Lynching in the American South Workshop

On June 12 and 13, the Community Histories Workshop will host "Lynching in the American South: A Workshop."  Led by Seth Kotch and Elijah Gaddis, the workshop will bring participants into the work of the CHW and especially our project The Red Record.  Participants will learn about lynching in North Carolina and around the South, be introduced to and practice some new digital tools, and help us expand the project to other states around the South.  You can learn more and register for the workshop here: http://lynching.web.unc.edu/2017-workshop/ .   ...
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Building the Digital Archive

We started the Rocky Mount Mills Digital Archive as a way to gather together some of the thousands of archived items from the mill's two hundred year history. We started with digitized items from three main repositories: the Rocky Mount Mills Photo Archive and the Rocky Mount Mills Awards, 1970s-1990s, both hosted by the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Charles S. Killebrew Photographic Collection, 1948-2001, hosted by the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since these first items went up, we've continued to add more items to our online collections. There are photographs, newspaper articles, letters, posters, and other items housed in collections throughout North Carolina. Some are in formal archives–like the Rocky Mount Mills Records and the Charles Killebrew Photographic Collection at UNC, or the many collections at Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount. Other collections are in family homes and attics and...
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Harvesting History in Rocky Mount

Harvesting History in Rocky Mount -- An Experiment in Crowdsourcing Documents On February 25, 2017, twenty students from Professor Robert Allen's AMST 275H ("Documenting Communities") and AMST 840 ("Digital Humanities/Digital American Studies") courses conducted a history harvest in the Warner Room of the Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Led by Melissa Dollman and Elijah Gaddis, and sponsored by the Community Histories Workshop, the event was designed to encourage people to share their memories, stories, photographs, and other items to help us tell a well-rounded history of Rocky Mount Mills. [What is a History Harvest?] (Photos from the day, and a selection we digitized.) Following a tour of the Rocky Mount Mills site led by Capitol Broadcasting’s Scott Roberts and Julie Baggett, the students spent the afternoon welcoming the collective wisdom of more than thirty Rocky Mount residents in our efforts to identify people, places, and events in digitized and printed historic photographs and films--in a way that only locals can do. We also...
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Community Histories Workshop Featured in Rocky Mount Telegram

On December 2, 2016, Community Histories Workshop team members escorted a group of UNC faculty, library directors, and students to Rocky Mount Mills where Capitol Broadcasting Co. treated us to a tour. What a unique opportunity to take in a "before" view of the mill buildings in their current states, as well as two homes in the surrounding village---one recently renovated and one awaiting its facelift. We also had the great pleasure of meeting with folks from Braswell Memorial Library, Harrison and Harrison, D.J. Rose and Son, JOIN Development, SpringboardNC, Rocky Mount's own Jean Kitchin ('70) and other interested parties to exchange ideas about how to engage with and best serve the community. It was an eventful day! To read more about the visit and our collaborative project, see the full Rocky Mount Telegram article from December 3rd here.                       ...
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Digital Loray project highlights

With the recent opening of the Alfred C. Kessell History Center in Gastonia, we've been reflecting on the years of collaborations between students, faculty, staff, and Gaston County community members that have helped produce this place. This video, produced by Will Bosley, gives an overview of our process and highlights just a small portion of that collaborative energy.   https://vimeo.com/194714191?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vimeo-cliptranscode-201504&utm_campaign=29220...
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The Life of Godwin Bush

The following is the first in a series of blog posts from Christina Kochanski, a Community Histories Workshop Undergraduate Fellow who is working on The Red Record project.    Godwin “Buddy” Bush has an incredible story. He survived a lynch mob, escaping his kidnappers and hiding in the woods as mob members and county officials hunted him down. Yet his story was repurposed to promote antilynching legislation. Godwin Bush the person got lost in the attempt to create Godwin Bush the symbol. The lynching attempt occurred in 1947, as lynching’s frequency in North Carolina decreased. Bush’s kidnapping presented an opportunity for legislators to make the final push in officially ending lynching. As the FBI investigated the mob members and Congresswoman Helen Douglas pushed for antilynching laws, Bush himself fell by the wayside. His name disappeared from newspapers within days of the attack. Even as the lynching attempt against him shaped national policy, he became invisible, quietly trying to reconstruct his life. Here, I will...
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Rocky Mount Mills Reunion

Watch the video below to learn more about our first preview of digital exhibits built in Prospect during the Rocky Mount Mills reunion on October 29, 2016. We welcomed around 75 former workers and their families to visit the mill, learn about our work, and share some of their own history with this place. Look for more material from this event soon.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJsNP5Cb_tU...
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