The Ball State University African American Alumni Oral History Project
This Honors thesis project follows an immersive learning course entitled the Ball State University African American Alumni Oral History Project. Through this undertaking, I worked on a team of nine members, not including the project director or the two assistant directors, and the main goal was to conduct and create videorecordings of approximately eighteen African American Ball State alumni concerning their lives before, during, and after attending or working at the university. While multiple histories have been published about Ball State, many of them do not include much about African American students or their culture on campus. As a result, our team pursued this project hoping to give a more rounded view of the university's past. The oral history project included seven weeks of learning about Ball State, the history of Muncie's African American community, and African American history through readings, assigned questions, a field trip, a film series, and a midterm exam. Closer to the last half of the semester, the team prepared for the actual interviews by attending workshops about oral history, learning how to work the HD video cameras, and researching our interviewees. Next, we learned about the transcription process and completed them. Eventually the interviews and the verbatim transcripts will be available on Ball State's Digital Media Repository. Some main elements of this thesis include an approximately twenty-minute documentary film about this entire experience, unedited copies of the two videorecorded interviews I conducted, the two verbatim transcripts I completed, and more.