The Lost Art of Oral History

We all may or may not be blessed with grandchildren. I, however, am blessed with a collection of fantastic ones.

Isaac, my inquisitive 12-year old, had an assignment in which he was required to interview someone over 30 years of age and ask them to discuss compelling historical events in their lives.

I mentioned the following historical events:

The Civil Rights Movement

The Invention of the Computer

The Viet Nam War

Women’s Rights

Isaac has had few incidents of racism. Yes, he has been called the “N” word, but sadly, I do not know of ANY young Black person who has not been called this word.

I gave him a brief history of the Civil Rights Movements. I picked up my iPad and did a search of photos of lynchings of Black men and women.

Isaac’s, jaw dropped and he wanted to know why, why?

I told him it was wrong, but people did this because they could.

He then drew the reference that the Viet Nam War and Women’s Rights were also situations in which people who were different from the status quo were treated unfairly.

However, when I told him that the original computers were the size of my kitchen, he only wanted to know the size of the screen!

For ages, this was not an assignment, but a method in which the older generation informed the younger generation. There were few books, no TV, Internet or radio.

Oral history is an excellent vehicle to connect the old with the new.
It was a wonderful informative session for us both.

Photo Credit: Mindsay Mohan Flickr via Compfight cc

Categories: Women's Issues + Awareness

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Beatrice Bailey

Beatrice Bailey was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa to a Baptist minister father and a mother who was a gospel recording artist. She has three sisters and one brother. She attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a BA in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento. Retired since 2004 from management positions with both the Xerox Corporation and the State of California, Bea now conducts customized seminars on “Budgeting for the Not So Rich and Famous”, “Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together…The Ultimate Balancing Act,” as well as interview techniques entitled, “Selling the Sizzle and Not the Steak.” In addition, she is an active member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA, where she is an Adult Sunday School teacher. Bea has been a Head Feature Writer for Senior Magazine of Northern California. She also writes a monthly newspaper column entitled, “Uniquely Bea” Currently, she has authored a best-selling book, entitled, "Farewell, My Friend” and is conducting presentations and book signings throughout the United States and Mexico. "Radio Luz,” a Spanish Speaking Christian Radio Station, has interviewed her multiple times. Bea also was selected to be included in a book by The Author’s Show, as one of the "50 Outstanding Writers You Should Be Reading”. Bea has produced and hosted a new innovative television show, “A-Z with Bea”, which aired in November 2009 on RCCTV, Sacramento, CA. Bea is active at St. Paul Baptist Church and is an Adult Sunday school Teacher, and a Small Accountability Group Leader. She is a member of Kaiser’s Bio-Ethics Committee and on the Board of Advisors for the East Lawn Corporation. Recently, she has been asked to participate as a speaker with the Black Health Today national organization. To relax, Bea likes to work out at the gym, walk, knit, paint, sew, cook, garden, and read. Traveling within the United States, Mexico, Asia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe is one of Bea’s true passions. She has two adult children, one “bonus son”, five wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She resides in Northern California.

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