Listening to History: A North Carolina Mosaic

Race and Desegregation: West Charlotte High School

Race and Desegregation: Asheville's Stephens-Lee High School

Tobacco, History, and Memory: Storytelling and Cultural Grieving in Eastern North Carolina

Environmentalism: Forests and Communities in Western North Carolina

New Immigrants and Labor: The Case Farms Strike in Morganton

New Immigrants and Neighborhood Change: Northeast Central Durham

Voices After the Deluge: Oral History Investigations of the Great North Carolina Flood

Whole Lives: The Durham HIV Life Review Project

The Brown Creek Correctional Institute Life Review Performance Project

Chatham County at the Crossroads

Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition

The Southern Oral History Program celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1998 by embarking on one of the most ambitious oral history projects in its history. "Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition" is a multi-faceted initiative designed to document unrecorded aspects of North Carolina's post-World War II history by conducting oral history interviews with a host of the state's citizens. The project was launched with grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

The project's name was inspired by Hugo Slim and Paul Thompson's Listening for a Change: Oral History and Community Development. This influential volume emphasizes oral history's power to make possible participatory documentary projects that are enriched by active community involvement. The SOHP's "Listening" initiative reflects this spirit.

The "Listening for a Change" initiative encompasses eleven sub-series, including one overview examination of North Carolina in the post-World War II era, and various thematic, community-based projects exploring such themes as race, the environment, demographic change, and the many impacts of a changing global economy. The SOHP-affiliated historians and folklorists coordinating these projects have worked closely with community groups to identify interview candidates, and to develop and present outreach events and materials to share research results with the communities in which the work has been completed.

Hall believes the statewide project has nurtured a fresh understanding of twentieth-century North Carolina history. "We're in a moment of such rapid change. We're moving into the new millennium, and the old industries and ways in which the economy has worked are beginning to disappear. Unless we document the stories of people who have lived through this history, we're likely, within another generation, to have lost a whole piece of our history."

The hundreds of interviews generated through "Listening for a Change" live in UNC-CH's Southern Historical Collection.

The Southern Oral History Program
Center for the Study of the American South
Love House and Hutchins Forum
410 East Franklin St., CB# 9127, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-9127
(919) 962-0455