The Conversation

Remembering Black Main Streets

November 20, 2017 • bc

In 2002 and 2003, the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) conducted a series of interviews on “Remembering Black Main Streets,” focused on Savannah, GA, Jacksonville, FL, and Greensboro, NC.  Business owners and residents reflected on changes in southern Black businesses in the wake of urban renewal and desegregation.  All interviews are held in the SOHP […]


African-American Credit Unions

November 6, 2017 • bc

During the Jim Crow era when it was nearly impossible for Black people to get a loan from white-run banks, African American community leaders established their own credit unions as an alternative means of saving and borrowing money.  The first African American credit union in North Carolina was founded in 1918.  The number continued to […]


Election Season: Annie Brown Kennedy, Black Voting Rights and Black Elected Officials

October 24, 2017 • bc

Election Season: Annie Brown Kennedy, Black Voting Rights and Black Elected Officials “…[W]e have not acquired full freedom.  The movement continues…even though at this point it appears that we have access to a few more opportunities, we are not yet full citizens in terms of our definition of what a full citizen is or should be. […]


The Fillmore Boys School in 1877

October 23, 2017 • bc

By Mishio Yamanaka The Fillmore Boys School in 1877 is a digital mapping project that visualizes the public school segregation process at the end of Reconstruction in New Orleans, Louisiana. Using the Fillmore School register from 1877, the project traces how African American communities resisted segregation.   The Fillmore School Building ca. 1900s (renamed as […]


Where are the memories? Exploring Black Community Archives

October 16, 2017 • bc

By Chaitra M. Powell, African American Collections and Outreach Archivist at UNC Chapel Hill   October is officially National Archives Month. Many libraries and archives will be launching social media campaigns and sponsoring programs that highlight their special collections and encourage people to learn more about why archives are so important. The archival landscape reflects […]


New Exhibit about Housing Inequality and Durham’s Black Communities

October 9, 2017 • bc

The conference Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration will take place at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC, also known as the “Bull City,” in April 2018.  In preparation for Durham’s sesquicentennial in 2019, a group of historians and community members formed the Bull City 150 project to document and interrogate the city’s past. An exhibit based […]


Announcing a Call for Proposals

October 3, 2017 • Mark Little

We are happy to announce a Call for Proposals! Please share this Call for Proposals with anyone else who might be interested. Whether or not you submit a proposal, we hope to see you at the conference! Submit a Proposal Black Communities Historic Towns like Boley, Oklahoma, Princeville, North Carolina, Eatonville, Florida, and Africville, Nova […]


West Southern Pines, an early African American town

September 25, 2017 • bc

West Southern Pines was one of the first incorporated African American towns in North Carolina. From 1923 to 1931, the town operated with its own mayor, city council, and municipal services.  In early 2017 the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) completed processing a group of twenty-six interviews conducted by Nancy Mason, an oral historian for […]


Oklahoma Black Town Stories

September 13, 2017 • Karla Slocum

In 1993, my mother told me that my grandparents, who I visited often in New York, once lived in one of Oklahoma’s historic “All Black Towns.”  These towns, that were then unknown to me and are still little-known to much of America, were where black Americans settled beginning in the 19th century to create spaces […]


What These Woods Remember: A Community History Project

August 25, 2017 • Rachel Cotterman

Back Ways is a project of the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) that works to understand the social experience of racial segregation in the rural South.  Through archival research and the collection of oral histories, the project examines how roads in Black communities have been erased or neglected during the process of creating and mapping major roadways.  […]


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