Week Eight: A Wrapup from Purple Team

In spite of a bit of a slow start on Monday, the Purple Team had a very productive eighth week. We have continued to process Brownsville and Memphis World documents while scheduling and conducting interviews with Evergreen residents. The Memphis Public Library was kind enough to loan us the remaining cassette tapes from the Everett R. Cook Oral History Collection to be digitized and transcribed. We are very excited that Crossroads will be able to host more than one hundred audio interviews with important Memphians and civil rights era figures of local and national acclaim, including former Memphis mayor, Henry Loeb, Rabbi James Wax, and Rhodes College’s namesake, Peyton Rhodes, to name but a few.

The highlight of the week was definitely our interview with Mrs. Julia Allen, a prominent Rhodes alumna (’48) and activist for social justice throughout the south during the civil rights era. It was invaluable to have the perspective of a native Memphian and long-time Evergreener to contextualize the role of Memphis relative to other important cities in the south such as Durham, NC, Spartanburg, SC, and Jackson, TN during the archive. There are so many other fascinating aspects of the interview I am tempted to discuss at length (i.e. the transition from Presbyterian to Methodist academic and social environments, the economic implications of race relations in Memphis, etc.), but I will refrain from outlining too many of them in detail since the interview is outstanding. Look for more soon on the Crossroads Digital Archive.

As the summer gradually draws to a close, I am filled with a great sense of satisfaction and even a bit of pride as a result of our work over the past two months. Watching the group presentations this afternoon has once again demonstrated the far-reaching implications of the Project as a veritable crossroads of history, civil rights, and social justice. I am excited to bring all of our team efforts together in these last two weeks towards the production of something as meaningful and long-lasting as the issues we have sought to profile.

Mack Zalin
Purple Team

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm  Comments Off on Week Eight: A Wrapup from Purple Team  
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