January 29, 2003 Journalist Renee Poussaint Speaks at Library of Congress Feb. 10 on Behalf of Veterans History Project

Poussaint Urges African Americans To Help Preserve Histories

Contact: Request ADA accommodations at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, hdal@loc.gov; Nancy Mitchell (202) 707-4918

Veteran journalist and three-time Emmy-award winner Renee Poussaint will discuss the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP), the organization she co-founded with Camille Cosby, at noon on Monday, Feb. 10, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C.

The talk is one of a series of programs hosted by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, which collects and preserves oral histories and documentary materials from American veterans and civilians who served on the home front.

The NVLP is a national effort to inspire younger generations to develop into leaders by recording and preserving the oral histories of African American living elders, including war veterans, who played vital roles in shaping American history.

"Now, during African American History Month," said Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, director of the Veterans History Project, "there is no better time to honor our nation's African American veterans and to preserve the memories of those who have served us in wartime. We ask everyone to volunteer a little time during this month to record a veteran's story or to step up and say 'I want my story collected for the Veterans History Project.'"

The NVLP records, preserves and disseminates videotaped biographical interviews of living African American leaders, including politicians, entertainers, athletes, civic leaders and veterans. Among the interviews archived to date are those of Tuskegee Airmen veterans Percy Sutton and Lee Archer, civil rights advocate Dorothy Height, poet Maya Angelou, and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

The videotaped interviews are available for viewing at www.visionaryproject.com and at the NVLP's research library located in Washington, D.C. NVLP also serves as a national resource of information and data for individuals, organizations and communities that want to learn about other oral history projects throughout the country, such as the Veterans History Project, and how to gather and preserve history.

The Veterans History Project is a project of the Library of Congress through its American Folklife Center to collect and preserve oral histories and documentary materials from those who served in the military or supported war efforts at home during World War I, World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. The project was created by Congress and approved by unanimous vote in both the House and the Senate in October 2000.

Individuals, family members, veterans, civic groups and organizations that are willing to interview veterans are invited to contact the Veterans History Project, whose staff will provide guidance and information. The resulting audio or videotapes and related documentary materials that are collected are preserved at the Library of Congress as part of the permanent record of the nation's history.

Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to call the toll-free message line, (888) 371-5848, to request a project kit or to e-mail the office at vohp@loc.gov. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project Web site at www.loc.gov/vets.


PR 03-016
ISSN 0731-3527