“Events mark acquisition; UF celebrates Stetson Kennedy’s work” The Gainesville Sun, by Jeff Schweers, October 23, 2013.

On October 22, 2013, a symposium of events celebrated the donation of Stetson Kennedy’s papers to the University of Florida. At 6:00 p.m., a panel event featuring Dr. Marvin Dunn, Lucy Anne Hurston, and Dr. Peggy Bulger discussed the legacy of his legendary activism in Florida today. The panel was moderated by Ben Brotelmarke and included blues music from Willie Green and an introduction from UF First Lady Chris Machen.

 

The Gainesville Sun‘s coverage of the Stetson Foundation’s donation also featured a video of Willie Green playing the blues and a photo gallery of the evening’s events.

Gainesville, FL—The papers and writings of Stetson Kennedy, firebrand activist, writer, and folklorist of the American South,  have been donated to the University of Florida by the Stetson Kennedy Trust and will be celebrated in a panel event on October 22.  In this major acquisition, Kennedy’s papers will join those of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Zora Neale Hurston as part of the literary manuscripts of Special Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries.

The University of Florida will commemorate the opening of the Stetson Kennedy Papers on October 22 with a celebratory symposium, “Stetson Kennedy: Re-Imagining Justice in the 21st Century.”  Featured speakers include acclaimed author and FIU professor Marvin Dunn, former director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Peggy Bulger, and Lucy Anne Hurston, author and niece of literary luminary Zora Neale Hurston.

Schedule of Events, October 22

[left]

Open House, Room 1A, George A. Smathers Library East, First Floor
10:00 a.m. to Noon:

See examples from the Papers

  • Early Writings of Stetson Kennedy
  • Stetson, Civil Rights, and Social Justice
  • Stetson and Folk Life
  • Stetson Reports from Abroad
  • Interviews on Film

Reception, Room 1A, George A. Smathers Library East
12:00 p.m.

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[right]

Film Tribute to the Federal Writers Program, Room 1A, George A. Smathers Library East
2:00 p.m., “
Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story”

Main Panel Event, Pugh Hall Auditorium with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., “Stetson Kennedy: Re-Imagining Justice in the 21st Century.”

  • Blues music by Willie Green.
  • Opening comments from UF First Lady Chris Machen.
  • Panel discussion moderated by Ben Brotemarkle with Marvin Dunn, Peggy Bulger, and Lucy Anne Hurston.
  • Reception and book signings. 

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Stetson Kennedy (1916-2011) epitomized the energy and drive of American social activism.  As Dr. Paul Ortíz, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, has noted, “Kennedy spent the better part of the 20th century doing battle with racism, class oppression, corporate domination, and environmental degradation in the American South.”   He pitted himself against the Ku Klux Klan, going undercover in order to investigate their activities, then broadcasting some of his findings through 1947 episodes of the radio series Adventures of Superman (“Clan of the Fiery Cross”) in which the iconic American superhero battles the KKK.   Kennedy had to flee the country to escape retribution, living for a year in Paris.

His writings and constant advocacy for social justice brought him into contact with Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Richard Wright, Lillian Smith, Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Studs Terkel, Zora Neale Hurston, Myles Horton, Virginia Durr, Alan Lomax, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Erskine Caldwell (who edited his first book) and Florida freedom fighters and martyrs Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore.  Many of his books have become classics, including Palmetto Country (1942), Southern Exposure (1946), The Klan Unmasked (1954), and the Jim Crow Guide to the U.S.A. (1959).

Among the 35+ honors and awards Kennedy received during his life were the Jules Verne Medal (1992), the Peace and Utility Award (co-recipient with Jimmy Carter and Katherine Dunham, 1993), an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of North Florida (1994), the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker of the Year Award (2001), the Literary Legend Award from the Florida Heritage Book Festival (2008), and the Dorothy Dodd Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Historical Society (2010).  He was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Stetson Kennedy Papers at the University of Florida encompass core areas of his career, spanning his high school writings to his most recent and unpublished work,  and include correspondence, a mass of published articles, photographs, research files, and several hundred audio and audio-video files of interviews with him, interviews by him, and recordings of his public talks.   Other institutions in the United States with collections of Kennedy’s work include the Department of Special Collections at the University of South Florida, Georgia State University, the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the University of North Carolina.  His personal library was donated to the Civic Media Center, Gainesville, Florida.

