African American Oral Histories

We are amassing an archive of interviews with community elders about their education and career decisions and experiences. This can be shared with younger folks to facilitate intergenerational dialogue.

Conversations with Treasures of Our Heritage

From 2002 to 2018, AAERO preserved African American oral histories through a program called Conversations with Treasures of Our Heritage. People 80 years of age and older who lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina were interviewed and presented in public “Conversations” about their lives.

Narratives were collected via in-home biographical interviews and a public interview. 

The Grand People Project

The Grand People Project project links youth and young adults with elders to capture the images and narratives of African American lives. For details, see the Grand People Project description and an example produced by Billi Madison Hall who interviewed her grandmother and great-grandmother.  If you would like to volunteer to interview, photograph or participate in other ways, contact  Donations to AAERO for the Grand People Project will pay for equipment and materials.  Elders who participate receive copies of their content.

Below is an example of of pages in a slide presentation of Billi Hall’s interview with her grandmother, Phyllis Valentine.

Somebody had to do it !

Dr. Millicent Brown led the “Somebody Had To Do It” project, documenting the recollections of African Americans who, as children, were the first in their communities to attend previously all-white schools. Dr. Jerome Goodwin shared his story of integrating a formerly all-white school when he was a boy.  AAERO interns from North Carolina Central University assisted Dr. Paula Quick Hall in his interview.   This project is now housed at the College of Charleston, South Carolina.  Learn more at   Lowcountry Digital Library at the College of Charleston.