The Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner
Cultural Memory as Social Justice: The Critical Oral History Methodology
By Danita Mason-Hogans, Wesley Hogan, and Geri Augusto
Introduction by Susan J. Erenrich
* The radio broadcast of Wasn't That A Time that accompanies this article will air 2 August 2019.
Susan (Susie) J. Erenrich is a social movement history documentarian. She uses the arts for social change to tell stories about transformational leadership, resilience, and societal shifts as a result of mobilization efforts by ordinary citizens. Susie holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University and is the founder/executive director of the Cultural Center for Social Change. She has more than four decades of experience in nonprofit/arts administration, civic engagement, community service, and community organizing and has taught at universities, public schools, and community-based programs for at-risk, low-income populations. Currently a professor at American University, she is the editor of Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change (a volume in ILA's BLB series). She is the producer/host of Wasn't That A Time: Stories & Songs That Moved The Nation, a live community radio broadcast on WERA.FM. Listen on-demand or live every Friday from 1:00 - 2:00 PM Eastern time.
Geri Augusto has known SNCC activists from her teenage years, and later worked with a number of them in Washington, D.C. and in Tanzania, and for the last thirteen years has taught and led research at Brown University within International and Public Affairs and Africana Studies. A Watson Faculty Fellow, Augusto is currently part of Watson's Brazil Initiative, and also serves on the working group for Brown’s new Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) program. Augusto earned her BA in economics from Howard University, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and Ed.D. from George Washington University. The primary focus of her scholarly work centers on how knowledge gets created and practiced in contexts where there is human difference without equality. As a member of the SLP, she has been centrally involved in the SLP-Duke partnership since 2013.
Wesley Hogan is the director of the Center for Documentary Studies and Research Professor at the Franklin Humanities Institute and History at Duke University. Her recent book, On the Freedom Side, draws a portrait of young people organizing since 1960 in the spirit of Ella Baker. She co-facilitates a partnership between the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke, “The SNCC Digital Gateway: Learning From the Past, Organizing for the Future, Making Democracy Work,” whose purpose is to bring the grassroots stories of the civil rights movement to a much wider public through a web portal, K12 initiative, and set of critical oral histories.
Danita Mason-Hogans is a community-based historian from Chapel Hill NC. She is a curriculum specialist with a theater arts background and has been an education activist for thirty years. She is employed with the Center for Documentary Studies where she serves as program manager for the Critical Oral Histories Component. Her current projects involve working with veteran Civil Rights activists on the national and local level in order to document their experiences and transform them into K-12 Civil Rights curricula. She works with school systems, universities, activists, and historians to document local and national history from the “inside out” and from the “bottom up.”
Welcome! This issue of the Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change Corner features a column penned by Donita Mason-Hogans, Wesley Hogan, and Geri Augusto. Their piece, "Cultural Memory as Social Justice: The Critical Oral History Methodology," emphasizes the power of storytelling within social movements. Storytelling is vital to social movements because it builds agency, shapes identity, and inspires action (Ganz, 2001). Through the assemblage of an array of personal and collective movement narratives, meaningful and cogent accounts of struggle, hope, strategic analysis, and a vision for a new world order come to life. Stories also provide a critical lens to examine historical and contemporary phenomenon from marginalized communities, whose stories have been ignored, hidden, and expunged from the dominant culture. Through storytelling, these same communities have an opportunity to come together to challenge, reconstruct, and transform the conversation.
As a social movement history documentarian, I know how impactful storytelling can be. All too often, the trials and tribulations of ordinary citizens are third, fourth, or fifth hand accounts. The messenger doesn’t even have a stake in the community. By the time an explanation of an event appears, the lifeblood of what actually happened is lost, or is discovered years later by researchers who try to reconstruct the scene.
By reclaiming history through storytelling, as illustrated by the authors here, social movement participants are able to capture, preserve, and provide missing links. Consequently, lessons learned can be utilized by generations of current and future activists.
Ganz, Marshall. (2001). The Power of Story in Social Movements. In the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Anaheim, California, August 18-21, 2001. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:27306251
Cultural Memory as Social Justice: The Critical Oral History Methodology
By Danita Mason-Hogans, Wesley Hogan, and Geri Augusto
People’s understanding of what is important in history is often driven more by what is left out than by biased history writing, filmmaking, or museum curation. This is true not only for public history’s audiences, but for curators, filmmakers, and historians. We only make films, exhibits, and books about what we can find evidence of — what we can find through archives, oral histories, museum collections, and big data.