A full day of special events has been planned for October 22.   In the morning, beginning at 10 a.m., there will be an open house in Room 1A, George A. Smathers Library, with an exhibit of materials from the Stetson Kennedy Papers.  This will be followed at noon with a reception and commentary on the writing careers of Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston by Sandra Parks and Lucy Anne Hurston.  At 2:00 p.m. also in Room 1A there will be a showing of the film “Soul Of A People—Writing America’s Story” about the 1930s Federal Writers Project.

The day’s main event will be the panel presentation “Stetson Kennedy: Re-Imagining Justice in the 21st Century,” at 6 p.m. in Pugh Hall with opening comments from UF First Lady Chris Machen. The panel, which will also be live broadcast over the internet, will be moderated by Ben Brotemarkle, executive director of the Florida Historical Society. Comments and discussion by Marvin Dunn, Peggy Bulger, and Lucy Anne Hurston will focus on the legacy of Stetson Kennedy’s prolific activism and powerful works. Famed local blues musician Willie Green will also perform at the event. Following the panel, a reception and book signing will be held in Pugh with the panelists, whose books will be on sale alongside a limited number of Stetson Kennedy’s autographed works.

Sponsors for the event include the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the Smathers Libraries, Civic Media Center and the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere Rothman Endowment.  For information on upcoming events, contact Sarah Blanc, research staff member at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program  or James Cusick, curator, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History .  For more information on Stetson Kennedy, please visit the Stetson Kennedy Foundation.

Press Release, “University of Florida Marks the Donation of the Stetson Kennedy Papers with Speakers Panel and Events”

Gainesville, FL—On October 1, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will premiere “Siempre Adelante,” a documentaryfilm that chroniclesthe life experiences and strugglesof first-generation immigrants from Latin America in Alachua County, Floridaat 6:00 p.m. in Pugh Hall. Flyers, posters, and the news release are available in SPOHP’s Press Kit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e32Lhm9Zzhk

The movie, produced by SPOHP Technology Coordinator Deborah Hendrix with Maria Muñoz, features the life narratives of four men and women living in Alachua County who emigrated from three different countries. The stories highlight the challenges that new immigrants face in Florida and pose questions about what it means to be an immigrant in a society that prides itself as being “A nation of immigrants.”

Pastor Jaime Zelaya of Gainesville approached SPOHP with the idea for “Siempre Adelante” in an effort to encourage understanding of the complex lives and struggles of newimmigrants and topromote compassion for their experiences. Pastor Zelayawas inspired to begin the project by members of his congregation.

The film features first person interviews as well as performances of experiences in the lives of immigrants as described by the narrators themselves. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

The film premiere of “Siempre Adelante” will be held in the Pugh Hall Ocora at 6:00 p.m. on October 1. The event will include a panel discussion with the film makers and Pastor Zelaya. The screening will be followed by a reception. Parking for the event is free.

The public program is made possible by a grant from theCenter for the Humanities in the Public Sphere Rothman Endowment and co-sponsored by the UF Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures, in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month at UF, a celebration of Hispanic heritage taking place throughout October. Local community organizations & individuals underwrote a significant amount of the production costs for Siempre Adelante.

For more information about this event, including directions and parking information, please visit the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program’s website or call at (352) 392-7168.

October 2-6, 2013, SPOHP will be attending the 98th Annual Conference for the Study of African American Life and History in Jacksonville, Florida, “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

The ASALH Annual Meeting is an occasion to explore the history and culture of Africans and people of African descent. Our 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, our scholarly sessions, professional workshops, and public presentations have served to analyze and illuminate the contributions of people of African descent to the world.

ASALH members and friends from across the nation and the world come together extensively to explore the 2013 Black History Theme: “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

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. A full schedule of speakers and events is available online.

Dr. Paul Ortiz, SPOHP Director, will be a featured speaker on the Saturday, October 5 panel: “Making Emancipation: From a Black Reconstruction to a Black President.” Justin Dunnavant, Ryan Mornini, Marna Weston and Diedre Houchen of SPOHP’s Alachua County African American History Project, will be presenting their research at the conference.

“Teach Them How To Sing”: Harry T. Moore and Patricia Due , Florida’s Activist Educators

While many are well aware of the actions of civil rights activists in Alabama and Mississippi during the 1950s and 60s, much less information is available on the Civil Rights Movement in Florida. The state witnessed the first jail-in, the first NAACP official killed in the civil rights struggle, and a bus boycott that shut-down city transit in Tallahassee.

