Portfolio of Cheylon K. Woods

Public Programming

As a part of my fellowship and the Archival Training Collaborative workshops I attended, I am working on some public programs. At the moment, I am working on three programs; a basic  photo preservation workshop, a basic exhibit design and interpretation workshop, and a public event that will be hosted in Tuskegee, Alabama.

The exhibit design workshop, entitled “Giving the World a Glimpse of…” : the basic ins and outs of exhibit design and interpretation,  will be held on January 27, 2012. This workshop will provide participants with hands on experience in developing a basic interpretative plan and poster exhibit. I am really excited about this workshop because it allows me to share my love for interpretation and exhibit design with people who normally would not see the use for it. In my world, everything is an exhibit because everything conveys or reinforces the ideas of its creator(s) or society as a whole. I am also really excited about the photo preservation workshop! I am working with one of the other archivist here and we will be talking to local genealogical societies about the best way to preserve their family photographs for longevity. This is something that most people seem to have an interest in, so I think we will have a good turn out. 

 While I love all three topics that I am working on, I am most excited about the Tuskegee public program, which is entitled “What they captured and what we remember.”  The purpose of this program, which will be hosted in March of 2012, is to gather more information about photographs taken by Jim Peppler for the Southern Courier by taking the pictures back into the communities that served as his photographic muse. These communities provided so much information to the Southern Courier while it was in publication, and they can still provide information to the repositories that house these photographs.  I feel like this particular workshop is helpful for the community because it gives them a chance to have a say in how the photographs are described, and it is helpful for the archive because it provides a valuable opportunity to gather information that will be helpful to researchers in the future. If all goes according to plan, I hope to have a collection of pictures that contain names of people, exact locations, and a brief description of the purpose of  the gathering or event.

 A little background information about the Southern Courier: The Southern Courier was an integrated newspaper that ran from 1965 through 1968 with the purpose of covering the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South. This paper published around 176 issues that chronicled the daily lives and race relations in southern Black and White Communities. The paper was the brain child of Harvard students, but most of its reporters were from the south. The paper hired reporters and photographers in the cities that witnessed the most Civil Rights events, Montgomery, Jackson (Miss.), Birmingham and Tuskegee.  The paper and its staff prided itself on reporting factual stories and disseminating honest and truthful information about the Civil Rights Movement and race relations in the South. This paper wrote stories on all the key players involved in any racial protest or altercation, which helped develop a wealth of information and insight about the thought process behind the race movements of the mid to late 60s.


Comments on: "Public Programming" (2)

  1. Of course our community needs to be directed, each child has abmitions like the generation before us. That is why I support fine arts that cultivate the richness of our culture. Innately we all would like to enjoy the person within, we can do so by living a life that is fulfilling. Here we need guides and indicators of what is safe and effective. We should participate and assist the future so that we preserve our Trueness, because the way we see our Past is important to the way we Craft our future.

    • Very well said, and that is why I got in to public history. I would drive through “ghettos” in Shreveport and realized that the people who now live there belived that their neighborhood(s) had always been a ghetto. Often times that was not the case. Many of the ghettos of Shreveport used to be black middle class neighborhood that were abandoned after desegregation, just like their schools were shut down because of the mis-interpretation of what was being asked for. I think it is rediculous to believe that Black people wanted to simply be “with” or “like” White people, but that is how desegregation is taught. I mean, lets take a moment to think about this for a minute…why would you willingly be around people who make no quams about their hatred towards you (I am not saying that all White people hated Black people, I would like to believe that we now acknwledge the fact that they didnt) ? I do not think anyone initially thought that there would ever be desegregated schools in the south, so that was not the orginal request. What was asked was for there to be equal funding and materials in both black and White schools. Actually, most of the time the requests were that Black people be treated like full citizens, which meant being allowed to use the same aminities that White citizens were allowed to use since they paid the same amount of taxes….I can continue about this, but right now it is simply based on some readings I picked up, conversations with former activists, and what I think is common sense and good deductive reasoning. As soon as I find the documents to back up what I am pointing out, I will blog about it 🙂

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