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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Oral histories from the Bloomington-Normal black history project

Repository: McLean County Museum of History

Collection Description (CRHP): The oral history collection is comprised of eighty taped interviews with transcripts. Most center on descriptions of life for Bloomington-Normal's black population from the early 20th century onward, including discrimination in housing and employment. Several interviewees discuss civil rights activism, including involvement in local NAACP and union efforts.

Collection Description (Extant): These oral histories and photographs present a rich picture of Black family life in McLean County. Interviewees include teachers, domestic workers, restaurant and other business owners, barbers and office workers. These people and their experiences represent many hidden stories, and their contributions to local Black history are unique.

The Bloomington-Normal Black History Project was founded in 1982, and its collections span the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection contains photographs and portraits, booklets, articles and photocopies related to clubs, organizations and churches of the local Black community. In 1989 the Black History Project was affiliated with the McLean County Historical Society, which serves as a repository for the Project's collections.

Access Copy Note: Transcripts and photos are available online.

Collection URL: External Link

Date(s): 1985-2002

Digital Status: Partial

Extent: 80+ interviews (audio cassettes, transcripts), photographs, biographical information

Language: English

Interviewees: Wilbur Barton, Howard Bell, Elaine Bell, Richard Bell, Rose Anna Bell, Robert Boykin, Lillian Boykin, Lue Anna Clark, Kathryn Dean, Robert Gaston, Claude Hursey, Merlin Kennedy, Beulah Kennedy, Ethel Murray, Lucinda Posey, Josephine Samuels, Reginald Whittaker, Roy Shavers, Delores Shavers, Oscar Waddell, Ruth Waddell, Willis Stearles, Caribel Washington

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American businesspeople
African American churches
African American educators--Indiana
African American labor union members
African American veterans
African Americans--Illinois
Civil rights movements--Illinois
Discrimination in employment
Discrimination in housing
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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