In order to provide a glimpse into some of the actions undertaken by civil rights veterans in Florida, this panel will focus on the lives of historic figures Patricia Stephens Due and Harry T. Moore. In addition to the lives of these individuals, we will also explore more theoretical themes associated with oral histories as well as educational pedagogy and activism.  The use and analysis of oral histories serves as the common methodological thread that runs throughout all of our panel presentations.

Dr. Paul Ortiz will moderate the panel and Mr. John Due will serve as our discussant, providing valuable insight into the Civil Rights Movement in Florida from the perspective of a Civil Rights attorney, activist, and husband of the late Patricia Stephens Due.

A Closed Circuit: African American Educational Pedagogy, Structure and Community Organizing in Florida’s Jim Crow
Diedre Houchen

This presentation examines the regional African American education tradition in North Central Florida during the latter Jim Crow era (1930-1950s). Building on research by Siddle-Walker, Coates, and others, (Coates, 2010; Patterson, Mickelson, Petersen, & Gross, 2008; Siddle-Walker, 1996, 2000; Siddle Walker, 2012), this investigation centers on the oral histories of students, teachers, principals and community members from  several counties in North Central Florida which demonstrate  “highly valued”  African American segregated schooling . The purpose of such an investigation is twofold. First, to expand our understand of these school communities and the citizens and leaders that they produced, and  second, to consider the ways that this exemplar system might influence pedagogy, practice, and structure in contemporary American schooling contexts, especially in light of our current needs for diverse, region specific, culturally centered practice.

 

Institutional Transformations and Community Metaphors: Methodological Approaches to Studying Historic Black High Schools
Ryan Morini

This presentation discusses the use of oral history methodologies to study the community dynamics of the north Florida African American high schools that existed under segregated conditions. Black high schools were usually “downgraded” to middle schools during integration, but their central positions in north Florida communities seem only to have grown. Today, the alumni associations of many black high schools in north Florida are powerful community organizations. Very little of the history of these schools is documented, and it is an accordingly open research question as to why they continue to not simply endure, but thrive, attempting to incorporate younger generations who never attended the high schools in question. The attempt to record historical narratives and experiential recollections in this context has encouraged our research team to look for more nuanced approaches than the more traditional study of a bounded historical period.

 

Harry T. Moore and the Tradition of Black “Educator Activists”
Justin Dunnavant

Harry T. Moore has been described as the “first NAACP official killed in the civil rights struggle.” On Christmas Day of 1951, Mr. Moore and his wife, Harriette Moore, were assassinated in their home of Titusville, FL when a bomb exploded underneath their bedroom. As a prominent educator and activist, news of his death reverberated throughout the country, although the murder would go unsolved for more than half a century. Using the life and legacy of Mr. Harry T. Moore, this paper will draw heavily from oral histories and archives of the University of Florida to better understand the long tradition of “educator activists” in Florida. Furthermore this paper will highlight the various ways in which African Americans in Florida have remembered Harry T. Moore in more recent times.

 

“The Struggle Continues”: Patricia Stephens Due, CORE and the Tallahassee Civil Rights Movement
Marna Weston

In solidarity with the February 1, 1960 Greensboro North Carolina Lunch Counter protests, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Tallahassee, Florida planned two sit-in actions against segregated downtown variety store lunch counters to take place within the month.  The first sit in on Saturday, February 13 took place without incident.  A second similar attempt on February 20 led to eleven immediate arrests. During Stephens’ forty-nine day stay in the Leon County Jail (March18 to May 5, 1960); she exchanged correspondence smuggled out of the Leon County Jail by local ministers. A particularly striking public letter establishes the earliest known student refusal to pay a fine, and remain in jail as a civil disobedience tactic against Jim Crow segregated lunch counters. Through her “Letter from Leon County Jail”, Stephens describes the originality and impact of FAMU CORE and previews herself, sister Priscilla and future husband, John Due’s beginnings as  meaningful and determined advocates challenging Jim Crow, gender inequality, discriminatory labor and wage practices, substandard education, ignorance and hunger. For the next half century, Patricia Stephens Due put into practice what she preached with courage, grace, and dignity. This paper will draw from personal time spent with Mrs. Due and other members of Tallahassee CORE from December 2003 to the present. Individual historic reflections on the nature of courage as exhibited in the leadership of Tallahassee CORE shall be further delineated by comparing narrative texts distinguishing 1960 CORE actions to the public in both African American and majority white newspaper articles from 1960.  Finally, a radio cast by Florida Governor Leroy Collins in March 1960 addressing the Tallahassee CORE direct action will reveal what state officials said of CORE and its leaders.

