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Lift Every Voice Forum

2013 May 17
by Sheila

Yesterday, I participated in the Lift Every Voice Forum, organized by the University of South Carolina College of Education and South Caroliniana Library , funded by IMLS, to address the challenges of collecting, archiving, presenting, and teaching the history of the civil rights movement by planning for a new project focused on South Carolina.

The struggle for African American Civil Rights in South Carolina is not well known within the current historical narrative of the movement. This history is also not well known to the past two generations, because these stories have been absent from the state’s public school curricula and veterans of the movement have been reluctant to share. While at the forum, I first heard of the many grassroots activities that occurred in Columbia and other cities across the state beginning in the 1940s. Much of this activity was never reported in any media. Specifically some newspapers deliberately did not publish photographs of and stories about rallies and protests at the Capitol and around the state. As such, these sources were not discoverable by historians. Oral histories, personal stories, and objects saved in shoe boxes, then, take on a greater meaning as historical evidence that needs to be saved.

I hope that the Lift Every Voice Project will be able to build the project they are planning, so that they can create a digital repository filled with different types of evidence and resources useful for teachers, students, researchers, and historians alike.

Below are the slides from my presentation on digital memory banking and online collecting practices:

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