Southern Journey Oral History Collection

Description

This collection of oral histories, completed from 1991 to 1994, contains narratives of 119 individuals describing the activities and people involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the southern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. The narratives also detail daily life for the African American community during this volatile period in the United States.

These interviews were conducted by writer Tom Dent as research for the documentary and book project Southern Journey: A Return to the Civil Rights Movement. Inspiration for the project stemmed from Dent’s earlier experiences conducting a Mississippi Oral History Project (1978-1983) and researching the autobiography of his friend Andrew Young. He was influenced by the book Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon to travel throughout the American South and collect the stories of the Civil Rights Movement in a variety of cities and towns, including Greensboro (North Carolina), Orangeburg and Charleston (South Carolina), St. Augustine (Florida), Albany (Georgia), Selma (Alabama) and various towns in Mississippi. The interviews are arranged in alphabetical order within these town and state groups. Interviews of note include, John Marshall Kilimanjaro (Greensboro, North Carolina), Annie Devine (Canton, Mississippi), L.C. Dorsey (Mound Bayou, Mississippi), and Andrew Young (Atlanta, Georgia). His goal was to capture the voices and perspectives of the individuals who have rarely been heard from in the history of the movement.