The murder of George Floyd last year created a lot of soul searching around the country and here at WYSO. It made us think harder about the role the station should play in fighting racism in the Miami Valley. And so we will bring the voices of more people of color to the airwaves so we can see racism - past and present - through their eyes and hear their ideas about our shared future. In the next month, you're going to hear stories that began as a community oral history project 10 years ago in Yellow Springs, when citizens came together to gather the stories of the Civil Rights generation of activists, both Black and white, who were born in the 20s and 30s. Their stories have a lot to teach the activists of today.
Series producers: Katie Davis and Dr. Kevin McGruder.
Executive producer: Neenah Ellis
Editing help from Community Producers: Amy Harper, Mary Evans, Mojgan Samardar, and Tom AmrheinFunding for this project comes from The Yellow Springs Community Foundation, the Yellow Springs Brewery and from Rick and Chris Kristensen, Re/Max Victory and affiliates in Yellow Springs.THE YELLOW SPRINGS CIVIL RIGHTS ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
This radio series is part of a larger community-based oral history project in Yellow Springs, Ohio begun in 2010, when several community groups came together. Their goal was to interview citizens about contemporary and historical diversity in the Village.
Yellow Springs has a long history of diversity. African Americans have lived in the Village for almost 200 years, but in the last generation, it has become whiter and more affluent.
WYSO got involved with this project when Brooke Bryan, who was an intern at the station at the time and a graduate student at Antioch University, stepped up to help organize the project and offer WYSO’s support and assistance.
Since that time, nearly 50 interviews have been recorded and now, for the first time, WYSO is bringing this project to the airwaves, creating edited versions of the long-form oral history interviews that have been done by community volunteers.
Brooke Bryan has since gone on to an academic career at Antioch College with a specific interest in oral history. You can read her full account of this groundbreaking community project here
and perhaps learn how to create a project like this in your own community.