Institute for Oral History News
Civil Rights History Project Includes Baylor Oral HistoriesSept. 6, 2011
The oral history database was created in response to the 2009 Civil Rights History Project Act, sponsored in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (NY) and co-sponsored by Representatives Sanford D. Bishop (GA), William Lacy Clay (MO), John Lewis (GA) and Mike Quigley (IL). "The fight for civil rights was one of the most significant social and cultural movements in our nation's history, and this project will help future generations understand the struggle to make the dream of equality and freedom a reality for all Americans," said Rep. McCarthy in proposing the legislation. In the Senate, the sponsor was Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the cosponsors were Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Robert F. Bennett (UT), Thad Cochran (MS), Edward Kennedy (MA), Carl Levin (MI) and Charles Schumer (NY). The act was signed into law in May 2009 by President Barack Obama.
In addition to providing a survey of oral history collections that touch on various aspects of civil rights in the U.S., the Library of Congress will gather new oral histories on the topic and make those interviews available online.
Baylor's civil rights oral histories cover topics related to both African American and Hispanic American civil rights. The Baylor collection is especially strong in the area of Baptists and race relations.