Moving Right Along Summer 2018 Newsletter

Director's Message

Dear SPOHP Supporter,

As our summer fundraising campaign kicks into high gear, I am happy to report that thanks to your continued support, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program continues to reach more students, scholars, and members of the general public than ever. We have conducted numerous community-based oral history workshops an interviews in churches, businesses, labor unions, immigrant organizations and military veterans’ groups. Thanks in large part to your generosity we have been able to provide logistical support for undergraduate, as well as graduate students, initiating social justice-focused research projects throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, as well as Europe.

As we prepare to embark upon our 11 th annual oral history field work trip to the Mississippi Delta to document the history of the Civil Rights Movement, the testimonials from students who journeyed with us to Mississippi in the past remind me why we do this work. A transfer student from Santa Fe college noted, “This trip has been eye-opening because it has made me realize that although the United States has come a long way from what it was, we as citizens have a lot of work ahead of us to mend and to heal from a broken past.” Culminating on the heels of this year’s trip we will be hosting From Segregation to Black Lives Matter: A Symposium and Celebration of the Opening of the Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History- March 21-23rd, 2019 here at the University of Florida. Please join us for this exciting conference as we bring together scholars, educators and community leaders through a series of panels, book-signings and film-screenings.

Your support makes it possible for The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program to connect undergraduates with Native American elders, WWII veterans, community organizers, senior federal judges and people from all walks of life. I am asking you to consider making a donation to help SPOHP continue this work well into the future. Your contributions help us sustain our field work and pay for student expenses on all of our future field trips. (This includes making it possible for our students to travel to Montreal in October to present their research at the Oral History Association annual meeting!) Finally, your support makes it possible for SPOHP to purchase much-needed field recorders, and software our students need to produce their interviews for public access.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about SPOHP. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the Proctor Program and to oral history!

Sincerely Yours,

Paul Ortiz



Since 2018, SPOHP has transcribed and processed a substantial number of oral history interviews within the African American History Project (AAHP). This summer, we are finalizing the transcriptions to be ready for their public unveiling at the inaugural symposium on March 21-23rd, 2019. The symposium, titled, From Segregation to Black Lives Matter will feature this collection, which holds over six hundred oral history interviews.


The Veterans History Project obtained 45 new oral histories since June 2017. The highest number continues to be from the WWII era with continued interest from students, volunteers, and the public. Additional interviews came from the Vietnam War, Korean Conflict, and Iraq.

In February 2018, a public program was presented in the Ocora of Pugh Hall to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary of the Tet Offensive. A panel of speakers presented to a generous crowd with active discussion following the initial remarks.

Transcription and the finalization of oral histories continues on the entire collection by volunteers and students. Our collaboration with the Library of Congress and Matheson Museum continues.

In September of 2016, the UF Oral History Program conducted an interview with the late Marine Veteran Mr. Ernest Sneed in Monticello, Florida. His story is preserved in the SPOHP archives and available in the video below.


In the summer of 2017, SPOHP staff members traveled to the University of the West Indies St. Augustine in Trinidad to lay the groundwork for a study abroad program that incorporates guest lectures, oral history interviews, collaboration with local institutions, and excursions to heritage sites around the country. They met with professors, archivists, and other stakeholders to build the network of contacts necessary for successful oral history fieldwork. Students in the UF in Trinidad and Tobago 2019 program will have the opportunity to participate in Emancipation Day celebrations and interview the leaders who helped Emancipation Day become an official holiday in Trinidad. These interviews will not only become part of archives at UF, but will also be shared with the libraries at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine and the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to planning immersive student experiences, SPOHP staff are committed to finding ways to make the program accessible to as many students as possible.


