"If you don't recount your family history, it will be lost. Honor your own stories and tell them too. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are." –Madeleine L'Engle
Spotlights on Listening:
Story Corps fourth annual National Day of Listening is Nov. 25, 2011. Each year Story Corps invites all Americans to set aside an hour on the day after Thanksgiving, to interview a friend, loved one or community member about their lives.
In honor of the upcoming event, we'll be sharing some of our favorite oral history interviews, and resources for interviewing loved ones.
50 Questions for Family History Interviews from About.com
In today's featured interview, Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper is interviewed by the Spelman's Independent Scholars Program.
Spelman's Independent Scholars (SIS) Program is a two-semester independent, interdisciplinary and intergenerational learning experience open to students across all majors at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.
The first semester in SIS focuses on research and interviewing. The second semester focuses on transcribing and editing.
The concept paper included in the SIS Research Notebook gives a rationale for the learning experience:
"Throughout our history in this nation — indeed before we were brought to these shores — older women in our families and in our communities are griots and sages, seers and prophets whom we are taught to honor and revere. Their stories teach us about values and beliefs that shaped their reality and, in immeasurable ways, impact our own. For reason, then, we see their memories, anchored deep in the soil of wisdom, as cherished treasure. It is this truth, as old as time itself, that undergirds the SIS Oral History Project." — Danielle Phillips, Spelman Independent Scholar
Spotlight on Listening I: Oral History Interview, Dr. Mary Starke Harper