Project documents the history of Massillon’s Black community

Project documents the history of Massillon’s Black community
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Massillon Museum archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl recorded a project introduction with team member Daja Simpson.

                        

In a new project titled “Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African-American Stories,” the Massillon Museum has partnered with Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections LLC to document the history of Massillon’s Black community and to maintain and integrate representation of this history into the museum’s archives and collections.

The first step is to collect oral history interviews, stories and photographs with the ultimate goal of developing an exhibition (tentatively scheduled for summer 2022) that will share these stories with the public.

Community participation is essential. MassMu and SOJCC are seeking suggestions for people to interview. They need volunteers to interview. Volunteers will be needed to scan photographs, transcribe interviews and research related newspaper articles.

Stories from the African-American community can be from any era, as can the images, which will be scanned and returned to donors. Interviewers will want to hear why families came to Massillon, where they lived and worked, what individuals did for recreation, where they shopped and ate, how they dealt with the turbulent 1960s, what organizations they belonged to, and what family history they can remember.

The museum will offer training for volunteers who plan to interview, scan, transcribe and research.

“This collaborative community project ensures African-American voices will be heard, preserved and shared,” Massillon Museum archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl said. “I look forward to working with anyone who can help. Please call to share your stories or to help collect and preserve stories.”

Stahl can be emailed at mastahl@massillonmuseum.org or called at 330-833-4061 ext. 113.

For more information about the project, visit www.massillonmuseum.org/missinghistory. The museum fosters discussion and memory-sharing on its Facebook group page for this project: www.facebook.com/groups/missinghistoryofmassillon.

Committee members include Stahl, Daja Simpson, Ke’Aunte Tynette, Tierra Pettis, Marva Dodson, LaToya Young, Alexandra Nicholis Coon, Heather Pennington, Brandon Rohrer, Stephanie Toole, Bailey Yoder and Margy Vogt.


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