Welcome to Harford Voices!

The Harford Voices Oral History Exhibit includes a number of oral history video clips conducted by Harford Community College History students during the Fall 2012 semester (Bel Air, Maryland, USA) and also from students during the Fall 2013 semester .  The oral history clips are categorized into three broad themes: Civil Rights, Vietnam and Cultural Change.  Additional clips will be added in the future. The site also features a “Narrators” page with a brief summary about those who were interviewed. In addition, this exhibit includes a “Student Reflections” section that includes video and textual testimonies from the student historians who conducted and analyzed the oral history interviews.  Feel free to watch, listen, read, learn, engage and leave comments on specific clips.  We’re hoping to spur conversation and really make this an interactive digital oral history exhibit.  The Harford Community College Foundation supported the development of this project.

Student Reflections: Janice Ball

In the beginning of the project I was a little scared to ask someone to talk about their past experience in the 1960’s. Not knowing anyone in my area to speak with, I was bit worried I wouldn’t be able to do this. I am not much for speaking in public, which meant the camera was intimidating.

I tried to relate back to the 1960’s with my own memories and experiences, and it was a little hard to relate to some situations. I was four years old in 1960. I do remember hearing of colored-only places but nothing personal that affected my way of thinking of being black or white. So I guess this class and the oral history project made more aware of things. Vietnam I do remember being a big thing because I was in high school, and a lot of the boys where joining the military.

From my narrator, Jacqueline Hassell, and others I watched on the videos, it was very real and affirmed all things I had heard about the 1960’s. A lot of things were going on in the 1960’s. I think people where getting fed up with being lied to, suppressed by the narrowed minded. People wanted equal rights, wanted the freedom and rights to be speak for themselves. In most of the narrator’s stories they told of what was going on at the time and how it affected them, either in good ways or bad. I don’t believe any of these people came out the 1960’s bitter, but they had a better insight on how the world and people in it have different ideas of how we should act in the society. I believe all the narrators probably became stronger people knowing they could go on with their lives even after all the craziness of the 1960’s.

I now have a better understanding of our history I hadn’t had before. I appreciate what the generation [of the 1960’s] actually accomplished. Civil rights, women’s rights, equal rights in many ways; in employment, housing, etc. I guess in short I do have a better understanding and appreciation.