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.
“Samuel Proctor became the first UF Historian and Archivist when he was still a PhD student. He never left the role. Proctor was heavily involved with UF, so much so that rumor told he had four or five, maybe six, offices on the campus. Now, his name prefixes one of the nation’s largest oral history programs — in a field of inquiry that he helped pioneer.”
We will be sharing nine dramatic vignettes created by our students and performed by members of the local theatre community with our performance, “From Colored to Black: The Stories of North Central Florida,” at the Harn Museum of Art‘s Museum Nights this Thursday night! The performance, a partnership with Actors’ Warehouse, Inc., will take place 6:00-7:00PM in “The Prints of Jacob Lawrence” exhibit at the Harn!
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.
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.
Please join military veterans and their families for a special Veterans Day film screening of the play “Telling Gainesville.” Telling Gainesville is part of a nationwide initiative by the National Endowment for the Humanities that connects civilian audiences with veterans in a creative, supportive environment.
“Telling Gainesville” ran to standing-room- only audiences at the Actor’s Warehouse in the fall of 2016. It featured veterans from the Marine Corps, the US Navy, and the Army—along with a woman who was married to an Air Force pilot for twenty years. The play allowed veterans tell their stories in the first person, and to speak directly with audiences about the challenges of military service in war and in peace.
The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program’s videographer, Deborah Hendrix, filmed one of the final performances of Telling Gainesville. The film captures the poignancy of veterans discussing combat experiences, loss of comrades, and post-war traumas. After the film screening, the play’s director, Jeffrey Pufahl, will hold a roundtable discussion with actor-veterans who will take questions from the audience. Jeffrey Pufahl is a Creative Campus Visiting Scholar in Residence at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and a faculty member in UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine.
This screening is part of ongoing efforts by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Florida Humanities Council to create and support works that bring together civilians and veterans in mutually supportive dialogues to promote understanding. The play was written by Max Reyneard and directed by Jeffrey Pufahl.
The program is part of the University of Florida’s, “Dialogues on the Experiences of War” and is sponsored by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) Veterans’ History Project and the Center for European Studies, along with the UF Center for Arts in Medicine.
This program has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the Florida
EVENT: Telling Gainesville: Military Veterans Share Their Stories of Service and Struggle
LOCATION: The Hippodrome State Theatre, Downtown, Gainesville
DATE: Saturday, November 11th
TIME: Doors 6:30, Screening 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
Free Public Event
About the Dialogues on the Experience of War program:
The NEH offers the Dialogues on the Experience of War program as part of its current initiative, Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War. The program supports the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war, in the belief that these sources can help U.S. military veterans and others think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service. If you are interested in future discussion sessions or film screenings, contact Lisa Booth at the UF Center for European Studies.
Center for European Studies
Email Lisa Booth for more information and free discussion materials.
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
On January 27th, our Fall interns and staff will be performing an original multi-media play titled Voices from the March at the 2018 UF Social Justice Summit. A collaboration between the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and the Center for Women’s Studies, this verbatim theater piece compiles oral history narratives from the Women’s March on Washington as well the experiences of the students who documented those voices. Voices from the March was directed by SPOHP Scholar in Residence Jeffrey Pufahl whose work at the University of Florida is focused on creating inter-campus and inter-community partnerships to develop theatre-based programming that addresses social issues and community health. The 2018 Summit theme is “Allyship: Identify, Interact, & Impact.” The Summit agenda includes outstanding programs from community members, students, and scholars across many disciplines. Visit the UF Social Justice Summit: For the Gator Good page for more information about this excellent event.
Dates and Locations
January 27th, 4:30 PM
J. Wayne Reitz Student Union in the Rion Ballroom
FREE and open to the public
Visit the “Voices from the March” information page on the Social Justice Summit website
The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP)’s Florida Queer History Project is partnering with First Magnitude Brewing Company to bring you “A Pride Extravaganza” on October 15!
The event will serve as a fundraiser for SPOHP’s Florida Queer History Project, which will be exhibiting a portrait and oral history interview series from their June 2017 research trip to document Pride weekend in Washington, DC. We will be hosting a resource fair with local organizations and LGBTQ+ community allies from 3-5PM. There will be live music from Gutless, Bird Eat Bird, and drag performances by Mx Bubbles, Rose Chamellion, Salí de la Rosa, and Elena La Fuega from 5-7PM.
Wristbands and tickets are available for presale and will be available at the door. Tickets can be redeemed for a free beer at the event, and wristbands allow attendees to get fifty cents off every beer purchase. Presale items can be purchased in the SPOHP office on the second floor of Pugh Hall from office manager Tamarra Jenkins.
$10/ $11: wristband & beer ticket
$12+: wristband, beer, & a Florida Queer History zine at the event
$12: wristband & beer ticket
$13+: wristband, beer, & a Florida Queer History zine at the event
Thanks to our wonderful co-sponsors, UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research, Pride Community Center, Neutral7 design group, Hardback Cafe, Gainesville Girls Rock Camp, and First Magnitude Brewing Company!
The event is part of the Pride Community Center’s “Pride Days.” Any local organizations interested in participating in the resource fair can reach out to Florida Queer History Coordinators Holland Hall or Robert Baez.
For questions, please contact our office at:
(352) 392-3261 or Tamarra Jenkins.