Online Panel Discussion: Collecting Oral Histories
Every generation has stories to tell but how do you effectively share and keep the stories that are important to your family or to a larger community? Why have the histories of Black and Brown people been more elusive in the overall context of American history? Gain an understanding of oral histories as Charlene Foggie-Barnett, from Carnegie Museum of Art’s Teenie Harris Archive, leads a discussion about the field of oral history collection. This discussion will cover best practices, preparation, questioning techniques, and the differences among folklore, gossip, hearsay, and rumor. Oral history professionals from around the country and abroad will discuss case work and practical methods for collecting the stories important to our shared past.
- Charlene Foggie-Barnett, Moderator and CMOA Teenie Harris Archive Specialist
- Dr. Benjamin Houston, Senior Lecturer, Modern US History, Newcastle University, New Castle, England
- Bernetiae Reed, Project Documentarian and Oral Historian, Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC Chapel Hill
- Dr. William Sturkey, Associate Professor of History, UNC Chapel Hill
Please register below. You will receive a Zoom link before the event begins.
Charlene Foggie-Barnett is the archive specialist for the Teenie Harris Archive. Working with approximately 80,000 images in the collection, she helps identify photos and interacts nationally with the African American community to collect IDs and record oral histories that result from the exhibitions. She also organizes outreach events, lectures, blogs, and tours. Foggie-Barnett is not only employed for the Teenie Harris Archive, she also personally knew and was photographed by him from infancy through her late twenties. Among other accolades, she was recently named one of "50 Women of Excellence" by the Pittsburgh Courier Newspaper, and one of "100 Pennsylvania African American Women of Influence" from Talk Magazine.
Benjamin Houston is an American who teaches at Newcastle University in the northeastern United Kingdom. His specialty is 20th century US history, especially race relations and the civil rights movement, and oral and public history. His book The Nashville Way: Racial Etiquette and the Struggle for Social Justice in a Southern City won the Tennessee Book Award and Arthur Miller First Book Award from the British Association of American Historians. From 2006–2009, he served as director of the Remembering African American Pittsburgh oral history project at the Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. This project gathered 180 oral histories from Black Pittsburghers and has been featured in recent articles in The Public Historian and Slavery & Abolition. He also curated an international exhibition that blended oral histories and historic photographs and was staged in Newcastle and Pittsburgh.
B. Bernetiae Reed is a genealogist, oral historian, documentarian, and social activist. From Fall 2017—Spring 2020, she worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the Project Documentarian and Oral Historian for the Southern Historical Collection’s Community Driven Archives project funded by an Andrew W. Mellon grant. Additionally, she did research for the Community History Workshop at UNC-Chapel Hill documenting the history of the enslaved community associated with Rocky Mount Mills, its surrounding townships, and the Battle family who owned the mill (part of a project funded by an NHPRC grant). She has a Master of Library and Information Studies from UNC-Greensboro (2015). Prior to this, she worked as a Registered Nurse (mostly L&D) for over 30 years. She is a breast cancer survivor since 2000; a Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello Fellow (2007); author of The Slave Families of Thomas Jefferson: A Pictorial Study Book With An Interpretation Of His Farm Book In Genealogy Charts (2007); producer of two documentaries: “Thomas Jefferson’s Slaves” and “We Teach Them to Think;” and a social activist who has been active in the NAACP, Moral Monday Movement lead by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, and the Poor People’s Campaign. She is passionate about genealogy and the preservation of African American history and heritage.
William Sturkey is associate professor of Modern American History at UNC Chapel Hill. He specializes in the history of race in the American South, with a particular interest in the histories of working-class racial minorities. He teaches courses on Modern American History, Southern History, the Civil Rights Movement, and the History of America in the 1960s. His first book, To Write in the Light of Freedom, is a co-edited collection of newspapers, essays, and poems produced by African American Freedom School students during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. His second book, Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White, is a biracial history of Southern Jim Crow that was published by Harvard University Press in March of 2019.