Oral History

I am currently working an oral history project interviewing students involved in the Selma Voting Rights Campaign. I am in the process of merging my prior work with an ongoing project organized by Dr. Tara White at the Wallace State Community College in Selma.

Me with some of narrators in Selma. Special thanks to the Dallas County Public Library for providing me with space for this meeting and many of my interviews.

The project began as part of my work on the Selma Civil Rights Movement (1865-1972) Multiple Property Submission to the National Register of Historic Places. I imagined that I would be interviewing people about the buildings we identified and about Selma’s cultural landscape. Then I met Henry Allen, and everything changed. Chief Allen (Selma’s first black fire chief) graduated from R.B. Hudson High School in 1964, and was active in the student movement, along with many of his classmates. He was concerned that his experiences and those of other Hudson High students were not part of the historical record, and that when they were gone, their crucial role in the movement would be forgotten. With his help, I began interviewing his classmates and other Hudson High students.

This project is an ongoing labor of love.

In 2012 as part of my coursework, I conducted a series of interviews for the African American Oral History Project under the guidance of project director Dr. Martha Norkunas.