• UWA's Black Belt Oral History Project records regional stories

    Posted: February 04, 2014

    Author: Gena Robbins

     The Black Belt Oral History Project, an educational program in the University of West Alabama’s Division of Educational Outreach’s Center for the Study of the Black Belt, will host a website launch reception on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. at Kelly Land Hall on the UWA campus.

    The purpose of the Black Belt Oral History Project is to tell the story of the region by collecting the stories of its people. Through the support of the Corporation for National and Community Service/VISTA for the UWA Poverty Reduction Program, the Black Belt Oral History Project began in 2010 with Zachary Robinson traveling the region conducting interviews. Since that time, two other VISTAs - Graham Neeley and Vanessa Ricaurte - have continued collecting the stories of the region.

    The Black Belt has a unique history and a unique culture and the goal is to preserve the stories that provide insight into the Black Belt today. The website, which contains logs of all 287 interviews, is available for researchers, genealogists, and anyone interested in learning the history of the Black Belt from its residents.

    “We are excited to offer this tool to those who are searching for a deeper understanding of the Black Belt,” said Director of the Center for the Study of the Black Belt Dr. Valerie Burnes. “It has been gratifying to see how many people want to tell their story and we are honored that they chose to share it with us.”

    For more information about the Black Belt Oral History Project call (205) 652-3828 or email oralhistory@uwa.edu.

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