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

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

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


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

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

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


“Oral History in Motion: Movements, Transformations, and the Power of Story”
OHA Annual Meeting in Madison, WI, October 6-12, 2014
Deadline: February 1, 2014

Motion suggests many things: action and transformation; dynamism and fluidity; migration and the power to move. By its very nature, oral history is constantly in motion – in the evolving relationship between the two parties in an interview; in the interplay between the past and the present; in conjunction with emergent technologies and diverse applications. Oral history also has played a crucial role in documenting and understanding the central movements of our time, from a broad array of social movements to transnational migrations.

The 2014 annual meeting of the Oral History Association will offer the opportunity to assess various dimensions of oral history in motion. The digital revolution has ushered in myriad new possibilities in the collection, curation, presentation, and interpretation of oral history interviews, with complex consequences and implications. Many of the currents and developments of the contemporary world – from war to trauma to the global migration of people, capital, culture and ideas – have oral historical ramifications. In particular, oral historians have had a varied and complicated relationship with movements for social change both in the U.S. and around the world. What is the relationship between scholarship and advocacy, between history and journalism, between personal memories and collective consciousness, among diverse social movements? Conference organizers invite proposals for panels or individual papers that address any and all themes of oral history in motion.

Long known as a vibrant cultural hub and site of political ferment, Madison, Wisconsin offers an excellent place to facilitate discussions about movements. Madison was the home of Governor Robert M. “Fighting Bob” La Follette, who promoted the Wisconsin Idea of using higher education to advance the welfare of all citizens of the state.  It was a major center for the social movements of the 1960s and their aftermath. Most recently Madison was at the heart of animated debate and protest over public policy and workers’ rights. In the 1950s and 1960s the University of Wisconsin was the incubator for a cohort of critical and influential historians, and Madison hosts some of the most significant collections in the country on the history of social movements.

The Program Committee welcomes broad and diverse interpretations of the conference theme as reflected in proposals for panels, individual papers, performances, exhibits, and roundtables. We especially encourage presenters to think about innovative delivery models including dramatic performance, interactive sessions, dialogic formats that engage audiences, and use of digital media.

Presenters are encouraged to incorporate voice and image in their presentations. OHA is open to proposals from the variety of fields traditionally represented in our meetings, including, but not limited to, history, folklore, music, literature, sociology, anthropology, American and ethnic studies, cultural studies, gender studies, political science, information science and technology, business, communications, and urban studies.

In recognition of the important work occurring outside the United States, we also hope to have a significant international presence at the meeting. And, as always, OHA welcomes proposals from independent scholars, community activists and organizers, archivists, librarians, museum curators, web designers, documentary producers, media artists, ethnographers, public historians, and all practitioners whose work is relevant to this meeting’s focus.

If accepted, international presenters may apply for partial scholarships, made available by OHA in support of international presentations. Please note that OHA’s resources allow for limited support. Small scholarships are also available for accepted presenters and others who attend the meeting.

Proposal format: For full sessions, submit a title, a session abstract of not more than two pages, and a one-page vita or resume for each participant. For individual proposals, submit a one-page abstract and a one-page vita or resume of the presenter.

The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2014.

Proposal queries may be directed to:

Natalie Fousekis, California State University, Fullerton 2014 Program Co-chair: Natalie Fousekis

Kathryn Newfont, Mars Hill University, 2014 Program Co-chair: Kathryn Newfont

Paul Ortiz, University of Florida, 2014-2015 OHA President, Paul Ortiz

For submission queries or more information, contact:

Gayle Knight, Program Associate
Oral History Association
Georgia State University, Dept. of History
P.O. Box 4117
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-4117
Telephone (404) 413-5751

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 31, 2013 marked the fortieth anniversary of the acquittal of seven Vietnam War veterans and one supporter indicted for conspiracy to violently disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. The trial and Gainesville’s role in the peace movement gained national attention when charges were filed against seven activist veterans and one supporter organizing through Vietnam Veterans Against the War, John Briggs, Scott Camil, Alton Foss, John Kniffin, Peter Mahoney, Stanley Michelson, William Patterson, and Don Perdue.

