Event Dates: Thursday, March 21, 2019 to Saturday, March 23rd

Location: George A. Smathers Libraries, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida & Locations yet to be decided

Free registration is available by clicking THIS LINK:

2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the African American History Project at the University of Florida. Funded by the UF Office of the Provost, this research initiative has resulted in over twenty-five public history programs, university seminars on African American studies, conference presentations and scores of community-based oral history and Black History workshops across the country. The new collection includes over six hundred oral histories with African American elders in Florida telling stories of memories of slavery, resistance to segregation, anti-black racial violence, the coming of the modern civil rights movement and narratives of Black and Latinx intersectionality among many other topics.

This symposium marks the formal opening of the Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History at the University of Florida to scholars, students, and researchers worldwide. Joel Buchanan (1948-2014) was a beloved civil rights activist, historian and librarian in Gainesville and at the University of Florida. Joel was an indispensable member of the community, a tireless speaker who gave countless lectures and informal talks to elementary, high school and college students about the histories of segregation, the civil rights movement, and Gainesville. Joel used history to share his dreams of a better future for all. Joel guided generations of high school, college and university students in the completion of their class projects and dissertations. The naming of this collection is meant to pay homage to Joel Buchanan’s vision of history and social justice.

The symposium will feature panels, films, exhibits, performances, and lectures on many different facets of Black History. The event will bring together scholars, educators, and community organizers to discuss how to infuse African American history in K-12, higher education and social justice organizing on a national level.  Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the role of African American history in classrooms, communities, and civic engagement.

The event will also feature book-signings of noted authors.

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida announces:
Contact: Tamarra Jenkins, (352-392-7168).

Organized by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program

Sponsored by the University of Florida Office of the Provost, African American Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, the College of Medicine, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), Bob Graham Center for Public Service, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research, The Richard J. Milbauer Program in Southern History, Department of History, The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.


Preliminary Symposium Schedule (subject to change)



Thursday, March 21, 2019




8:00 to 9:00am:                                     REGISTRATION WITH COFFEE

Community Presenters / Posters / Tabling


9:00 to 10:00am:


President Fuchs, University of Florida

Provost Joe Glover, University of Florida

Sharon Austin, Director UF African American Studies

Paul Ortiz, Director, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program


10:00 am:             Conducting the Oral Histories: Challenges, Impacts, Legacies

Featuring SPOHP/UF Alumni: Randi Gill-Sadler, Lafayette College,

Justin Hosbey, Emory University, Justin Dunnavant, UC-Santa Cruz/Vanderbilt

Raja Rahim, University of Florida

Moderated by Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, University of Florida


11:15am:                                                                COFFEE BREAK

                                                                              Book Signings

(Participants’ books will be for sale throughout the event’s proceedings)

11:45am:  The Difference History Makes: Veterans, Classrooms, Community, Museum & Virtually

John Nelson, Jefferson County Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sherry Dupree, Director, UNESCO-Transatlantic Slave Trade, Gayle Phillips, Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, St. Augustine, Curtis Michelson, Democracy Forum, Vivian Filer, Cotton Club Museum, Inc.

Moderated by Paul Ortiz, University of Florida

12:45pm:                                                              LUNCH BREAK


2:30pm:                                                  “Gator Tales” Film Screening

Gator Tales is an original play devised and directed by UF Arts Professor Kevin Marshall

in conjunction with SPOHP. Focusing on the experiences of the first generations of

African American students at UF, the play was nominated for the 2015 Freedom of

Expression Award by Amnesty International at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.


3:30pm:             Comments by: UF Alumni Narrators’ Panel: Evelyn Mickle, Albert White, Bernard Hicks




6:00pm:                                                          Keynote Address:

Curtis Austin, Department of History, University of Oregon

Author of: Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party                                        

               Comments by: Derrick White, Department of History, Dartmouth University


7:00 to 9:00PM:                                              Dinner Reception


Friday, March 22, 2019


                          LOCATION: GEORGE A. SMATHERS LIBRARY EAST, ROOM 100

8:30am:                                                            MORNING WELCOME WITH COFFEE

Opening Remarks: Dean David Richardson, University of Florida

9:00am:                                                               Remembering Joel Buchanan:

