Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reflections on the March on Washington

One of our oral history initiatives here at the Russell Library is our First Person Project, where we invite members of the community to come to our oral history studio and record a 40-minute interview to be archived at the library. Interviews in the First Person Project usually focus on personal stories and memories—but they also often touch on larger national issues and events.

Last October, Dawn Bennett-Alexander and her daughter Jenniffer Jones recorded an interview in which Dr. Bennett-Alexander discussed her childhood in Washington, D.C.—including participating in the March on Washington in 1963. Fifty years later, as we look back on this historic moment in the Civil Rights Movement, Bennett-Alexander’s story of attending the march as a twelve year-old child, and her memories of discrimination and segregated facilities in Washington, D.C., gives us a personal view of this historic event.

Today, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic event, the Russell Library invites you to take a listen to this personal recollection of a major moment, and movement, in American history.

To hear the full interview visit:

More About the First Person Project

Modeled roughly on StoryCorps, a national initiative partnered with National Public Radio and the Library of Congress, the First Person Project is smaller in scale but similar in concept, providing tools to would-be oral history interviewers and interviewees, including tips on how to create questions and conduct interviews. The project was inspired by the belief that everyone is an eyewitness to history, and that everyone, sometimes with a little encouragement, has a story to tell.

Our next First Person Project interview day is scheduled for Friday, September 13th. For more information on this event, please email or call (706) 542-5788.

Post by Callie Holmes, Media and Oral History Archivist, Russell Library

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