SPOHP staff members Anupa Kotipoyina and Krystal Dixon traveled to Trinidad the last week of July to meet with local historians and educators to map out a trajectory for a fieldwork-based Oral History study abroad program. A project conceived of and spear-headed by Anupa Kotipoyina, she reflected on this experience in the following statement: 

“Many college students hope to study abroad for a unique educational experience. I personally did not realize how even travelling within one’s own country could be an exciting and rich learning opportunity until I participated in SPOHP’s Mississippi Freedom Project fieldwork trip last year. We were constantly in action: collaborating with local organizations, listening to and giving presentations, and collecting life histories from people from all walks of life. SPOHP is in the process of combining the hands-on learning model of our fieldwork trips with the global perspective that study abroad offers. With the help of a grant from UF’s international center, Krystal and I spent last week in Trinidad and Tobago, one of the most diverse and dynamic countries in the world, in order to create the relationships and do the networking that is necessary to make a fieldwork-based, collaborative oral history trip possible and successful.

I had been to Trinidad once before on vacation, but it was an entirely different experience to meet professors, local historians, and directors of nonprofits to discuss the potential for collaboration. From the National Trust to the National Council of Indian Culture to the Emancipation Day Support Committee, the diverse ways that Trinidadians are working to preserve their history and culture are inspirational.

Although we are still very much in the process of learning about Trinidad and figuring out the details of our program, everyone we met expressed enthusiasm to work with us and were incredibly flexible in the ways they can help us create our vision of an international digital humanities and oral history research trip. Some even went out of their way to make sure our site visit was as smooth and productive as possible–I’ll never forget how one professor offered Krystal and I a ride to a nearby food court and even asked if we needed money in the local currency. If we learned so much just in one week of meetings, I cannot imagine how much students will learn in three to four weeks of lectures, excursions, and fieldwork.”

To help make this program a reality, visit our donation page here.

On June 10th a group of researchers set out to document Pride weekend events in Washington, D.C. Once again in partnership with the UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women Studies Research, students and staff were able to capture a wide scope of events happening throughout the nation’s capital. During the first evening, researchers set out to document queer perspectives at QT Night of Healing and Resistance hosted by Resist This and Trans Women of Color Collective. The following morning, researchers interviewed the founder and several nation co-chairs of the Equality March for Unity and Pride. Later that afternoon, researchers interviewed an organizer from No Justice, No Pride, in addition to interviewing a plethora of participants in the Equality March and Capital Pride Festival attendees. As we move forward with processing the interviews we collected, we are excited to share our work with the UF and Gainesville communities through public events, as well as to share our work with an international audience through forthcoming digital humanities projects.

This trip was featured in the Gainesville Sun in an article found here.

The Gainesville Sun also promoted SPOHP’s EMUP fieldwork in a video found below.

https://www.facebook.com/GainesvilleSun/videos/10154481866616022/?hc_ref=ARS3LnkaI9yltDbKRVt0cmiBCpTleo1QHO7q-RjgA3NURx6Mzaz5-DLLctcgGHDwdmA/


With the help of coordinators Raja Rahim and Ryan Thompson, the Spring 2017 interns produced podcasts about Civic Engagement at the University of Florida.

University of Florida Digital Collections Archive

To date, 90+ oral history podcast pieces are available on the University of Florida’s Digital Collections website, including final projects for internship classes, as well as the original SPOHP podcast series Safe Spaces, The Gainesville 8 and Ottoman Greeks of the US. Browse the following highlights for more information, and visit the UFDC to download the many available series and student pieces.

To access information about individual episodes and pieces, scroll through the UFDC collection. Podcast pieces below are from the Spring 2017 internship class. All segment from this collection are 20 minutes or less to facilitate easy access to local history for students, teachers, and the general public.

 

Inclusion at the University of Florida (created by Ebony Love) 18:56

What kind of students, faculty, and staff members are here? If we are looking at 2016 alone, only 3,245 Black students enrolled at the University of Florida out of a headcount of 54,854 students. That means a little less than 6 percent of students at the University of Florida identify as Black, according to the Office of Institutional Planning and Research. When we expand this exploration to Black faculty members, of the 4,392 full time faculty members, only 191, or 4 percent identify as Black. Why is this a problem? According to the census, the demographics for the state of Florida show that 16.8 percent of the population is Black. In other words, the student and full time faculty demographics of UF are nowhere near being representative of the state of Florida in its numbers. The question now becomes how does the University of Florida uphold its mission of being a “diverse community” if it is not even representative of the state of Florida?

 

That Great Ol’ American Dream (created by Susan Atkinson) 19:59

Dr. Adejumo’s success stemmed from his proactive decisions in combination with the strong support of Black mentors and networks. But it is important to remember that one man’s experience does not represent the whole. Injustice towards minority groups is still prevalent in our society and at our university. We need to be aware of our history, the good and the bad. We must acknowledge past achievements and struggles and use them as footholds for progressing activism. Despite the current turmoil, Dr. Adejumo has a grand vision for the future of UF.

 

Race Relations at UF and Beyond (created by Brenda W. Stroud) 18:14

The University of Florida is listed among the top 20 colleges in the Nation. They are ranked #1 in Florida by USA Today. Still, trying to prove themselves demographically as a diverse and welcoming campus for both faculty and students, remains a challenge. I sat down with Tamarra Jenkins, Office Manager at the University’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, to discuss these ongoing struggles.

