In February of 2001, the Spokesman-Review produced a month long series of articles on black history titled "Through Spokane's Eyes Moments in Black History," focusing in particular on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As part of that series, Rebecca Nappi conducted a series of interviews with individuals with ties to both the civil rights movement and to Spokane. The guide to this collection may now be found in the Manuscripts section of MASC under the number Cage 683.
The Oral Histories:
Jerrelene Williamson relates her sense of the civil rights movement in Spokane to events in Alabama. Emelda and Manuel Brown talk about their experiences with racial prejudice while raising a family in Spokane, Washington in the 1960s. Clarence Freeman discusses his reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the reaction of the community of Spokane. He also talks briefly about a childhood experience with prejudice in Spokane. Sam Minnix describes the scene during a civil rights demonstration at the Spokane County Courthouse on Friday March 26, 1965. Verda Lofton relates her impression of the same March 26, 1965 Spokane protest. Flip Schulke describes about his experiences photographing race related stories in the south. He mentions photographing the admission of the first black student, James Meredith, into the University of Mississippi. The influence the assassination on Martin Luther King had on the protests and marches is also described. He finishes by discussing the differences between the youth of the 60s and the youth of today, and the legacy of the protest movements. Alvin Pitmon talks about his experiences with prejudice in Arkansas during the forced integration of schools in the 1960s. He discusses his feelings towards Dr. Martin Luther King and the influence Dr. King had on him. Nancy Nelson sings two civil rights spirituals: My Lord, What a Morning and Let Us Break Bread Together.
Searching the Database:
Entering search terms in the box located at the top of the page will search across all of the database fields. Search results are displayed as a series of icons that may be browsed, both forward and backward. To listen to the interview, click on the icon. A media player will appear and the interview will begin playing. To read the description of the interview, click on the text below the icon. Any highlighted text in the description is searchable; clicking on the text will execute a search on that term. If you are viewing the description and want to listen to the interview, click on the file name listed next to the heading "Listen to Interview".
Creating the Database:
Mark O'English added RM files to the CONTENTdm database, using URLs pointing to a RealSystem Server, created the descriptive records, and provided subject and genre terms. Al Cornish provided technical support for CONTENTdm. Michael Walpole provided technical support with the audio files and graphics. Trevor Bond created the site. Mark O'English, Alex Merrill, and Jeff Kuure reformatted the files and redesigned the site and file access in 2010, migrating audio files from Real Media to mp3 format viewed through Adobe Flash.