oral history Archive

“Documenting Culture in the 21st Century:” Symposium at the American Folklife Center

As part of our work at the McElroy House: Organization for Culture Resources, and in connection with the work we do through the Boiled Down Juice, founder Meredith Martin-Moats has been invited to speak at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as part of a symposium entitled, “Documenting Culture in the 21st
Category: Folklife

Friday Video Myles Horton: Radical Hillbilly

Here’s some Friday inspiration. Myles Horton was one of the founders of the Highlander Research and Education Center, most widely known for its role in the civil rights movement and in the Appalachian People’s Movements. He was interviewed by Bill Moyers in 1981 where he discusses his childhood, the creation of Highlander, and his theories
Category: Community Action

Honoring Local Women’s Stories: Storytelling and Oral History Event at the McElroy House

    Growing up in an intergenerational family with my grandmother in the home, family gatherings and daily life were filled with stories about the lives of people who had long since passed on. Likewise, the landscape was marked by these stories. I knew that my grandfather made a home on what is now a
Category: Arkansas

Muzzled Oxen Part 4: Malaria and Tornados

  In several past columns I’ve discussed the recent publication Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Written by the late Genevieve Grant Sadler of California and published by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, this memoir tells of Sadler’s time in the bottoms outside of Dardanelle, Arkansas where she and her
Category: African American

Running Dry: A Creek Discovery

The Backyard Living column is a regular feature in ABOUT the River Valley magazine and a partnership between this site, A View from the Backroads, and the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action. This column originally ran in the June issue ofABOUT the River Valley Magazine.  All columns in this series are written by Meredith Martin-Moats. Click here to learn
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

River Valley Quilters: So Much More Than Sewing.

  This piece was originally published in the December issue of ABOUT the River Valley magazine. Go here to see the original publication.   Quilting is often thought of as a traditional art, but anyone familiar with the craft will tell you that it’s alive and flourishing. Implementing the skills of former generations with modern tools,
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

McElroy House Pie Sale: Stories from Two Sisters

  Next Saturday the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action will hold its first annual Harvest Walk/Run beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Russellville Depot. If you didn’t pre-register you can still sign up the day of the event. There’s no need to be a runner to take part. This is a
Category: Arkansas

Friday Video: Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project

This week’s Friday Video highlights the work of Highlander Research and Education Center’s Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project. This program brings together cultural organizers from around the south to learn from other grassroots organizations and develop strategies for their home communities. Drawing from local cultures, participants gain skills to help them better advocate for community
Category: Arkansas

Prayer Shawls and Homemade Quilts

  In the corner of my living room closet is a stack of handmade quilts, blankets, and throws. Some of them come from great grandmothers and were made generations ago in the rural areas of Harkey Valley and Cardon Bottoms. Others were made during my own lifetime in small homes in the growing town of
Category: Arkansas

Muzzled Oxen Part 2: The Price of Cotton

Last month we explored a recent book published by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies entitled Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. Written by the late Genevieve Grant Sadler of California, the memoir explores her years in Yell County Arkansas where her family worked the cotton fields outside of Dardanelle. The
Category: African American History