Sometimes this means a massive loss of information. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC (“Snick”), dismantled large parts of legalized segregation in the United States in just eight years, between 1960-68. These young people took action in the very places in which segregation was most deeply rooted. Despite ferocious violence from white supremacists, they themselves acted nonviolently. Here were youth who defied all odds, who attempted the seemingly impossible.
Fifty years later, at a reunion in 2010, SNCC veterans realized that very few U.S. school children or citizens knew anything about their work. It was as if the entire team that made the first successful moon landing, Apollo 11, possible was simply dismissed after the mission landing with no one asking what they had learned or what conditions created the desire to attempt such a journey in the first place. Imagine how peculiar — and dangerous to future missions — it would have been if the hard-won knowledge of these astronauts and their support team had been ignored. In response to this realization, the SNCC veterans formed a nonprofit organization, the SNCC Legacy Project, (SLP), to preserve and share this history, which is so vital to people’s pursuit of democracy and equality.
In 2013, SLP joined together with Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies (CDS), and Duke University Libraries (DUL) in a new partnership to build a free and accessible-to-all archive chronicling the history of SNCC from the perspective of the activists themselves and to pass on the essential why’s and how-to’s of the freedom movement to subsequent generations. See the note at the end of this article for more details on this partnership. Working to center the perspectives of the activists themselves was a major point of departure, transitioning from the traditional university norms of interaction to a more equitable one that explicitly acknowledged that expertise does not come only from the university. In fact, university-based scholars in the project recognized that without such a partnership, they would have reached the outer-limits of their knowledge.
The collaboration’s goals were to:
- change the normative story of the Civil Rights Movement, to tell the story of SNCC’s organizing from the bottom up but also from the inside out, exploring how affected people organized to change history; and
- make SNCC materials more widely accessible to our primary audiences: students, teachers, activists, cultural workers, and citizens.
SLP and Duke also sought to create a replicable model for partnerships between activists and cultural workers/scholars in which the former would have the primary voice in assembling archival materials and shaping the historical narrative.* The resulting SNCC Digital Gateway (SDG) unveils the inner workings of SNCC as an organization, examining how it coordinated sit-ins and freedom schools, voter registration and economic cooperatives, anti-draft protests and international solidarity struggles (Inside SNCC). The SNCC partners worked collaboratively with historians of the movement, archivists, and students to weave together grassroots stories. The SDG digitized primary source material to create new multimedia assets that illuminate this history for new generations (e.g., People and Our Voices). A section called Today highlights how the actions and strategies of SNCC are being adapted for use in the organizing work of today’s young activists. Other sections allow visitors to explore the site through events (Timeline), and geographic locations (Map). The Resources section connects to primary sources, recordings from events sponsored by the project, lessons learned, and cultural works by SNCC veterans. Links within each section allow users to follow their interests by clicking on names, events, places, and topics. The search box on each page allows for more targeted discovery.
Critical Oral History: An Overview
While working on the SNCC Digital Gateway, we realized that we couldn’t find and did not have evidence to answer many of the questions people still had about SNCC’s work. It also became clear that there were multiple perspectives on the most important moments, developments, and ideas among movement folks themselves. At the urging of scholar-activists and SLP board members Geri Augusto and Charlie Cobb, SNCC veterans in the Legacy Project determined that the critical oral history methodology first developed by James Blight and Janet Lang to study the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War might be adapted to study SNCC’s legacy. The Center for Documentary Studies, with its own rich history of innovative oral history work starting with the Behind the Veil project, eagerly partnered with Augusto and Cobb.
Together, we agreed that the critical oral history methodology was a way to develop a richer, more complex set of questions to ask, with the possibility of generating a far more nuanced body of evidence about critical unanswered questions. It would facilitate a telling not of a monolithic, unreflective story, but rather one of many voices in retrospect. As one SNCC veteran has noted, “Most of the stories important to understanding SNCC and its legacy have not yet been told.” Our goal was to develop the methodology to elicit from SNCC veterans a new wealth of information that allowed a clearer understanding of how SNCC activists engaged and resolved the tensions that inevitably developed as they fought for freedom. What made it possible for them to transform an entire region captive to white supremacy and strive to make it into a model of citizen democracy? “What if a way were found,” another SNCC veteran asked, “to reflect, in carefully put together small groups, the thinking, concepts, and strategies pursued. . . by SNCC?”
