Summer B 2018, July 2 – August 10
AMH 3593: Introduction to Oral History

Course Overview

This course will introduce students to the theories and methods of oral history. Oral history is an important methodological approach to documenting the past which allows historians to engage directly with narrators who share their life experiences touching on any number of themes and topics. It is an easily accessible form of history in which practically anyone can take part as either an interviewer or interviewee. Oral history projects often involve making connections with community organizations which allows for the forging of stronger connections between academia and Main Street. Accordingly, one of the biggest strengths of oral history as a methodological approach to studying the past is its public component-oral histories are often collected in a community and then shared with that community.

For our research project this summer we will be partnering with the Farmworkers’ Association of Florida (FWAF), an organization which advocates on behalf of agricultural workers in central Florida. We will be interviewing current and former farmworkers. Conducting these oral history interviews will give us the opportunity to interrogate the lived experiences of these men and women and to better understand what it means to be a worker in the agricultural industry and to understand the intersection of class, race/ethnicity, and gender in this work environment. Through these interviews we will also explores issues of environmental sustainability and the impact of pesticides and genetically modified crops on humans and the environment.

Course Goals:

  • Build foundational knowledge of oral history methodology and research use
  • Work on oral history interview processing
  • Conduct an original oral history interview
  • Gain Digital Archives & Humanities experience
  • Learn skills in different forms of visual media, podcasting and design software

 

Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply. For more information contact Matt Simmons.

 

Event: Tale of Two Houses: A Dialogue on Black and Latinx History at UF
Date: Friday, March 30, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Pugh Hall – Ocora
Join us for a discussion on the histories of the Institute of Black Culture (IBC) and the Institute of Hispanic/Latino Cultures (La Casita), including their founding and their entwined legacies. Speakers will include Dr. David Horne (Cal State Northridge), one of the organizers of the Black Thursday protest that led to the founding of the IBC, and Dr. Maria Masque, former La Casita director (1995-1997) who actively supported efforts for awareness and engagement among the University student groups of color. Not a formal panel discussion, this is intended to be an open dialogue between these speakers and the UF community.

“Keep Your Trash” 1971 Documentary on Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike Newly Released for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrations on UF Digital Collections

Gainesville, FL—Award-winning PBS documentarian Churchill Roberts was a doctoral student at the University of Iowa in 1971 when he produced the first documentary film recounting events of the historic 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers strike and assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Four decades after its original release, “Keep Your Trash” is now newly digitized and available on the UF Digital Collections through the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and George A. Smathers Libraries.

Roberts became personally involved with the strike when he began working with a group called Memphis Search for Meaning Committee as a young graduate student, collecting footage and interviews about the strike shortly after Dr. King’s death.

In subsequent years, Churchill Roberts became an award-winning film maker and a prominent professor in the College of Journalism at the University of Florida. His films include, “Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore” (2001), and “Negroes With Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power” (2006).

Thinking back over four decades after the making of “Keep Your Trash,” Professor Roberts recalls:

“The events in Memphis changed my life completely. Before attending Iowa, I had taught communication for a year in a vocational program funded by the Manpower Development Training Act, an act of Congress to help people at the bottom of the economic ladder, particularly minorities, develop job skills. Teaching in the vocational program made me realize how unfair society had been to the less privileged. Dr. King’s assassination brought a sense of urgency to the problem.

 

At Iowa, I took a course on race relations and focused my early research on the portrayal of minorities on television. Later, I had an opportunity to make several PBS documentaries about unsung heroes of the civil rights era.”

To commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Roberts released a copy of “Keep Your Trash” to the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program for educational use, and the film is now available to the public through the generous support of George A. Smathers Libraries.

UF’s 2018 celebrations of Martin Luther King Day are organized by the Multicultural & Diversity Affairs program.

For more information about “Keep Your Trash” and additional oral histories of the civil rights movement, please contact the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.

 

Laura Mae Dixie, known as “the Mother of the Movement in Tallahassee, Florida,” passed away last month at the age of 92. Her life is a testament to the oft-forgotten role of African-American working-class people — especially women — in the making of the modern civil rights movement in the South. (Photo by Deborah Hendrix.)

Facing South has published our essay on Mrs. Laura Dixie. Known as “the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” in Tallahassee, Florida, Laura Dixie was one of the most important organizers in the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the Deep South in the 1950s. She was a lead organizer in the historic Tallahassee Bus Boycott in 1956; played a pivotal role in the FAMU sit-in movement in the 1960s; was responsible for a massive voter registration campaign in the Panhandle in the 1970s; marched against the Ku Klux Klan in Forsyth, Georgia in the 1980s; was a founding president of her hospital workers union–and even all of these listed activities barely scratches the surface of the importance of her life. For the Proctor Program, Mrs. Dixie has hosted us for barbecues, fish-fries and stop-overs during our annual Mississippi Freedom Project field trips–as well as other events for a decade. SPOHP will continue to honor the memory of this amazing person who has done so much for the nation as well as SPOHP.