This Summer B Semester Ph.D. Candidate Matt Simmons is teaching the Introduction to Oral History seminar. This course explores Florida’s unique agricultural history, focusing on the experiences of farmworkers in Florida’s fields. The class will interview current and former Latinx and African American Florida farmworkers through a partnership with the Farmworkers’ Association of Florida (FWAF), an organization which advocates on behalf of agricultural workers in central Florida. Conducting these oral history interviews will give students the opportunity to interrogate the lived experiences of these men and women and to better understand what it means to be a worker in the agricultural industry and to understand the intersection of class, race/ethnicity, and gender in this work environment. Through these interviews students will have the opportunity to also explore issues of environmental sustainability and the impact of pesticides and genetically modified crops on humans and the environment.


The Tidewater Main Street Project is dedicated to documenting the traditions, folklore, and history of the rural communities in the tidewater region of Virginia via student fieldwork and community engagement. This year marks the fifth year SPOHP plans on traveling to Virginia to build upon its 200+ oral history collection, which are available online at ufdc.ufl.edu/tmp. In addition, project coordinators Patrick Daglaris and Dr. Jessica Taylor collaborated with the Southern Foodways Alliance in May to conduct interviews focusing on how local foodways define and affect rural communities throughout the tidewater region. This project has produced student video productions and podcasts, presentations for the Oral History Association’s Annual Meeting, photo essays, and would not be successful without extensive support and collaboration with several public history organizations in Virginia.

Students of the Virginia Tidewater Project brought together the stories of men who fish, crab, oyster, clam, and conch for a livelihood and as a calling in Mathews and Middlesex Counties, Virginia. Using footage collected during the October 2014 fieldwork expedition to the Chesapeake with crabbers like AJ Hurst and Kevin Godsey, Daglaris discusses the challenges watermen face, why they risk their lives to fish, and the future for watermen in a rapidly changing Southern economy in the video below.


The Poarch Creek Project is in its fourth year of working with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Office of Archives and Records Management to process archival audio materials in an effort to document their tribal history and federal recognition effort. This collaboration, originating from an oral history project conducted in the 1970s by Dr. Anthony Paredes, focuses on the audiocassette recordings of Judge Hugh Rozelle, an attorney involved in the tribe’s federal recognition efforts. Students participate in conducting archival research, transcribing audio materials, and preservation. In addition, this summer will mark the second consecutive trip to Alabama in which students will conduct oral histories with tribal elders in the community to supplement the archival records of the tribe. This project has produced multiple presentations at the Oral History Association’s Annual Meeting and hopes to encourage further student research and projects through podcasts and video presentations.

Eddie Tullis is the Treasurer and former Tribal Chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Atmore, Alabama. Tullis has served as Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians, President of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), and Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education. Mr. Tullis' interview during our 2017 fieldwork trip to Alabama renews an oral history collaboration that started with the Poarch Band in the 1970s, and supports our collaboration with Dr. Deidra Dees and the Poarch Creek Office of Archives and Records Management on the Hugh Rozelle Collection.

This vignette features clips from that interview with Eddie Tullis in which he discusses how the tribe provides financial support for the higher education of it’s youth today.


The Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP) was established in 2008 to give students the opportunity to engage in oral history research that centers on activism and the civil rights movement. The project archive contains more than 200 interviews that tell the stories of activists and organizers in the Mississippi Delta and other parts of the South. In 2014, SPOHP published "I Will Never Forget," an edited volume that was compiled by MFP coordinator Sarah Blanc, to commemorate the project. Each year, SPOHP organizes an MFP panel to share stories and fieldwork experiences from each year's MFP trip. This year's MFP trip is scheduled to begin on July 15th and end on July 22nd. Students on this year's trip will have the opportunity to visit the newly opened Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum and Lynching Memorial in Montgomery Alabama. As with all MFP trips, this year's trip will give students the opportunity to meet numerous social activists that have done tremendous work to advance racial equity in this nation.

Ms. Margaret Block was a lifelong civil rights activist, teacher, and friend. Her efforts to organize, agitate, and educate for social justice inspired men and women across the country to work together for freedom in America, including students of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program’s Mississippi Freedom Project, whom she led for many years.

This vignette features clips from an interview in which Ms. Block discusses her involvement with SNCC and her work in the Civil Rights movement.