The SLP-Duke team garnered funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop the critical oral history approach to explore the sometimes contentious and conflicting memories of former SNCC activists, their opponents, and people like journalists, government agents, and other “adjacent actors.” Our goal was to understand better, discover, and explain, just how multi-layered and complex the activism of the 1960s-era really was.
What exactly does “critical oral history” mean? There are multiple kinds of oral history. The most typical is the interview that essentially asks the person being interviewed to recount her or his experience. These interviews are often biographical in nature. The interviewer may not have done extensive prior research on the individual or the issues under discussion. These conversations, therefore, are largely controlled by the person being interviewed.
Critical oral history’s conferences or forums, by contrast, involve extensive research by trusted facilitators and carefully chosen scholars, both new and mature. As opposed to the relative freedom traditional oral history interviews provides the person being interviewed, critical oral history sessions are triggered by a collective reading of existing documentation — text and images alike — and a commitment to asking hard questions that will zero in on exact details. In the revised SLP methodology, each critical oral history forum evolves by juxtaposing, in real time-conversation, three key elements. First, a curated archive — a dossier of primary documents, images, and even sounds, prepared in advance and circulated to all participants well before the gathering. Second, a fairly small group of movement veterans who had firsthand participation in the main events, concepts or turning points to be discussed. And third, a smaller set of adjacent actors, whether allies or opponents during the time period under consideration, whose memories and viewpoints can offer a useful counterpoint.
The sessions are structured to dig into conflicts that may have occurred as part of a person’s civil rights activism. For instance: How did SNCC members overcome the obstacles they faced? What were the divisions within the movement over how to proceed? How did Black Southerners view Northerners? Was there a difference in their attitude towards Black Northerners and White Northerners? How did activists keep lines of communication open in an era before long-distance phones were routine and there was no e-mail? What were the competing forces — family, employer, faith leaders, friends, political ideology — that shaped the decisions activists made? How did initiatives such as freedom schools, citizenship classes, and new political parties such as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) emerge and evolve over time?
As is clear, critical oral history demands far more preparation than traditional oral history and brings together in the same room people with different perceptions and experience. The result is that the questions (and answers) are much more precise. But, at the same time, they are also more nuanced and hence more likely to yield more complex reconstructions and retrospectives — the result of multiple voices and outlooks. We think that this is an important mode of research when what is needed is to more fully understand the causes and interworking of some of the movements on a national and global stage. In addition, critical oral history (COH) forums have the potential to produce far more detailed evidence, as well as provoke a fresh approach to issues where disagreement exists.
Based on all the previous work done to build the SNCC Digital Gateway between 2013-2015, and the abundant sources we gathered as part of that work, the SNCC Legacy Project (SLP) helped us focus on two principal sets of unanswered questions for these critical oral history forums:
- First, in July 2016, we held a three-day forum that worked to clarify the organization’s shift in the 1960s from “One Person, One Vote” through the creation of the MFDP and the movement toward Black Power and self-determination. This forum allowed SNCC people to contextualize this shift on multiple levels and on their own terms, which was vital given the way those outside the organization had characterized the Black Power movement in the fifty years following its first articulation in June 1966.
- Second, in June 2018, we held a three-day forum on the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964 and its aftermath. How did it become a pivotal turning point in the movement? What were the issues of controversy that had to be addressed before embarking on such a grand venture? What went into the decisions to develop Freedom Schools, create agricultural cooperatives, and build a Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP)? How did Southern activists handle the influx of Northerners, and how did Blacks and Whites handle the racial tensions that inevitably appeared? What were the consequences of the 1964 Summer Project and, in particular, the experience of the MFDP? What happened when the MFDP went to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City to ask for equal representation in the Mississippi delegation? How did Lyndon Johnson’s insistence that the MFDP not be recognized affect the attitude of SNCC activists toward White liberals? What role did the experience of the MFDP have in the emergence of the Black Power movement and the development of new political parties like the Lowndes County Freedom Organization?