Evelyn Foxx, Alachua County NAACP, Rodney Long, Alachua County Commissioner Emeritus, Bernie Machen, UF President Emeritus, Judith Russell, Smathers Libraries Dean, Steve Noll, Department of History, Marna Weston, Oak Hall School,  Faye Williams, M.A.M.A.’s Club, Family & community members


10: 15am:                                  Unveiling the Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History

Judith Russell, Stephanie Birch, Laurie Taylor, George Smathers Libraries


11:00am:                                                      COFFEE BREAK with Light Refreshments

Book signings

11:30am:                      History, Intersectionality and Liberation in the Age of Black Lives Matter

Tanya Saunders, University of Florida

Nailah Summers, Dream Defenders

Max Krochmal, Texas Christian University

Moderated by: Lauren Pearlman, University of Florida




                An Afternoon of Student Activism, Ethnic Studies, and Community Building


2:30pm:         “The Making of the Institute of Black Culture at the University of Florida,”

Presented by Student Filmmakers

Comments by: Tameka Bradley Hobbs, Valdosta State University



Book Signings

4:30pm:              “The Making of the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures, “La Casita” at UF”

Presented by Student Filmmakers

Comments by: Nicholas Vargas, University of Florida

Saturday, March 23, 2019


                   LOCATION: A. Quinn Jones Center Auditorium

                               1013 NW. 7th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida


                                            Active Commemorations: Putting Historical Memory to Work

9:00am:                                                                 MORNING WELCOME WITH COFFEE


9:30am:            Ocoee, Florida: One Hundred Years of Accountability and Reconciliation in the Making,

Kathleen Crown, Nichole Dawkins, Mayor Rusty Johnson, William E. Maxwell


Moderated by: Ed Gonzalez-Tennant, University of Central Florida


11:00:                                                                                     COFFEE BREAK

Book Signings



11:30am:          “Legacies of Lincoln High School”

Presentation by Albert White, Lincoln High School Alumnus

Moderated by: Tina Certain, Alachua County School Board Member



                                                                                               LUNCH BREAK


1:30pm:  Documentary Film-in progress:

“Legacies of Lynching: The Odyssey of Oscar Mack in Florida and Beyond,”

Julian Chambliss, Department of History, Michigan State University

                          Comments by: James Brown, Grandson of Oscar Mack & Audience



                                SYMPOSIUM CLOSING REMARKS:


Larry Rivers, Distinguished Professor of History, Florida A & M University


Funded by the University of Florida Office of the Provost, African American Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, the College of Medicine, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), the Harn Museum of Art, and the College of Public Health and Health Professions.

The OHA’s Day of Giving last year raised money for scholarships to fund travel to the Annual OHA Conference for those in hurricane-affected areas. With matching funds provided by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida, the OHA was able to fund 2 scholarships for travel expenses to the OHA Conference in Montreal, October 10-14. Please see the call below. Deadline to submit: September 15, 2018

Call for Applications:

The Oral History Association announces two travel scholarships for Oral Historians from Areas Affected by Hurricanes in 2017 to attend the OHA Conference in Montreal, Canada, October 10-14, 2018.

In response to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Oral History Association, the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida are pleased to announce two $2500 travel awards to those living or working in these affected areas for travel to the Oral History Association Conference in Montreal, Canada, October 10-14, 2018. All travel costs to the conference will be reimbursable up to that $2500 mark.

Applications must include a letter explaining the applicant’s oral history work and a letter of support for the application.

For award purposes, we define those affected by these hurricanes to include any area damaged by high water (either from rain or from opening up reservoirs), be they individual structures, waterways, streets, or entire neighborhoods. We are looking to fund people whose particular projects fits into a more comprehensive attempt at recording or researching any of these catastrophic hurricanes.

Apply here!

Applications are due on September 15, 2018, and winners will be announced by September 30, 2018.  To submit an application: Please include a one-page letter explaining the applicant’s oral history work, and a letter of support for the application. Please combine your entire application into ONE PDF document and email it by September 15, 2018. 

Our students just got back from another successful and exciting trip doing oral history fieldwork in the Mississippi Delta as part of our Mississippi Freedom Project!

The Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP) is an award-winning archive of 200+ oral history interviews conducted with veterans of the civil rights movement and notable residents of the Mississippi Delta. The collection centers on activism and organizing in partnership with the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization in Sunflower, Mississippi.

SPOHP Undergraduate Research Coordinator Oliver Tesluma and undergraduate Political Science major, as well as SPOHP alums Assistant Professor Jessica Taylor of Virginia Tech and George Washington University doctoral student Candice Ellis, presented papers at the 8th National Civil Rights Conference, which took place on June 17-20, 2018 in Meridian and Philadelphia, Mississippi. This year’s conference theme was “Lets Rise, Advocate, Educate and Cooperate.” Their papers were presented during a panel presentation entitled, Recording Civil Rights History: the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) and the Mississippi Freedom Project.

Telsuma’s paper, “Evaluating the Effects of Oral History and Civil Rights Activism in the Mississippi Delta Since the 1950s,” incorporated research methods he learned while working with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, which, he notes, “emphasizes community collaboration and decolonized leadership structures to conduct effective and sustainable research.” Telsuma’s scholarship contextualizes information collected from the Mississippi Delta region, while evaluating elements of these research methods as organizing tools for better understanding the ways in which power structures can work alongside marginalized communities to empower them, from the Freedom Summer to the Black Lives Matter Movement.


After headlining the 2018 UF Social Justice Summit this past January Voices from the March will be traveling to California this April to perform at the Southwest Oral History Association Annual Conference, hosted at California State University, Fullerton!

Please help us raise money to assist in covering the travel and lodging costs for our cast. We have been working so hard to bring this project to life, but we still need your support to share our work. Any donation is greatly appreciated!

Donate here!

The play is primarily based on interviews collected during last year’s presidential inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington, as well as the experiences of UF students who lead this project.  Our cast features some of the students who traveled to Washington, D.C., performing alongside other students who assist in bringing their various interviews to life. But, like our wonderful director Jeffrey Pufahl has said, “This is more than taking a play to LA, it’s about students defining who they are to the world!”

Donating to this fundraiser means that you are not only supporting this play, but you are also supporting student research and activism that is desperately needed in today’s world. This play empowers students to embrace their experiences, to use their voices in telling stories that need to be heard, and to engage in action and activism through the arts.

Our cast members hail from different corners of the UF community with varying degrees of experience performing in live theatre, making this trip to LA all the more special!

Interested in learning more about our play? Check out this article!  Watch this video! ‌

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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. 




SPOHP at the 2013 Oral History Association annual conference in Oklahoma City, OK.
SPOHP at the 2013 Oral History Association annual conference in Oklahoma City, OK in October.

From October 9-13, the Oral History Association hosted its 47th annual conference in Oklahoma City, OK. The conference featured presentations from researchers from around the world, including members of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Dr. Paul Ortiz, Joanna Joseph, and Graduate Coordinators Jessica Taylor, Justin Dunnavant,  and Ryan Morini.

Justin Dunnavant

The Oral History conference gave me great insight into the breadth of research being conducted within oral history. Panelists flew in from all over the world representing communities from as far afield as Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina. I had the opportunity to meet with scholars studying similar themes of displacement and dispossession and track similarities between the civil rights struggles of African Americans and the Maori of New Zealand. Unknowingly we even crammed into an elevator with the renowned oral historian Alessandro Portelli.

My presentation entitled, “Veterans of SNCC: The Painful Memories of the War for Equality” contextualized Freedom Summer in the framework of warfare and presented a need for Civil Rights veterans to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Such a designation would allow them to acquire veteran’s benefits and the accolades associated with heroism in military service. My powerpoint presentation was interspersed with audio clips from interviews conducted with veterans of Freedom Summer.

In addition to our individual presentations, SPOHP members collectively accepted the Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi (“Voice of the People”) Award on behalf of the program. In sharing our work, audience members asked how we find the strength to continue when confronted with stories of immense hopelessness and grief. Pondering the question for the first time, I came to the realization that it’s often the most depressing stories that give you the motivation to carry on.

