The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Life histories of African Americans
Repository: University of Hawaii at Manoa. Center for Oral History
Collection Description (Extant): Although their residence in the Islands spans two centuries and they now number more than 25,000, African Americans in Hawaii have had very little of their history recorded. This paucity of information prompted the Center for Oral History in 1988 to contract the services of Kathryn Waddell Takara, University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and researcher in African American history.
Through her associations and friendships, Dr. Takara was able to contact ten older African Americans on Oahu for audiotaped interviews. She recorded life history interviews with three women and seven men, ranging in age from fifty-seven to eighty. All but one interviewee released their interviews for publication in Oral Histories of African Americans.
The interviews cover a wide range of topics. Recorded on more than twenty-four hours of tape are reminiscences and discussions of childhoods in such varied communities as Athens (Georgia), Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, including family life and parental influences.
Educational and employment opportunities for African Americans are also discussed. Discrimination and prejudice, segregation practices, "passing" for Caucasian, and violence against African Americans are topics brought up in the interviews. Interviewees talk about political activities, as well as social and cultural life within the African American community.
Also detailed are World War II experiences, segregated military housing in wartime and postwar Hawaii, African American-local relations, and adjustment to life in Hawaii.
Collection URL: http://www.oralhistory.hawaii.edu/pages/ethnic/afram.html
Interviewees: Walter Alexander, Gladys Crampton, Bertha Dunson, Ernest Golden, Howard Johnson, Alexander Lewis, Lucille Maloney, Ulyless Robinson, William Waddell
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
Discrimination in the military