Each critical oral history forum (COH) involved ten or so SNCC activists, several adjacent actors, two of the SLP scholar-activists we have been working with since 2013, two civil rights historians from outside of Duke, and two civil rights historians from the Duke faculty. At the first COH in 2016, we also invited five to eight youth activists to campus to observe and ask questions. The participation of youth activists was so successful that we extended and formalized this as part of the process in 2018, so that at the end of each morning or afternoon session in 2018, the young people had 30-45 minutes to set the agenda, frame queries, and make critical observations.
Youth activist participation had several beneficial impacts. The young people raised questions that had not yet been addressed and thus expanded our knowledge-building. It also allowed substantive relationships to build between youth and elders and expanded already-existing relationships. Over shared meals and informal time during the COH forum, these intergenerational ties allowed for significant new insights to emerge that then found their way back into the formal sessions. The presence of young people also placed the SNCC veterans in a different mindset than simply talking to “history”. They were talking with flesh-and-blood youth who were right in front of them trying to make a change now. This allowed for a more thoughtful and instructive accounting of the events that brought an additional layer of power to the COH experience.
All the participants in these critical oral history forums were sent extensive documentation on the issues under discussion — a dossier that sometimes included their own words, as well as those of others; writings on the issues of controversy that were already out there; and lists of potential questions to be addressed. The dossier-creation process was led by Danita Mason-Hogans, guided by the SNCC veterans’ memories of particular events and knowledge of existing literature on the movement. Mason-Hogans then assigned students to do the research to find documents. We expected all participants to be grounded in these materials and to come ready to address, in detail and in collective deliberation, the pivotal issues under examination.
Geri Augusto acted as a key facilitator and innovator of the COH, bringing the COH methodology to the attention of the SLP-Duke working group, guiding the intellectual framework as we set it up, making sure the logistics reflected the tone we needed to generate, and setting the ambience for the sessions as they unfolded in real time.
“Remembering is a moral act,” Augusto stated at the beginning of the first SLP COH in 2016, at Duke. “Each of you saw the emergence of Black Power as an idea in its early practice in a different way,” she shared with those gathered. “I think of it like this: Each of you came into the same room, but at a different point, you left on a different note. You might have stayed in the same house, but with a different set of people. We were all reading, many of you were reading, the very same books but you were not necessarily reading them in common. Or the way you came across them or interpreted them might have been different. We want to bring out all those different ways and different paths by which people came to them.” SNCC’s own understanding of Black Power’s origin and development had not been well-documented except through individual interviews, scattered in archives around the country. So Augusto asked people in the room to recognize “the kind of knowledge production that this calls for,” and suggested that the session might build on the ideas of Maori activist-scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith, author of Decolonizing Methodologies. Augusto invoked Tuhiwai Smith’s notion of research created by indigenous and marginalized communities as “reframing, claiming testimonies, storytelling, celebrating survival, remembering, intervening, revitalizing, connecting, writing back.” Augusto stated: “You’ve been written about; this is about writing back.” She went on with Tuhiwai Smith’s list, to invoke “representing, gendering, envisioning, restoring, returning, naming, protecting, creating, discovering, and sharing,” and asked: “So, shall we try to do something like that today?”
Each session was taped by a videographer, transcribed, and indexed for deposit in the Duke libraries, and excerpts of the sessions have been made available online through the SNCC Digital Gateway for both the 2016 and 2018 sessions.
Who We Are and How We Fit In
We, Danita Mason-Hogans and Wesley Hogan, are both Gen X bridge organizers who came of age in campaigns to build Black Studies programs and to organize against South African apartheid. In 2013, we saw a new generation of activists coming into political activity in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin. We knew how much we had learned in the 1990s ourselves from 1960s activists and how, at that time, media outlets had tried to pit us against our elders, Gen X versus Baby Boomers, highlighting our disagreements rather than our continuities and solidarity. We thought we could be useful in bringing together young activists in the 2010s and the elders we’d learned from, to empower their mutual engagement and respect for one another without forcing our goals on any of them.