Associate Director Ryan Morini has been working with Western Shoshone, or Newe, communities in Nevada for over a decade now. He started the Newene Nap collection at SPOHP so that future generations of Newe will be able to listen to their history in the people’s own words and voices. His most recent trip was this past June under the auspices of a Sven and Astrid Liljeblad Fund grant, as well as the generosity of folks in Shoshone Country like Maurice Frank Churchill, Alex Graham and Brook Kelly, Barbara Ridley and Mike Miller, Laura Rainey, Marla Stanton, Gayle Miles, and a lot of other tremendous people who make this work the least bit possible.

The overall Newene Nap collection is open to whatever aspects of the people's memories, reflections, and experiences that they're willing to share; but Ryan's current research focuses on the off-reservation histories that have often been overlooked or underexplored because there's a much more historian-friendly paper trail that comes along with reservation bureaucracy. Through oral history and kitchen table conversations, he has learned about Shoshones who owned their own ranches years ago, or who lived and traveled in sheep wagons, and so on. Ryan is hoping to explore these histories by letting the people's stories drive the narrative in a way that will help readers to appreciate the collective experiences of the Newene through the specific, sometimes idiosyncratic experiences of dynamic individuals.

This vignette features Barbara Ridley reflecting on the time she removed a grinding stone from an archaeological dig as an act of protest.


The Art of Aging Project was co-founded by SPOHP and partners in the College of Medicine in September 2017 to advance good communication skills in medical education. As part of the Geriatrics Clerkship rotation for fourth-year MD students, a core goal of the collaboration is to help future clinicians see older adults in their full personhood. Each month, students receive training in the methods of oral history from SPOHP staff and volunteers; interview a narrator who has been recruited through community partners like the Oak Hammock retirement community and the Community Coalition for Older Adults; and present to colleagues a vignette of their interview along with their impressions of the process. Since the project began, 101 students have interviewed 52 narrators. A clip featuring AOAP interview highlights was shared with 2018 College of Medicine graduates. Initial findings from the collaboration were presented at the 2018 International Health Humanities Consortium Conference at Stanford University.


Joined by South African Fulbright scholar Mandisa Haarhoff, the Florida Queer History Project presented a symposia session titled, "Queer in the Capitals," at the UF Social Justice Summit in January 2018. The presentation shared the panelists' intersectional research from Pride weekend in Washington, D.C. as well as the politics of Pride in South Africa. In March 2018, FQH led a fieldwork trip with UF students to document the March for Our Lives in Orlando, Florida. SPOHP coordinator Robert Baez interviewed organizers with Gays Against Guns, in addition to Pulse shooting survivors Kate Maini, Brian Wood, and Tommy Connelly. FQH coordinator Holland Hall performed in the play, Voices from the March, at several conferences both at UF and at the Southwest Oral History Association Annual Conference at California State, Fullerton. Holland incorporated contemporary queer issues through sharing her personal narrative regarding queer identity in the play.

In June of 2017 student researchers from the Florida Queer History Project attended Capital Pride, an annual LGBT pride festival held in early June each year in Washington, D.C., as well as the No Justice No Pride protest of Capital Pride and the Equality March for Unity and Pride (EMUP),


In 1952, the University of Florida established its marine laboratory on Seahorse Key, part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. The Seahorse Key Marine Lab oral history project is preserving the faculty, staff, student, and community memory of UF's history on the island. It was convened by a generous grant by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere.

Join us at the island's open houses to view the work products of this grant in person; an informational display banner and video-recorded oral histories. You can also view them below on our webpage:


SPOHP started recording interviews with people involved in the punk scene, prioritizing the voices of women, people of color, and queer punks who have always been part of the scene but are not always visible in popular representations of it. We are also making an effort not only to interview band members, but also general showgoers, zine makers, venue operators, and anyone else willing to share some of their experiences. This fall, our internship will add to and further process this collection, and also start creating things like podcasts and zines to share these stories and shed more light on how people can successfully create spaces of creative resistance, and what kinds of potential they offer for inclusivity and empowerment.