In 1972, Vietnam Veterans Against the War organized to attend the Miami Republican National Convention and planned a non-violent demonstration to garner public support for peace, meeting with Miami police and conservative groups in advance to prevent conflicts similar to those seen in 1968 at the Democratic National Convention. FBI investigators and informants inside of the organization, however, testified that VVAW had other violent motives and plans.

In the ensuing trial, the eight activists were prosecuted by the federal government for planning acts of violence and acquitted of all charges on August 31, 1973 in a trial that was highly publicized across the country.

As part of the three-day celebration marking the acquittal anniversary this year, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program conducted over a dozen interviews with surviving members of the Gainesville 8, the VVAW, unindicted co-conspirators, defense team, and family of jury members.

Scott Camil, Regional Coordinator of the VVAW in the Southeast, remembered his opening statement in the trial:

“The evidence will show that the seven of us who went to Vietnam spent a total of 111 months over there, received 57 medals and citations, and were all honorably discharged.  The evidence will also show that we threw our medals away out of shame, because we knew that what they stood for was wrong.  For myself, the throwing away of the medals I once cherished was the cutting of the umbilical cord between myself and the government lies, such as, ‘We are helping the people of Vietnam…’”

In the oral histories, interviewees remember the actions of agent provocateurs sent to Gainesville by the Nixon administration, memories of brotherhood in Vietnam, and the raw energy inside the VVAW house on 8th Street before the indictment. Veterans of the war and the peace movement also urged University of Florida students and budding community activists to pick up the thread of “truth-telling and organizing.”

Collected oral history interviews from the weekend are recorded in the Gainesville 8 Project at SPOHP. Interview documents, video, audio and transcripts from the anniversary interviews will be made available to students, researchers, and the general public through the UF Digital Collection.

For more information about this event and the Gainesville 8 Project, contact the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at 352-392-7168.

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

PanAfricanismCourse“Pan-Africanism,” Justin Dunnavant
Tues 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Thurs 2:00pm
AFA 4931, AFS 4935, ANT 4930

Broadly defining Pan-Africanism as a political and cultural movement as well as an ideology, this course will trace the intellectual genealogy of Pan-African thought into the 20th century. Geographically, we will focus heavily on Pan-Africanism in the United States, England, Africa, and the Caribbean and briefly touch on Pan-Africanism in Latin America and Asia. In addition to the concept of Pan-Africanism, we will explore the related themes of Black Nationalism, Ethiopianism, and Negritude. Lectures will be supplemented with documentary films, recorded speeches, and other multimedia sources.

Listing website.

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program congratulates its students, volunteers, and associated researchers who were recently recognized at the UF History Department’s Fourth Annual History Honors Conference and Awards Luncheon for undergraduates this past Saturday, April 6.

Congratulations to all of these wonderful students! We are so proud of your great work, and excited for the bright futures that are ahead of you.

Presenters/Honors Students
Victoria Petrova, “The Revolutionary Significance of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church”
Military, War, and International Diplomacy

Kapri Crowley, “Casting Light on the Dark Ages: Tropes of Medievalism in Fantasy Films”
Representations of Past & Present in Literature and Film

Monica Blair, “With All Deliberate Delay: School Desegregation in Alachua County, Florida, 1954-1971”
Desegregation and Activism in Florida Educational Institutions

Chris Duryea, “The Problem of Resegregation & Magnet Schools as a Solution”
Desegregation and Activism in Florida Educational Institutions

Anna Walters, “Competition, Guilt, and Fascination: Incorporating Jewish Memory into the Polish Present”
History and Memory: Family and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe

Senior Awards
Isht Vatsa was awarded the book “Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution” by Dr. Eisenwein’s in recognition of his work in senior seminar this semester.

Future Scholars: 2014 University Scholars Recipients
Joanna Joseph, Genesis Lara, and Brittany Hibbert were chosen as University Scholars recipients for the 2013-2014 school year. Genesis Lara was also recently granted the Ann Regan Scholarship.