Meridian is loved by many, and its future is a major concern for all.
Join the Meridian Architectural Trust as we continue bringing subject matter experts in the field of historic preservation to share best practices with us.
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Special Projects Director
Mississippi Humanities Council
from Concept to Creation
The Many Facets of Oral Histories: Developing an Oral History from Concept to Creation
December 13, 2022
G. Mark LaFrancis of Natchez is one of Mississippi's foremost oral historians and oral history workshop presenters. A professional journalist for more than 30 years, LaFrancis combines decades of interviewing skills and story gathering in one fast-paced, interactive presentation.
He has coordinated ten oral histories and been the lead interviewer on most of them. Most notably is his award-winning Mississippi World War II Veteran Oral History Project which spanned five years and resulted in the gathering of more than 90 veterans' oral histories. Another is the Parchman Ordeal Oral History, which entailed interviewing two-dozen subjects who, as young men and women, were illegally incarcerated at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman. That oral history was developed into an award-winning documentary "The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story," and a book The Parchman Ordeal: 1965 Natchez Civil Rights Injustice.
"A successful oral history is an incredible experience both for the oral historian and the subjects, as well as the community by creating a comprehensive 'voice' about events in history and time," LaFrancis said. "In addition, an oral history provides the public, scholars, students, and others a chance to gain a deep understanding of people, places, and events."
LaFrancis has developed techniques to aid even the novice to complete a successful oral history.
A professional oral historian, Mark teaches the many facets of oral histories to groups, churches, schools, civic organizations through “Developing an Oral History from Concept to Creation.”
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