[left]Dr. Paul Ortiz (Chair)

Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
248 Pugh Hall
PO Box 11215
Gainesville, FL 32611
831.334.0131
Email 

Justin Dunnavant  (Participant)
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
248 Pugh Hall
PO Box 11215
Gainesville, FL 32611
240.529.5578
Email

Marna Weston (Participant)
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
248 Pugh Hall
PO Box 11215
Gainesville, FL 32611
352.219.7514
Email [/left]

[right]

Ryan Morini (Participant)
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
248 Pugh Hall
PO Box 11215
Gainesville, FL 32611
610.724.9035
Email

Diedre Houchen (Participant)
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
248 Pugh Hall
PO Box 11215
Gainesville, FL 32611
352.256.7207
Email

John Due (Discussant)
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
248 Pugh Hall
PO Box 11215
Gainesville, FL 32611
850.443.3078
Email

[/right]

Gainesville, FL—During the week of September 17 through September 22, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) at UF will return to the Mississippi Delta to continue research on the civil rights movement in Mississippi with veteran civil rights activists and leading scholars of the Mississippi campaign for equal rights. SPOHP will bring a research team of UF graduate and undergraduate students to continue collaboration with the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization to conduct oral history interviews in the historic Mississippi Delta region. The research team will focus on uncovering the movement’s origins and researching its impact, as well as documenting contemporary legacies in a region that gave birth to one of the most vibrant social movements in American history.

This year marks the 6th anniversary of SPOHP’s Mississippi Delta research trip. SPOHP will take a team of fifteen University of Florida researchers to the region to explore the Delta’s tumultuous past and contemporary social problems. On the way, the group will stop in Tallahassee, Florida to spend an afternoon with Mrs. Laura Dixie, an organizer of the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott and a lifetime civil rights and labor activist. Mrs. Dixie will discuss the life of the Rev. C.K. Steele, Patricia Stephens Due and other key Florida movement activists from the 1950s and 1960s.

This year, SPOHP is continuing a partnership with the McComb Legacies Project in the McComb School District. The Legacies Project is a collaborative effort of the district and community members of the Local History Advisory Committee who are committed to the research, documentation, and sharing of McComb’s history. The Legacies Project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in a grant to “Teaching for Change” that provides students with the opportunities to explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement and labor history during the school day and after school. Last year, the students produced a documentary called “The Voting Rights Struggle,” which won numerous awards and advanced to the national level of the National History Day competition. Legacies Project and SPOHP students will conduct oral history interviews together in McComb before departing for the Delta the following day.

While in the Delta, SPOHP will conduct oral history interviews and host workshops on social justice issues at locations in the region that are annual stops for the research trip, including the Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Museum in Belzoni and the Sunflower County Freedom Project in Sunflower, Mississippi, as well as others in Cleveland and Glendora. Student researchers will have the opportunity to interviews and learn from seasoned public history advocates from varied backgrounds. These long-standing relationships are crucial for SPOHP to have opportunities to work within communities.

The capstone of SPOHP’s agenda in the Delta is a public history panel at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, which focuses on the legacies of the civil rights movement in the Delta. This panel will be held on the evening of September 19 at 6:00 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center. Each year, the panel invites movement veterans, historians, educators, and area youth to discuss the importance of studying struggles for democracy as well as the contemporary lessons in civic engagement that can be drawn from organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

The theme of this year’s panel is “Violence, Non-Violence, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Panelists will discuss the various forms of non-violent direct action taken up by civil rights veterans to bring voting rights to all Americans, and the violent backlash of vigilantes, white supremacists, and organized mobs that resulted. Professor Akinyele Umoja of Georgia State University will be a panelist at the event, speaking on his acclaimed new book, “We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement.” The event will include a book signing and singing of Freedom Songs. Teachers, students, and community activists who attend the panel will receive free educational DVD’s on the histories of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi and in Florida. Last year, the Delta State panel drew more than 200 audience participants, the majority of whom were public school students.

Interviews collected during this research trip will be deposited in a publicly accessible archive at the University of Florida as well as with the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization in Mississippi for educational use. In December 2013, SPOHP students from the trip will present their reflections in a public panel at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville. In addition, students will produce brief educational audio podcasts of their interviews when they return to Gainesville. These podcasts will be featured on SPOHP’s popular iTunes portal. Major themes of past podcasts include: the role of music in movement organizing, women’s contributions to the civil rights movement & the connection between local organizing and national politics. All of these materials will be made accessible to area schoolteachers.

