2005/10/18

Oral history

In another life I was a grad student living in Atlanta. I was a history major working on a degree at Atlanta University (A.U.). One of my teachers was a Dr. Blalock. Among other things, Dr. Blalock was working on a history of the community in which A.U. was located. He decided that the best way to accomplish this was by interviewing the oldest residents of the community. Being one of his grad students I worked on the project. (It became a running joke that the last thing some of those residents saw before they died was Dr. Blalock with his tape recorder.)

I enjoyed working on that project and it introduced me to the importance of oral history. When I read the Commercial Appeal's article on "largest oral history project ever" I was immediately interested.

Before there were $1 million homes on Mud Island, people like Lillian 'Lily' Bukewicz grew up there -- living in a tent as she watched her mother cook on an open fire and her father chop wood.

Sitting in a 26-foot Airstream trailer at the Peabody Place trolley stop, the wispy 81 year-old talked recently from inside a sound booth about her life. It was part of what's being touted as the "largest oral history project ever."

Sponsored locally by public radio station WKNO, the StoryCorps mobile recording booth rolled into town Thursday and will be in Memphis until Halloween, recording stories of everyday people's lives. Nationally, the Center for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio and Saturn Corp. are helping to fund the project that started in October 2003 in New York City.


Read the complete article. Then read more about the StoryCorps project.

1 Comments:

Blogger egalia said...

When were you there? In another life, I was also a grad student in Atlanta.

Thu Oct 20, 09:06:00 AM CDT  

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