December 2014
Field Notes
Stories from the Southern Oral History Program

Holiday Greetings from SOHP

Season's Greetings! As we transition through the darkest time of year with the celebrations of light brought by Hanukkah and Christmas, I took a few minutes to ask our staff and students to reflect on the work they had done this semester. I knew it was a productive semester, but I truly had no idea HOW productive until I started to hear about it from their perspectives! There was so much to say that I summarized it all in a blog post. Run get a cup of coffee (or egg nog), sip, and catch up with us here.


Thank you, as always, for your support for SOHP. You have inspired me and this work, more than you know. 


--Malinda Maynor Lowery

Faculty Affiliate Seth Kotch Wins NEH Grant to Digitize Radio 
WAFR's Staff, 1973

Assistant Professor of American Studies and SOHP Faculty Affiliate Seth Kotch and collaborator Joshua Davis of Duke University were awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities for their Digital Civil Rights Radio Project.  In this project, Kotch and Davis will develop a website that makes accessible and interprets digitized recordings of non-commercial, independent radio station broadcasts providing local accounts of the civil rights and black power movements.  


Kotch and Davis co-direct Media and the Movement: Journalism, Civil Rights and Black Power in the American South. Kotch and Davis realized as they did their research for that project that hours and hours of recordings, "stacked in boxes, in attics and basements" were in real danger of disintegrating and the treasure trove of information might be lost.  The money from the NEH will help save the audio in collaboration with the Digital Innovation Lab. 

New Additions to the SOHP Collection

The Southern Oral History Program is pleased to add two new collections to our archive: E. Patrick Johnson's oral histories with gay black men in the South, and interviews by Emily Herring Wilson from Hope and Dignity: Older Black Women of the South. Both are important collections that capture unique experiences of African Americans throughout the South.




Author, professor, and performer E. Patrick Johnson's interviews gathered for his book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South, are now part of the SOHP's collection. The interviews were conducted from 2003  to 2006, and they explore the experience of growing up gay in the South with a particular focus the influence of the church in upbringing, coming out experiences, gay vernacular, college and career in the South, gay life in small towns, segregation, gay social life, and whether the South is hospitable to gays. The interviews are not available online, but audio is available through the Southern Historical Collection at UNC's Wilson  Library.


Hope and Dignity: Older Black Women of the South

Eliza Dudley, photo by Susan Mullally Clark



Emily Herring Wilson, poet and scholar, recently donated interviews from her book project Hope and Dignity: Older Black Women of the South to the SOHP. In addition to the interviews, Hope and Dignity features photographs by Susan Mullally Clark.These interviews were conducted between 1979 and 1981, and interviewees include gospel singers, midwives, teachers, ministers, college professors, civil rights organizers, artists, and musicians. The audio is currently being digitized.



Interns Present Findings on Women at UNC
SOHP Fall Interns David Farrow, Grace Harvey, Rachel Worsham and Megan presented their findings on women's involvement in the women's movement at UNC.  They shared clips from their interviews that correlated with themes that emerged from their research about women's relationship to feminism over time and answered questions about their findings.  We're proud to send this group of young people out into the world with a deeper appreciation for oral history and with significant new research skills.  
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   
Southern Oral History Program, Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, CB 9127,  410 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-9127