Last semester, Duke students in Bruce Orenstein’s Video for Social Change class at the Center for Documentary Studies learned what it means to live the life of a social advocate in North Carolina. Through a series of oral history interviews, students explored the lives and motivations of social activists across North Carolina, painting a portrait of social advocacy efforts related to labor, civil rights, immigration, and education. Bruce believes that these oral histories will give future students and researchers the opportunity to learn about the struggles, successes, and challenges that activists have encountered in the past and continue to confront in the present.

The Duke Human Rights Center@FHI gained access to extended clips of the eight Oral History interviews. These accounts provide an intimate look at the factors that fostered each individual’s engagement in social advocacy and provide a unique perspective on some of the historical moments that have shaped North Carolina’s past and present. To learn more about the students’ experience, please read Melinda Wiggins and Student Action with Farmworkers and Social Activism in NC: An Oral History Project. The entire interviews are available in the Duke Human Rights Archive.

Listen to the interviews with some of our community’s most inspiring social advocates including,

Mel Williams
Mel Williams
Melinda Wiggins
Melinda Wiggins
Dani Moore
Dani Moore
Anita Earls
Anita Earls
Rukiya-Dillahunt
Rukiya Dillahunt
James Andrews
James Andrews
Angaza Laughinghouse
Angaza Laughinghouse
Allison Riggs
Allison Riggs

 

Using archival footage, newspaper articles, photographs and clips from an oral history interview
with Angaza Laughinghouse, this short video tells a brief history of Black Workers for Justice (BWFJ)

 

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