Connecting with local community partners in Gainesville, Alachua County, and the American South is crucial to the African American History Project’s mission. Since 2008, SPOHP has partnered with a variety of local church and political organizations to advance oral history collection of African American history with funding by the UF Office of the Provost, building from Joel Buchanan’s pioneering work in the Fifth Avenue Blacks Collection.
Office of the Provost at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL
Since 2008, the UF Office of the Provost has sponsored the Alachua County African American History Project’s main goals of collecting oral histories and building community partnerships in Gainesville and Alachua County. The office’s generous support also enables AAHP to direct public history programs, create educational podcasts, and move forward with interdepartmental educational collaborations.
Fifth Avenue Blacks Collection at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL
Between 1982 and 1996, Mr. Joel Buchanan, a longtime employee of the George A. Smathers Library and UF alum, conducted some of the first interviews with African Americans in Gainesville for the Fifth Avenue African American (Alachua County) Oral History Collection, also known as Fifth Avenue Blacks (FAB), using an analog cassette tape recorder. The individuals interviewed were prominent members of Gainesville’s African American community, many of whom have papers and other primary documents housed in the Smathers Library Special Collections. AAHP’s work collecting oral histories of African American life in Gainesville is built from the foundations of the FAB collection.
For more information on the contents of the Fifth Avenue collection, visit AAHP resources.
Pleasant Street Historic Society in Gainesville, FL
The Pleasant Street Historic Society, organized in 1984 by then Gainesville resident Monica Smith, was founded to promote and preserve black history in Gainesville. In 1989, through the efforts of the Society, the Pleasant Street Historic District was included in the National Register of Historic Places. The PSHS frequently works with SPOHP to document resources about black history in Gainesville and Alachua County.
To view a presentation about the history of Pleasant Street produced by PSHS and SPOHP volunteers, visit AAHP resources.