This research trip is co-sponsored by Mr. William De Grove, the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, UF African American Studies program, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UF Office of Research, UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, The Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization, The Diversity Advisory Committee at Delta State University & The Sam Block Civil Rights Organization.

Press Release
The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida
September 11, 2013

Gainesville, FL. August 14, 2013—The Oral History Association is awarding its 2013 Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi (“Voice of the People”) Award to the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program for achievements in using oral histories as a means of furthering social justice. As OHA President Dr. Mary Larson noted, the awarding committee congratulated SPOHP on its multi-faceted achievements in scholarship and outreach, saying, “The breadth of the program is astounding.” The Association is also recognizing Ms. Falana McDaniel with the Martha Ross Teaching Award for her direction of the teaching oral history to the McComb Legacies Project, a partner educator of SPOHP.

The Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi (“Voice of the People”) annual award honors individuals or organizations who have accomplished outstanding achievement in using oral history to create a more humane and just world and is named in honor of Floridian Stetson Kennedy, a pioneer oral historian whose work has been an important tool for advocacy on behalf of human rights.  As a further testament to SPOHP’s commitment to social justice initiatives, SPOHP and the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History were selected for the honor of preparing Stetson Kennedy’s writings, recordings, and papers for public access through the University of Florida libraries, the inaugural event for which will be held on October 22, 2013 at Smathers Libraries.

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program works to build an oral history archive that preserves eyewitness accounts, memories and narratives of historical events and progressive social movements. With archives featuring over 5,300 interviews, SPOHP involves the creativity of students, staff, and community volunteers to share this research with the public through podcasts, videos, and research projects.

SPOHP’s emphasis on social justice research is reflected in the work of its students, who have written theses and dissertation on community activism and labor organizing, relying on the interdisciplinary nature of oral history that provides a rare opportunity for students in the humanities to conduct field studies.  SPOHP sends a group of graduate and undergraduate students to the Mississippi Delta every September to expand its Mississippi Freedom Project collection, which focuses on recording the histories of civil rights movement veterans as well as current community organizers, catfish plant workers, union members, educators, and students. SPOHP’s internship program grants practical experience in public history to over twenty students a semester.

SPOHP’s free public programs highlight how scholars and activists use oral interviews empower messages of social justice and human rights, including such guests as Dr. Larry Rivers, Dr. Alan Rosen, and Stephanie Coontz in the past year. SPOHP partners social justice groups including Gainesville Women’s Liberation, Gainesville Veterans for Peace, and the Civic Media Center, and The Gainesville Iguana, and maintains a network of partnerships with similar organizations across the country, including Student Action with Farmworkers in Durham, North Carolina, the Sunflower County Freedom Project in the Mississippi Delta, Teaching for Change in McComb, Mississippi, and the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project through the National Folklife Center. SPOHP’s contribution to these partnerships is carried out by facilitating and processing interviews to generate more educational materials. These partnerships allow each organization to advance their goals by sharing resources and audiences.

The Martha Ross Teaching Award is being awarded to McComb High School Digital Medias Technology teacher Falana McDaniel, who coordinates the after-school history research group, McComb Legacies Project, at McComb High School in McComb Mississippi. The Martha Ross Award recognizes an educator involved in using oral history as a medium to enhance learning, focusing on civic and community components. Ms. McDaniel attended an intensive two-day oral history workshop with SPOHP in 2011 at the University of Florida which covered oral history methodology and practice. The workshop focused on how to conduct an interview, document it, and publish it in various forms of media: techniques Ms. McDaniel uses to great success in teaching her students about the flexibility of oral history as a research tool.

In the last school year, Ms. McDaniel facilitated multiple research and leadership development opportunities for her students, culminating in the premiere of their local history documentary, “The Voting Rights Struggle,” based on their own oral history research in McComb. The documentary won first place in Mississippi state’s National History Day competition. Legacies Project students also attended SPOHP’s 2012 Mississippi Freedom Project research trip and later organized a multi-day event at their high school in February 2013, which they designed to share the experiences of Civil Rights Movement activists with their classmates. Legacies Project students were inspired, instructed, and empowered by their teacher, Falana McDaniel, to actively seek engagement with oral history research and education, and SPOHP congratulates Ms. McDaniel on her award.

