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Students to present African American oral histories April 23

ISSUED: 20 April 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University students in this semester’s Oral History class taught by Dr. Keith Alexander, assistant professor of history, will present “African American Experiences in Jefferson County” on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies auditorium.

Throughout the spring semester the students, with the help of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society, have conducted oral histories with residents of the county. Historic Shepherdstown sponsored the project and the organization’s initial plan was to develop a museum exhibit about the town’s African American baseball team, the Red Sox, which played from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Alexander said the process of collecting the oral histories has been a terrific experience for the students and has given them practical experience doing interviews.

“When they are doing the interviews, they know it’s not just for me to read and grade—they know that their interviews are going to help preserve a priceless historical record,” Alexander said. “They also know that they are giving back to the community by sharing and spreading the community’s stories.”

The event is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will take place before the presentation beginning at 6 p.m.

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