MORE THAN JUST A HOME
I led students in creation of a seven panel exhibit that documented the history of the Magnolia hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina. This site served as a cultural bastion for the city and sat at the intersection of civil rights, and community engagement while also playing an important role as a safe haven for African American travelers featured within the Negro Motorist Green Book Guide.
UNSUNG HEROES PROJECT
The Unsung Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement project collects and records oral histories of lesser known people who stood beside their more famous counterparts such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, John Lewis and others. While their names are less familiar, their stories and recollections represent the pervasive courage and strength of the thousands of people who struggled for equality. Capturing these narratives is urgently needed, while the Participants are still with us. Without action, their stories may be lost to the passage of time. This project merged two teams of two undergraduate students per team, with one student from Media Studies and one from History. Faculty team members will mentor the students individually.
The faculty mentors will guide the students through the process of doing oral history: initial contact with the interviewees, the research for the session, the actual interview, and digitizing the material. Preparation for the interviews will address such key issues as the ethics of doing interviews, different interview styles, the importance of releases, and bringing empathy to the interview process. Students will also be trained in technical aspects of working with 4K cameras and audio.
Student teams conducted six interviews in the local Greensboro, North Carolina area during the 2019/2020 academic year, four in the fall and two in the spring. Students rotated key jobs of videographer/sound recordist and director of the interview. initial contact with the interviewees, the research for the session, the actual interview, and digitizing the material was done by students who were trained by myself and colleagues from the department of media studies at UNC Greensboro.
This project is an excellent example of community-engaged scholarship, with a matrix of benefits that cannot be isolated by the participating groups
PREPARED REPORTS AND BROCHURES
In 2015, the MTSU CHP and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area produced a driving tour for the historic African American Orange Mound Community in Memphis, Tennessee. My duties on this project included various site reports on schools and churches which detailed historical attributes of the structures.
The MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area partnered with the African American Heritage Society of Maury County to produce a driving tour of sites relevant to African American history in Maury County, Tennessee.
MEADOW GREEN FARM
In May of 2014, I participated in the Meadow Green Farm Site Documentation Project. The CHP received a phone call describing an early 20th century home in need of preservation with possible historic ties to the community. Graduate student Jenna Stout, Interpretive Specialist Leigh Ann Gardner, and I set out to document and interpret the site.
SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE AT SPELMAN COLLEGE
Spelman’s collection undertook new initiatives to tackle contemporary issues of archives and repositories. This process included creating research opportunities, building a digital presence, and preserving all the archival resources throughout the institution. The residence opportunity at Spelman strengthened my core knowledge of collection management for future endeavors.
The first project was to build a comprehensive audit of internal collections including paper-based documents, photographs, and media. This information supported the creation of an internal database for scholarly research. The second project was to design a plan for digitizing the entire collection of paper documents and photographs. Digitization is the current frontier of archives, repositories, and museums. To better understand how to preserve and facilitate the collection, we needed to know what encompassed Spelman’s archive. This process proved tedious and time-consuming. Therefore, Director Holly Smith along with myself proposed a preservation assessment grant that allowed the institution to spend money hiring a company to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the collection while offering solutions for better resource management.
As a part of my residency, I presented at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 2016 conference along with Spelman College archivist Holly Smith, Woodruff Library Archives Director Andrea Jackson, and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Brandon Winford.