Initially, we wanted to create spaces and a platform for engagement, then step back to support and observe. Our first joint effort was a 2015 Voting Rights conference, under the umbrella of the SLP-Duke partnership. Mason-Hogans was project director, bringing together one hundred youth activists with 150 civil rights-Black Power veterans for four days in September 2015 in Durham, North Carolina. With Mason-Hogans as project manager and Hogan as principle investigator, we worked hard with Geri Augusto, SLP, and civil rights scholars Emilye Crosby and Hasan Jeffries to bring forward the COH model in service to sharing “informational wealth” across generations of organizers and cultural workers.
SLP chair Courtland Cox noted recently that: “Our youth have to have the benefit of our information, if not experiences, so they have a head start as they continue their struggle in America.” He called this project a “critical transfer of informational wealth.” The term, developed by Cox, stuck. SNCC activist Joyce Ladner rejoined: “If nothing else will save the most vulnerable of this generation, then informational wealth may be used to do so.” The SNCC Digital Gateway provides one model for how universities and social movements might partner on an egalitarian basis to identify, archive, and disseminate the lessons learned inside social movements. The concept of informational wealth was an important asset in this partnership.
The SLP’s modified COH method created a model, which others might wish to replicate, of how to think about social change happening at the grassroots, and how it can be documented in a way that upholds the values of mutual respect and reciprocity. Instead of seeing political movements the way the media does, as spontaneous eruptions involving marches, conflicts with authority, and then a sudden leap forward, people participating in this work learned and shared important lessons about how they might participate in similar local democratic practices as a part of their day-to-day lives. It furthered the insight of Eleanor Roosevelt, that "somehow we must be able to show people that democracy is not about words but actions.” We tried to view the collection and preservation of civil rights history through a social justice lens. We were aware that who tells the story, and from whose perspective that history is told, is at least as important as the evidence base. We were aware of the power of historical knowledge to inspire and inform future generations of activists. Further, since we were studying a social justice movement, it was important that we employed practices that were consistent with social justice as we collected the history, such as equal input and fair permission forms.
We were consistently aware of how we moved to consciously facilitate, rather than drive the content of these sessions. Vital to this process, Hogan notes, is the powerful way Mason-Hogans interacted with every COH participant. From the moment she first contacted them to the time she dropped them off at the airport, Mason-Hogans lived a freedom movement ethos, not the sterile ethos so common in academic settings. Her family came to the sessions and greeted people. She asked and knew about participants’ families. She made sure people had the equipment, food, and accommodations they needed. In a thousand small and meaningful ways, she showed people that they, not just their memories, matter. We self-consciously tried to come up with practical ways to escape sterile academic environments through a deliberative process of selecting project team members. Selecting Mason-Hogans as a community-based intellectual and educational activist rooted outside the university was important. Several of our student researchers were also local activists from North Carolina Central University, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) less than two miles from Duke. We selected a filmmaking collective for the 2018 sessions, Free Southern Media. We had to jump through legal and bureaucratic hurdles to create this team and this type of collaboration — the university makes it much easier to work with people only within it. We’re trying to be transparent about the work it takes to make this happen, as it has been essential to the process to have this diversity of perspectives on the team.
What resulted from this type of collaboration, a transparent and intentionally inclusive process, was a collection of new historical information that deepens the larger narrative of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. It has also provided an opportunity to offer clarity and correction to the popular narrative of how the freedom movement occurred and who drove it forward.
A Model Mason-Hogans Took to Chapel Hill
Mason-Hogans, while serving as project director, simultaneously continued her longtime work with the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a member of the mayor's Historic Civil Rights Commemorations Task Force, she recommended that the city adopt the approach to historical memory developed within the COH work. The Chapel Hill civil rights task force subsequently developed a partnership with the local library, local school system, university historians, and local activists to develop a timeline of civil rights history for Chapel Hill. What resulted was a discovery of local history that had not been previously explored or understood because of decades of mistrust in the way the history had been previously recorded, collected, and documented. The next section is in Mason-Hogans’ voice, as she recounts how Chapel Hill adopted this methodology.
In order for SNCC, Dr. King, or any other national figure or movement to become successful, there had to have been a local community whose citizens were ready to confront the realities of racism and embrace the change of the era. What we found were five common threads that sparked the U.S. Civil Rights Movement throughout the country on national and local levels. They were:
- The murder of Emmett Till
- Poverty and a lack of attention to basic needs of the community
- Terror and a systemic disenfranchisement of citizenry
- The actions of the Greensboro Four
- The power of and determination of young activists
We therefore attempted to use what we had learned through the COH process as a model framework for helping local communities to document and share the parallel local history of the Civil Rights Movement beginning in Chapel Hill.