Read our essay published in Facing South titled “Laura Dixie: Remembering a ‘Mother of the Movement'” here now!

 

 

 

Dear Friends of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program,

As you will read in this exciting end-of- year progress report, SPOHP has reached more students, scholars, and members of the general public than ever. We have conducted community-based oral history workshops with churches, businesses, university classes, veteran’s groups, African American history museums, Native American nations and much more. Thanks in large part to your generosity we have been able to provide logistical support for social-justice research projects throughout the Americas and we provided transformative and life-changing educational opportunities for hundreds of students.

In the summer of 2017 we embarked upon our 10th annual field work trip to the Mississippi Delta. In addition to interviewing legendary civil rights organizers, our team performed a day of service at the Emmett Till Museum in Glendora and sponsored public educational forums on bringing civil rights education to K-12 students in Mississippi and the South generally. Teaching students how to learn outside of the classroom is one of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program’s specialties. From the moment when our founder Dr. Samuel Proctor trained a cohort of graduate students to conduct oral history interviews with Native Americans in Florida, North Carolina and Alabama in the early 1970s, SPOHP’s mission has been to promote experiential learning, civic engagement, and history outside of the box—and outside of the campus. In an era of “fake news” we train interns how to conduct rigorous research. In a time of polarized debates, we show students how to listen carefully—especially to people who share diverse opinions—and we engage students in learning the age-old art of conversation. When we return from the field, we teach students the art of digital video and audio production which gives them the ability to create podcasts and documentaries on important social issues that have gained broad audiences.

Of course, none of this is possible without your support. If you like what you read in this newsletter, I hope that you will join me in helping us celebrate the 50 th year of SPOHP by making a tax-deductible donation to help sustain the work of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. In addition, if you have a friend or family member who may be so inclined, please pass this newsletter along to them. Finally, I hope that you will visit or phone us sometime in the New Year. Our students, staff and volunteers treasure the opportunity to personally share their experiences with members of the Proctor Program Family! Thank you as always for your consideration and your support.

 

Sincerely Yours,

 

Paul Ortiz

Check out our year-end journal here. 

 

 

 

AFA 4931: A BLACK AND LATINXHISTORY OF THE GATOR NATION

This upcoming Spring, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is offering a oral history methods course course called Black and Latinx History of the Gator Nation.

Students enrolled in this course in Spring 2018 (MWF 5th) will create new archives on Black and Latinx history at UF, focusing on the histories of the Institute of Black Culture and La Casita.

In this course, students will:

  • Critically examine the history of UF as it is currently written.
  • Uncover overlooked stories in hundreds of existing interviews.
  • Apply oral history interview methods with alumni, faculty, staff.
  • Identify existing archival resources on these topics.
  • Collect and/or digitize new archival materials (photos, letters).
  • Help create a roadmap for future students to advance this work.
  • Create podcasts and teaching modules to share these stories.
  • Assist in the creation of documentaries on IBC and La Casita.

For more information on AFA 4931, section 0587,contact Dr. Ryan Morini ,
Dr. Paul Ortízat , or visit us in the SPOHP office at 248 Pugh Hall

This semester-long academic internship is available to graduate and undergraduate students for credit. In partnership with the Harn Museum, SPOHP, and The Actors’ Warehouse Community Theater, interns will develop an original site-specific performance by exploring connections between archived oral history interviews with Black residents of North Central Florida and iconic artwork by Jacob Lawrence (harn.ufl.edu/jacoblawrence).

Once this thematic analysis is complete, we will search the SPOHP archive for oral histories from local community members that reflect the themes in Lawrence’s work. After oral histories are matched to artwork, we will begin the process of translating the oral histories into monologues, scenes, movement pieces, and songs to be performed next to the artwork.

By interpreting themes of Lawrence’s masterworks through oral history, participants will gain insight into the role of the artist as change-maker and community leader. Through the dialogue initiated by drawing on local voices to reinterpret these images, audiences will have the opportunity to directly connect the exhibit themes to issues in their own communities.

 

Download the Spring 2018 SPOHP Internship App (DOC) here!

Applications are due by December 1, 2017

 

For more information check out Oral history internship program,

contact Jeff Pufahl or Ryan Morini,

or visit us in the SPOHP offices at 240-250 Pugh Hall

Gainesville residents and UF community: there are ways to help the Immokalee community by dropping off goods at multiple on-campus locations. Items will be transported to Immokalee first on September 23, and then again in two weeks. #HurricaneIrmaRelief

A list of items includes:

  • Charcoal
  • Lighters
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Bug spray
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Tarps
  • Non-perishable or canned foods
  • Feminine hygiene products

Drop-off locations and times include:

UF Graduate Assistants United Office – Yon 224 Tuesday 2-5PM and Wednesday & Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 PM.

University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies – Grinter Hall 319, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00PM to 5:00 PM

Center for African Studies at the University of Florida (MDP Office) – Grinter 470 from 9 AM to 5 PM

La Salita in the UF J. Wayne Reitz Union UF Multicultural & Diversity Affairs from 9 AM to 7 PM