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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 [of Memphis and the Mississippi Delta]

Repository: Center for Southern Folklore

Collection Description (CRHP): Some of these oral histories deal with the civil rights movement in Memphis and are of civil rights figures in Memphis including black businessman A. Maceo Walker. There also are oral histories dealing with Jewish life in Memphis, including Jewish merchants on Beale Street.

Collection Description (Extant): The heart of the Multimedia Archives is over 2000 hours of recorded interviews conducted by historians and folklorists who have talked with men and women whose lives and stories provide in depth information about the Memphis/Delta Region.

These interviews have been recorded in homes and offices, juke houses and cafes, churches and festivals, television and radio stations where these people lived and worked lending them a unique documentary perspective.

Musicians and performers describe how they learned their music from rural harmonica players to contemporary urban poets. Artists talk about how family and neighbors became their subjects and how found objects from wood to cloth to bottle caps became their brush. Caterers and cooks talk about food preparation and regional and ethnic foods they use. People talk about how their religious experiences and communities provide emotional and physical balance for their families. People who have lived in the region for generations talk about the histories of their towns and communities while newcomers talk about their journeys to the American South.

While the majority of the narratives were conducted and directed by Center Staff, other tapes and cassettes in the collection were donated by community historians and researchers.

Collection URL: External Link

Extent: circa 2000 hours

Language: English

Interviewees: A. Maceo Walker

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


African Americans--Civil rights--Tennessee
Beale Street (Memphis, Tenn.)
Civil rights movements--Tennessee
Delta (Miss. : Region)
Memphis (Tenn.)


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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