By Erin L. Conlin
Recent civil rights-era commemorations (like the 1965 march to Selma, AL) and present-day activists remind us that racial issues continue to challenge our nation. As oral historians, we are well positioned to foster better historical understanding and increase public awareness. Students, faculty, and staff affiliated with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida have spent the last eight years traveling to the Mississippi Delta gathering oral histories with civil rights activists. The Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP) has a rich collection of resources, including: over 180 interviews, documentary films, podcasts, curated collections, and recorded academic/activist panel discussions. MFP offers students an incredible service-learning opportunity. Students travel the Delta with longtime resident-activists learning about and producing history first hand. The collected testimonies, and projects produced utilizing those interviews, expand and enrich our understanding of the ongoing struggle for equality, freedom, and justice.
Find our more about the MFP at https://oral.history.ufl.edu/projects/mfp/mfp-resources/.