 

Dodged a Lot of Bullets (created by Sidney St. Cyr) 11:12

Camilo Reina-Munoz has had quite the journey that has led him to Gainesville, the center of the GatorNation. Reina Munoz’s journey started in Bogata, Colombia, due to guerilla warfare. He and his family went to Boston when he was nine months old and traveled along the East coast.

 

My Former Teaching Assistant Toye (created by Margaret Clarke) 9:33

As a student in one of Toyes classes I just assumed that he lived a life that was far more difficult then my own because he is from Nigeria and I am from America, because he walks down the street and people see a Black man while I walk down the street and no one thinks much. I assumed that he had to deal with prejudice and micro-aggresions that I could never understand and while that all this is true to Toyes experience, I underestimated his attitude and gratefulness to be here at the University of Florida.

 

A Humanity Thing (created by Peggy Dellinger) 36:52

Latino, gay, first-generation college graduate – how queerness and education influenced his decision to research and work with rural queer youth and why it’s important that academics volunteer or otherwise work with the populations they study outside academia.

 

“I’m Not A Juvenile Diliquent” (created by Hope Saunders) 13:00

Sidney has a great interest in sports and would like to go on to become a sports commentator if possible. However, he has been discouraged many times by others who claim he is not cut out to do that. Sidney compares himself to Mike Wazowski of Monsters Inc, a character who struggles to fit into career stereotypes.

 

 

“A powerful book; a tale of heroism, volunteerism, and sacrifice.”—Gary R. Mormino, author of Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida

“Personal anecdotes humanize the narrative and add a poignant impact. The use of newspaper editorials also provides an understanding of how North Carolinians responded to the war.”—Melton A. McLaurin, author of The Marines of Montford Point: America’s First Black Marines

At the outset of World War II, North Carolina was one of the poorest states in the Union. More than half of the land was rural. Over one-third of the farms had no electricity; only one in eight had a telephone. Illiteracy and a lack of education resulted in the highest rate of draft rejections of any state. The citizens desperately wanted higher living standards, and the war would soon awaken the Rip Van Winkle state to its fullest potential. Home Front traces the evolution of the people, customs, traditions, and attitudes, arguing that World War II was the most significant event in the history of modern North Carolina.

Using oral history interviews, newspaper accounts, and other primary sources, historian Julian Pleasants explores the triumphs, hardships, and emotions of North Carolinians during this critical period. The Training and Selective Service Act of 1940 created over fifty new military bases in the state to train two million troops. Citizens witnessed German submarines sinking merchant vessels off the coast, struggled to understand and cope with rationing regulations, and used 10,000 German POWs as farm and factory laborers. The massive influx of newcomers reinvigorated markets—the timber, mineral, textile, tobacco, and shipbuilding industries boomed, and farmers and other manufacturing firms achieved economic success. Although racial and gender discrimination remained, World War II provided social and economic opportunities for black North Carolinians and for women to fill jobs once limited to men, helping to pave the way for the civil and women’s rights movements that followed.

The conclusion of World War II found North Carolina drastically different. Families had lost sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, and brothers and sisters. Despite all the sacrifices and dislocations, the once provincial state looked forward to a modern, diversified, and highly industrialized future.

Julian M. Pleasants is professor emeritus of history and former director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. He is the author of several books, including The Political Career of W. Kerr Scott: The Squire from Haw River.

 

This episode of the Safe Spaces series focuses on an African American armed defense organization that protected Civil Rights Movement demonstrators in Ocala, Florida in the 1960s. Challenging the misconception that the Civil Rights Movement was based entirely on non-violence, the story of the Ocala Hunting and Fishing Club illustrates the diversity of the Movement and offers an example of the complexity of tactics that various local communities needed to deploy in order to protect the people while they fought for their rights. In understanding current debates on “safe spaces,” it is important to understand the efforts historically required of marginalized groups in the U.S. to ensure that they could even do things such as openly discuss their rights as American citizens.

Featured interviews include: AAHP-138B Cranford Ronald Coleman, AAHP-329 Ocala Hunting and Fishing Club, AAHP-358A Ann Pinkston, AAHP-360 Dorsey Miller, AAHP-362B Dan Harmeling, AAHP-367 May Stafford, AAHP-384 Juanita Cunningham, AAHP-385 William James, AAHP-386 David Rackard, AAHP-390 Fred Pinkston

Featured music artists include:

 

Photo: (State Archives of Florida/Hackett.)

The Fall 2017 Internship Application is now open!  SPOHP’s semester-long academic internship is available to graduate and undergraduate students for credit as an introduction to the field of oral history.

The Fall 2017 Social Justice Initiatives internship offers a space for students to pursue their own interests in social justice research through training and mentoring in oral history and digital humanities methodologies. Interns may develop skills in interviewing and fieldwork methods; Transcription and interview processing; Podcasting and audio editing; Social media and event promotion; Short documentaries and video editing; Public and community engagement. Final projects involve conducting one or more oral history interviews and creating digital presentation for the public.

For more information, contact the Internship Graduate Coordinator Raja Rahim. Applications are due by May 1st, 2017. Please email applications to Raja Rahim or deliver to SPOHP offices, Pugh Hall 241.