Oral history provides a richly textured layer to the history recorded in books and articles. This site features a collection of interviews of leaders in the black community. Conducted chiefly by Julian Bond, national chairman of the NAACP and professor of history at the University of Virginia, these oral histories focus on issues of black leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America.

By concentrating on leadership in equal measure to the remembered past of peoples' lives, the conversations implicitly connect the ways in which historical circumstances create the conditions for the future.

Topics covered in the interviews include Brown vs. the Board of Education, personal involvement in the civil rights struggle, the nature of leadership, and the ways in which race, gender, and region affect their personal history. Both students and the general public can glean much from them, especially an understanding of how history has an impact on public life today.

Last updated: June 2005