In this latest episode of our podcast series Safe Spaces, Anupa Kotipoyna looks back at the creation of the India Cultural and Education Center (ICEC) in Gainesville, Florida.
In the summer of 2017 SPOHP partnered with UF College of Medicine, to develop an oral history segment for the Geriatrics Medicine Clerkship, a required rotation for all 4th year medical students that Dr. Otto directs. SPOHP’s Ryan Thompson took on leadership for its half of the partnership. This marked the beginning of another significant partnership for SPOHP, one of many individual and organizational collaborations over the program’s half-century existence. Collaborations like these have proven mutually beneficial for SPOHP and its partners in professional and academic fields and beyond.
“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.
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
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.
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,
or visit us in the SPOHP offices at 240-250 Pugh Hall