about collections in the following ways: by broad topic listings, by Library of Congress Subject Headings, by the name of the collection or the repository, and by the geographic location of the repository. In some instances one can locate interviews by searching on the names of individual CRM participants, if the repositories have made such information available through their websites and/or finding aids.
Why is this relevant? Well, of course, the Southern Oral History Program’s resources are included in this survey. And SOHP alums Willie Griffin and Elizabeth Gritter were two of the four scholars who compiled the list.
But even more exciting is the fact that the Southern Oral History Program is contracted to complete the interviews that will join the Library of Congress collection and become part of the museum. The SOHP has done thirty-five of the fifty planned interviews, speaking with Judge Matthew Perry shortly before his death; with a family of activists in Bogalusa, LA; and with Pete Seeger, among others.
The Triangle Research Libraries Network (composed of Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill libraries) has been awarded a $150,000 grant to be used for the collaborative large-scale digitization of 40 archival and manuscript collections documenting the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina. The project, entitled “Content, Context and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina” is projected to span three years, with funding renewed annually by LSTA. LSTA funds awarded by the State Library of North Carolina are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
Each university library holds outstanding unique primary source materials that document the Long Civil Rights Movement, during which struggles for racial, social, and economic justice reshaped the cultural and political landscapes of North Carolina and America. The materials selected for digitization document grassroots activism and institutionalized efforts during the LCRM, as well as the resistance on the emerging New Right that drove and was transformed by the LCRM. To provide both the content and context requisite for archival research, each collection will be digitized in its entirety—every page of every item in every folder. The digitized collections will be available online free of charge and will be searchable both through Search TRLN (http://search.trln.org/) and the individual libraries’ websites.
The goals of the project are to promote and support educational and scholarly research uses of modern primary source materials, to provide a proof of concept for a collaborative approach to large-scale digitization, to test interinstitutional workflows, and to develop shared standards and practices for large-scale digitization among TRLN Libraries.
To learn more about the project, please visit our website: www.trln.org/ccc or contact Joyce Chapman, Project Librarian for the grant, at chapmajc at email dot unc dot edu.
Has it really been a year since Andrew Breitbart managed to get Shirley Sherrod fired from the Department of Agriculture? Breitbart has been in the news lately because of his role in unseating former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, and it turns out Sherrod hasn’t exactly retreated into obscurity lately, either. Sherrod “won’t go away,” quoth the Washington Post, and why would she? Her father was murdered in a dispute by a man who was never indicted; with her husband, Charles, she served the Southwest Georgia Project, a hugely influential civil rights organization; and she was part of a recently resolved lawsuit over discriminatory lending practices that harmed African American landowners. And then she loses her job over a scandal manufactured by a mendacious ideologue. And despite these struggles, she has remained staunchly integrationist, to the point where she hopes to extend that vision into the present, siting a new civil rights organization on a plantation on the outskirts of Albany, GA, a city that played a huge role in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. So yeah, she’s sticking around.
And speaking of the struggles of minority farmers, the Southern Oral History Program has launched an interviewing project called “Breaking New Ground” to document the history of African American farming and land ownership in the South. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and led by Mark Schultz of Lewis University and Adrienne Davis of the City University of New York, Breaking New Ground will gather hundreds of new interviews on an important and unjustly obscure history.
Southern Cultures, the journal published by the Center for the Study of the American South, has gathered the many articles it’s published on the Civil War over the years in one place: take a look. Highlights for long civil rights movement scholars will likely include Trudier Harris’s review of the Confederate State of America; Franklin Forts’s “Living with Confederate Symbols”; and John Shelton Reed’s “Lay My Burden of Southern History Down.”
Congratulations to Southern Cultures–this special section of their website has been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.