This year, LDAP expects to finally complete the transcription of the History of the Jewish Community in El Salvador project, through a collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Jefferson of the UF Judaica Library. The collection documents the community-building efforts of Jewish immigrants to El Salvador, some arriving in the 1920s and starting coffee plantations, and many more arriving after fleeing the Nazi occupation during WWII. Many members of the community then left El Salvador in the late 1970s and early 1980s due to the civil war. The collection began in 1981 when Lea Freund, a member of the community, interviewed some of her family members and friends in the parts of South Florida that they had immigrated to. It was then substantially expanded when Jessica Alpert, whose grandmother had lived in the community, received a Fulbright grant to interview community members who were now geographically scattered; she traveled to San Salvador, Miami, Maryland, Israel, and parts of Europe to conduct the interviews and trace out the interconnections of family and heritage in this small and tight-knit community, as well as being able to record voices from the Jewish community’s efforts in San Salvador to convert new members so that it is able to carry on into the future. The interviews are primarily in English or Spanish, but variously also contain phrases and statements in French, German, and Hebrew.


In January, our original play Voices from the March headlined the 2018 UF Social Justice Summit. We were joined by actors from the UF College of the Arts to present the play, which was collaboratively written by SPOHP staff and Fall 2017 interns and directed by SPOHP visiting scholar, Jeffrey Pufahl. The play combines the experiences of the SPOHP staff who traveled to the presidential inauguration and Women's March on Washington in January 2017, and the perspectives of SPOHP interns who not only shared their personal narratives, but also incorporated archival research to feature interviews the research team collected in D.C.

Latinx Diaspora in the Americas Project

The Latino Diaspora in the Americas Project seeks to understand the movements of Latinx peoples and their struggles in Gainesville, the United States, and abroad. LDAP covers a wide range of subject matter, including projects on undocumented students, Hispanic alumni, and Christian communities.

This year, the LDAP team worked with the University to create training programs for administration on undocumented students and built a research platform on La Casita and safe spaces for Latinx students on campus. We presented at several conferences including the Southwest Oral History Association and UF's Social Justice Summit. LDAP also expanded its research into the lives of agricultural workers, Hispanic alumni at UF, and Latinx religious communities in Gainesville.

Remembering Refugees in Jacksonville: Oral Histories of Resettled Refugees

Our program has been collecting oral histories of resettled refugees in Jacksonville, Florida, in partnership with World Relief Jacksonville. Our project director Seyeon Hwang has spearheaded the project by documenting and recording the personal stories of refugees who have resettled in Jacksonville both recently and over the past decades. Our team is committed to listening to these stories and having them heard by a boarder audience through this project. Every story that has been recorded will be permanently stored in the University of Florida archives.

Ottoman Greeks of United States

In March of 2018, the UF Asian Alumni Association (AAA) hosted a weekend of events for both alumni and current students to attend. SPOHP staff collaborated with the AAA to interview alumni and record their presidential panel event. The Asian American History Project will continue to work with the Association of Asian Alumni to fill gaps in the history of Asian students and student organizations at the University of Florida. These stories shed light on immigration experiences, the creation and growth of student groups, various forms of student activism, the creation of multicultural spaces and supports for students, the struggle to keep Asian language programs, and the development of the Asian American Studies minor at UF.


We wish to recognize the late Mary Hall Daniels, who was the last living survivor of the Rosewood Massacre of 1923, and who generously shared her memories in two interviews with the African American History Project. Being three years old at the time that her mother Mary Davis Hall fled with her and her siblings to Gainesville, her earliest memories were of the Porters Neighborhood where she grew up. Although she did not remember Rosewood directly, she remembered it through her mother’s words, and through her mother’s strength in successfully raising a family despite the unfathomable hardships that they had endured. Mrs. Hall Daniels still stands out as one of the sweetest, gentlest people one could hope to meet in this world, welcoming and a joy to be around. Her stories will continue to be housed, preserved and studied in our archives.

Thank You

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