The highlight of the conference resonated in the keynote address. Dovie Thomason left the audience with some deep reflections on ethics and the significance of oral histories. She reminded us of the seriousness of retaining oral histories, stressing that the best storyteller must be a great listener, first and foremost. My only regret is that I was able to attend the conference earlier. I look forward to participating in the 48th annual conference, “Oral History in Motion: Movements, Transformations, and the Power of Story” in Madison, Wisconsin next year.

Jessica Taylor

While I’ve attended and presented at conferences before, I’ve never done so as part of a team of students. The experience can be isolating as a lone undergraduate and graduate; it’s difficult to network when the distance between yourself and a group of senior scholars remains at the forefront of your mind. However, as part of a delegation representing not only my university but an award-winning program, I felt that together we collected conversations and experiences over the course of the conference that made our own conversations about oral history stronger.

During our off-time, I don’t think that any two of us attended the same panel: we were each other’s eyes in every room. I’m excited to share what I learned about lyrics as oral history in the New Deal workshop with Dr. Frisch in my own and others’ survey classes, and Justin talked to us about some weaknesses in a panel he attended that helped us strengthen our own presentations the night before. We also met with other grad students who presented on post-World War II Germany in a panel we could not attend, but still shared their ideas with us at a chance meeting in the lobby. The grad student network at the OHA was open and supportive, but I suspect that it is undergirded by equally supportive and reassuring advisors and advocates established in the field.

UF students gave as good as they got at the OHAs, and that alone bolsters camaraderie. Working late at night to perfect presentations and anticipate post-panel discussion questions paid off the day of our presentation. Joanna and I helped Justin narrow down his clip times, and I spent dinner talking over heritage and anthropology with Ryan the night before. Together, we knew to complement one another’s presentations with our respective opinions and perspectives on our time in Mississippi while keeping the individuality of our experiences in the field. The results reflected both our Mississippi and Oklahoma experiences. The audience felt at ease to laugh and inquire with us, and our circle of friends tied to Mississippi got larger.

ASALH was established in 1913, and held its 98th annual conference this year in Jacksonville.

During the first week of October, the African American History Project (AAHP) presented at the 98th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Jacksonville. The panel, entitled “Teach Them How to Sing: Harry T. Moore and Patricia Due, Florida’s Activist Educators” featured presentations from Attorney John Due, and AAHP graduate coordinators Ryan Morini and Justin Dunnavant. Dr. Paul Ortiz moderated the panel. A full schedule of speakers and events from the conference is available online.

The ASALH Annual Meeting is an occasion to explore the history and culture of Africans and people of African descent. The convention brings together more than one thousand people–academics, community builders, educators, business professionals and others–who share an abiding interest in our annual theme. For nearly a century, scholarly sessions, professional workshops, and public presentations have served to analyze and illuminate the contributions of people of African descent to the world.

With more than 175 panels featuring our members who are prominent figures in Black cultural studies, as well as scholars and students from all disciplines, the ASALH Conference presents an optimal opportunity for leading academicians to present research and current projects, and to learn about leading projects in the field of African American History.

With standing room only, Ryan Morini presented on oral history methodology. He described the history of AAHP and shared clips of interviews with former Lincoln High School students and educators to highlight the emergent themes of the Black High School Alumni Associations as well as the politics of memory and nostalgia. Justin Dunnavant presented on the significance of educator activists in Florida Civil Rights. Using the life of Harry and Harriette Moore, he explored the role activist educators played in desegregating Gainesville and gathering resources for black schools.

Concluding the panel, Civil Rights Attorney John Due led us into “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round.” He then continued reflecting upon a life of activism of his wife, Patricia Stephens Due. In connecting the struggle to today, Due forewarned young activists not to blindly repeat the activist strategies of the 1950s and 60s but to learn from them and chart a new way forward. He shared his pride in the work of the Dream Defenders.

Attorney John Due with a poster of his wife, Patricia Stephens Due, and the book she wrote with their daughter, “Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights.”

Before the panel, Justin sat down with John Due for an interview about the history of his activist work in Florida, focusing on social justice and civil rights. Mr. Due was also interviewed in Gainesville in 2011. The interview is available online at the University of Florida Digital Collections.

Justin Dunnavant, October 2013