The igniters of the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill were long dissatisfied with the way their history had been told and understood, and they did not have the essential trust in the university system necessary to garner a full depiction of what happened in the local community during the freedom movement. Much of the existing research about the movement in Chapel Hill, like so many other cities and towns in the United States, was centered around the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC)’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. The narrative about the native Black community's part was regulated to a single spontaneous event that propelled the university students into civil rights action.
We contacted Mayor Pam Hemminger with the town of Chapel Hill and informed her about the process that we developed at Duke and she formed a Civil Rights Task Force to document civil rights history.
What resulted through the intentionally equal and collaborative process of the COH was a treasure trove of local history that had not been previously explored or understood. The partners included the local library, university-based civil rights historians, the local school system, and policy makers in the town. This was all done with the local movement veterans at the center of the interactions, while making a special effort to solicit local community memories paired with primary source material.
Because of the relationships that we cultivated with the local members of the movement and scholar activists, we were able to counter the popular narrative and replace it with first-hand accounts and primary source material that corrected the historical record. The Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill actually began as a youth movement that was a well-thought out plan devised and executed by high school students at Chapel Hill's all-Black Lincoln High School.
The unexpected gift of this collaboration was an opportunity to collectively reflect on this important part of Chapel Hill history, which resulted in a town timeline, historical website, a new university archives, k-12 materials, town and community initiatives based on the history, a documentary, an historical marker, a national library association presentation on the process, and several local and trending national news stories about the events.
Other cities and towns in North Carolina, including Durham, Raleigh, and Greensboro, have shown a strong interest in bringing the COH model to their communities and learning new ways of documenting history and cultural work. We are looking into ways to expand the model in a resourceful way.
In any social justice movement, many people who are involved typically feel unheard and disrespected by larger societal institutions — they often feel that their opinions and voices do not matter, or that their reasons for participating in struggle are distorted. Since academic institutions are a part of a greater power structure, these perceptions hold true when collecting and documenting history in grassroots communities as well. Critical oral history offers a useful tool to employ a true collaborative process that upends the traditional unequal approach to building historical archives of civil and cultural work. The process provides an opportunity to open the floodgates of trust which, inevitably, leads to more accurate information and a greater understanding of societal evolution and mutual understanding. As one of our partners in Brazil said after seeing a presentation on the method, “this takes the idea of ‘popular education’ [a concept developed by Brazilian Paulo Freire] and applies it to building community archives.”
More information on the project is available online. We welcome any feedback or pushback, and hope people will share their experiences of building similar cultural archives with us at Danita.Masonhogans@duke.edu, Geri_augusto@brown.edu, email@example.com.
* The major participants in building the SNCC Digital Gateway include three institutions (SLP, CDS, DUL). From the SLP, Geri Augusto, Charlie Cobb, Courtland Cox, Bruce Hartford, Jennifer Lawson, Judy Richardson; from the Duke University Libraries, John Gartrell, Naomi Nelson, Will Sexton, Molly Bragg; from the Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Bill Chafe, Wesley Hogan, Lynn McKnight, Tim Tyson. Outside scholars central to the team were Emilye Crosby (SUNY-Geneseo) and Hasan Kwame Jeffries (Ohio State). SDG’s project manager Karlyn Forner, and project coordinator, Kaley Deal, pulled everyone and everything together. The Student Project Team included: Amina Bility, Aaron Colston, Colby Johnson, Meaghan Kachadoorian, Eliza Meredith, Alexandria Miller, Annie Piotrowski, David Romine, Sarah Scriven, Kristina Williams, and Kelsey Zavelo, SUNY Geneseo Interns: Hannah Embry, Jen Galvao, Tom Garrity, Jenna Lawson, Grace McGinnis, Lauren Plevy, and Tanairi Taylor and Project Interns: Emily Abbott, Charmaine Bonner, Kenneth Campbell, Todd Christensen, and Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt. Teaching for Change’s executive Director Deborah Menkart and Danita Mason-Hogans of the Center for Documentary Studies also participated in indispensable ways in the work of the SDG.