By making the Krueger-Scott Collection publically available we hope to draw attention to these remarkable life stories and the wider network of American stories with which they engage and can help us to better understand. Below are some of the other ways we have begun to share these stories.
We Came and Stayed
Coyt Jones migrated to Newark from South Carolina in 1927. In his interview, Mr. Jones reflects on his arrival in Newark and the city in which he raised his family, including his son, the artist and activist Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and his grandson, Ras Baraka, the current mayor of Newark. For the first issue of the Newest Americans digital magazine, Mayor Baraka shared his own memories of growing up in Newark, and answered some of the same questions posed to his grandfather twenty years ago. Weaving the interviews together with original and archival photography and video, this short documentary explores how the Great Migration transformed a family and a city.
Glassbook Project: Provisions
An audiovisual essay and two short documentary videos about the process of making books made of glass inspired by narratives from the Krueger-Scott Collection. In 2015, GlassBooks founder Nick Kline partnered with Newark artist Adrienne Wheeler, Samantha J. Boardman, Endless Editions and Newark glass studio GlassRoots to introduce the collection to his Rutgers University-Newark Book Arts class. Kline, Wheeler and the students created glass books that explore the effects of the seismic change the Great Migration brought to individuals, their families, the city of Newark and the country at large. The “Provisions” collection curated from their work and audio from Krueger-Scott narrators was exhibited at the Gateway Project Gallery in Newark in 2015.
Over My Dead Body!
In 1967, Louise Epperson, an occupational therapist and community activist, led the resistance to the plan to “blight” her neighborhood and use the land to build a medical school in Newark. In this text and audio essay, Katie Singer places her written profile of Louise Epperson in dialogue with Ms. Epperson’s own voice from her Krueger-Scott interview. The result is a deeply embodied account of the conditions and events that sparked Newark’s long summer of ’67.
Collard Greens All Year Long
This article, originally published in the Winter 2012 issue of the journal Vandal, explores the way foodways intersected with the Second Great Migration as told in the narratives of the Kreuger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection. Article includes transcript excerpts, courtesy of the Newark Public Library, and portraits of the narrators taken by photographer Bill May.
“We Found Our Way”: Newark Portraits from the Great Migration
In 2016 the Newark Public Library announced their annual Black History Celebration exhibit would center on the narratives of the Krueger-Scott Collection. Guest curator Samantha J. Boardman assembled striking photo portraits of interviewers and narrators by photographer Bill May, never-before-seen images from the Al Henderson portrait studio archive from the Newark Public Library’s Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, and select fine prints from the library’s own world-class special collections to evoke the lives and times of these courageous history makers. These different modes of portraiture, presented along with digital audio collages composed from the interviews themselves, short documentary videos based on stories from the collection produced as part of the Newest Americans project, and pieces from the GlassBooks: Provisions exhibit, makes We Found Our Way a joyful and intimate celebration of Newark’s Great Migration legacy. Related public programming is scheduled for the duration of the exhibit which runs from February 4th-April 7th, 2016 at the Newark Public Library, located at 5 Washington Street in Newark, NJ.
Interviews from the collection have also been developed into college curricular material through the Newest Americans initiative beginning in 2014. Students in journalism classes used narrators’ stories of living through late 1960’s urban renewal projects as a jumping off point to develop their own written and multimedia explorations of the changing Newark cityscape. A theatre class employed interviews from the collection to introduce students to the concept of narrative development. Public History undergraduates encountered the collection as a model of collaborative scholarship between the university, the local community, and the civic institutions that for years supported and housed the project.