The Vox Populi award is co-sponsored by The Stetson Kennedy Foundation , a non-profit foundation dedicated to human rights, racial and social justice, environmental stewardship, and the preservation and growth of folk culture. SPOHP is a receiving the award with Rosalie Riegle, who will be recognized for her achievements over a lifetime of activism. The Vox Populi and Martha Ross awards will be presented at the Oral History Association’s Annual Meeting, to be held in October 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Press Release
The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
August 14, 2013

Gainesville,FL – On August 23, 2013, SPOHP debuted a brand new website. Take a look! And enjoy this photo gallery of our origins 20 years ago, in honor of the occasion.

circa Turlington Hall, 1980

 The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) at the University of Florida will host a series of public programs for the 2013-2014 academic year, presenting a dynamic selection of acclaimed speakers who will share their research with the campus and wider community. This series will illuminate consecutive generations of documentarians and scholars and illustrate how these individuals use their work to inform social change. This series was made possible by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere Rothman Endowment for Workshops and Speaker Series in the Humanities.

On October 1st, 2013, SPOHP will launch the official premier of Siempre Adelante: A Look at Faith and the Immigrant Struggle. The screening will take place at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month events. Siempre Adelante features the life narratives of four remarkable people living in Gainesville who emigrated from three different countries and share the struggle of always moving forward. This film offers an important glimpse into the growing immigrant community of Alachua county and north central Florida. This is SPOHP’s third full-length documentary, and the film was produced by Deborah Hendrix, Maria Munoz, and Jaime Zelaya. The screening is co-sponsored by Hispanic Heritage Month 2013.

On October 22nd, 2013, at 6 p.m. in the Pugh Hall Ocora,SPOHP will host a public panel entitled, “Stetson Kennedy: Re-Imagining Justice in the 21st Century.” The panel will commemorate the University of Florida’s acquisition of the personal papers of Stetson Kennedy, the renowned author,folklorist, and human rights activist from Florida. Panelists will include acclaimed author and FIU professor Marvin Dunn, former director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Peggy Bulger, and Lucy Anne Hurston,author and niece of literary luminary Zora Neale Hurston. The event is co-sponsored by P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida Smathers Libraries.

On December 4, 2013, SPOHP will host a student panel at 6p.m. at the Civic Media Center in downtown Gainesville entitled, “SPOHP in theDelta: 6th Annual Student Panel.” This annual event highlights student research initiatives resulting from SPOHP’s yearly research trip to the Mississippi Delta. Panelists will give a multimedia presentation and share insights after interviewing veterans of the civil rights movement, labor leaders, contemporary activists, and scholars living in the Delta region. This event is co-sponsored by the Civic Media Center.

On January 15, 2014, SPOHP will welcome Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Tia Lessin. Lessin is the director and producer, along with Carl Deal of Citizen Koch and Trouble the Water. Lessin also co-produced several of Michael Moore’s films, including Capitalism: A Love Story, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Bowling for Columbine. At 2:30 p.m., Lessin will participate in a public panel in Ustler Hall, and at 6 p.m. Lessin will host a public screening of Trouble the Water, a redemptive tale of a couple in Louisiana surviving failed levees, bungling bureaucrats, and their own troubled past in this portrait of a community abandoned long before Hurricane Katrin hit the Gulf. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2009 and an Emmy Award for best informational program in 2010. This event is co-sponsored by the UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research.

On March 12, 2014 at 6 p.m., SPOHP will host a public panel in Pugh Hall called, “”‘If It Takes All Summer’: The 50th Anniversary of the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement.” The city of St. Augustine became a national stage for the civil rights movement in 1964 when the federal government allocated funds for a segregated celebration of the 400thanniversary of the city’s founding. Martin Luther King Jr. came to northeast Florida and remarked that St.Augustine was “the most segregated city in America” at the time. He pledged to defeat segregation using nonviolence, even “if it takes all summer.” This panel will be a vibrant commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the St. Augustine movement and will bring recognition to the foot soldiers that sacrificed so much for equality.

All of these events will offer free parking on campus and a reception after the program. In addition, all public programs will be recorded and shared on SPOHP’s YouTube page for public and educational access in the future. SPOHP would like to thank the UF Center for the Humanities and thePublic Sphere for their Rothman Endowment for Workshops and Speaker Series in the Humanities, which support this year’s speaker series.  For more information, call (352) 392-7168 or visit our website .