The student media at TCU just ran a great piece on the Texas Communities Oral History Project class presentations last Wednesday. Congratulations to all of our wonderful students! You can read the article below, or see the original here: https://www.tcu360.com/2015/12/1210oralhistory/
Students in the Texas Communities Oral History Project class presented their semester-long research and launched their websites last night at a community dinner at TCU. Their small-group projects focused on the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District Lodge 776 at the Fort Worth “bomber plant” and surrounding communities; mass incarceration in Fort Worth and its effects on individuals and neighborhoods including Stop Six; and the personal and collective struggles of Fort Worth’s LGBT residents.
The websites are now live and available to the public (click the titles to visit):
Many of the people who were interviewed for the project attended the community dinner and offered their own comments and suggestions after the student presentations. It was thrilling just to see such a diverse mix of people in the same room: union activists, community advocates for incarcerated people, and many of the city’s LGBT leaders. Thanks to everyone who contributed to these projects!
Join us on Wednesday, December 9, for this community dinner and presentation of student work! RSVP online at tinyurl.com/TCUOralHistory2015
Great write-up on the CRBB Oral History Project! Thanks to IDCL TX!
Part II of a series investigating projects that document religious and cultural diversity across the country.
By Lauren Horn Griffin
As we prepare to launch our own research project mapping and documenting the cultural diversity of Texas, we want to give our readers an idea of the types of initiatives from across the country that examine religion and culture in the public sphere. Each of these projects, like the IDCL, are working to provide resources that will further conversations about the challenges and possibilities of diversity in the U.S. We will be posting a series of blogs profiling a variety of projects that are dedicated to improving understandings of religious diversity.
Based at Texas Christian University, the Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project conducts interviews communicating the experiences of black and brown people in Texas from the onset of the civil rights era. Detailing the role of…
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Learn from the past…
…change the future.
A History of Multicultural America
HIST 10713 – Fall 2015 – Enroll Now!
This class surveys the making of the United States from a multicultural perspective. Spanning the precolonial era to the present, the course includes units on Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, European immigrants, and Latinos/as–analyzing the different groups comparatively and in relationship to one another. In addition to history, the course includes elements of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and explores the intersections between race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality.
Students will learn this history by reading and discussing the perspectives of diverse authors and watching a series of documentary and feature films about each group. In addition to our textbook–Ron Takaki’s classic, A Different Mirror–we will read the following books:
- N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
- Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes
- Thomas Bell, Out of This Furnace
- Oscar Zeta Acosta, The Revolt of the Cockroach People
- Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior
Assignments include reading response papers and a family oral history interview project. Questions Please email me at email@example.com
The Civil Rights in Black and Brown oral history project is now hiring for summer 2015! We seek several graduate student research assistants to work full-time for two months on a large collaborative effort to collect oral history interviews among African American, Mexican American, and white civil rights activists across Texas. Housed at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth in partnership with nearby universities, CRBB is directed by Max Krochmal, Marvin Dulaney, Jose Angel Gutierrez, and Todd Moye. Field research sites for 2015 include East Texas, the Brazos Valley, the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Paso. For more details on the project, visit https://crbb.tcu.edu/about.
Research Assistants (RAs) will undergo an intensive eight-day training at TCU that includes a workshop on the subject areas and hands-on oral history practice in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The RAs will then be assigned to selected remote filed sites in Texas for six weeks of full-time oral history fieldwork. RAs will contact gatekeepers and consultants and interview a wide range of activists who contributed to the black and brown freedom struggles in their respective cities. Finally, RAs will return to TCU for a week of data processing and other wrap-up activities. Work begins June 5, 2015 and concludes July 31, 2015.
Research Assistants will receive a $5,000 stipend for eight weeks of full-time work as well as free lodging, most meals, and all travel expenses during the project. Ground or air travel to and from DFW before and after the project is not provided.
Applicants must be pursuing a graduate degree in History, American Studies, African American Studies, Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies, Journalism, Political Science or a related field of study. CRBB interviews and other data may be included in the RAs’ own research projects. Interest or expertise in the black freedom struggle and/or long Chicano Movement is preferred, as is prior experience with oral history. Spanish/English bilingual is also preferred but not required of all RAs. TCU is an Affirmative Action / EEO employer, and the project seeks a diverse staff that reflects our target research subjects.
To apply, complete the online form at https://tcu.iGreentree.com/CSS_External/CSSPage_Referred.ASP?Req=2015-042, AND after applying, upload a cover letter explaining your interest in the project and a full academic CV. Applications are due on March 15, 2015, with Skype interviews to commence soon after. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-257-3676.
I am pleased to share that my an article on work appears in the current issue of Endeavors, the university’s magazine of research and creative activity. Click here to read it.
The piece caught the eye of some people in TCU’s Office of Strategic Communications. They decided to include a photo of me and a blurb on my work in a big ad for the university in an upcoming issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (see left). They also created a profile on me as part of a campus-wide marketing campaign titled “Doers, Dreamers, and Trailblazers.” It’s all a little strange but also flattering and encouraging. Overall, I’m glad that TCU values the work I’m doing and wants to share it with the world! Check out my profile here.
By Mercedes Ynocencio // Posted April 21, 2014
For the first time, the TCU Civil Rights Bus Tour will be offered for class credit.
Students will learn about race, racism and other forms of oppression that still exist today this May during the summer session led by TCU history professor Max Krochmal. The bus tour will take students to visit different civil rights landmarks and students will also be able to talk to people who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
Krochmal said the course focuses largely on how these activists were normal college students at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, and that they were able to make a difference.
The tour also allows students to learn about social change and social justice with a different approach.
“Because we do have such a strong emphasis on how students can make a difference, I think it really has a profound impact on people,” Krochmal said.
Krochmal said the class will last three weeks and with each week focusing on another element of the course.
The first week will be spent learning the basics of the Civil Rights Movement and preparing for the trip. The second week will be the bus tour, and the third week will be spent reflecting on the trip, he said. The class has no final exam, Krochmal said.
The bus tour lasts six days, spanning though historical civil rights landmarks throughout Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, he said.
Instead, students will form groups and present on another movement of interest in history or in another part of the world, or present a plan for change that they think is important, he said.
“We look at the past to learn about the present and to help the students change the future,” Krochmal said.
In the past, the bus tour was conducted over winter break as an extracurricular activity, he said.
The class is open to any major or classification, and counts for CORE credit as Social Science (SSC), and Historical Traditions (HT) or Citizenship and Social Values (CSV).
Joe Vera, a sophomore political science major, said he is planning on enrolling in the course. He became interested after reading a book about the Civil Rights Movement.
“What got me excited about this tour is getting the hands on portion of the class,” he said. “It’s not just sitting in a classroom, we would get to physically see things.”
This past summer, I was honored to have the opportunity to speak at a teacher institute at the Sixth Floor Museum about the Viva Kennedy campaign and the Mexican American civil rights movement in Texas. The teachers spent a whole week learning about the larger relationship between JFK, Dallas, and the struggle for civil rights. Each afternoon, the teachers prepared lesson plans on specific subjects, including one for elementary school students on “Hispanic Americans,” inspired by my talk. Check out all of the lesson plans here on the museum’s website, and watch this very slick summary video (it gets good around 2:30 haha):
My August 12 op-ed in the Dallas Morning News is copied below. You can see the online comments here. I was also the subject of this amazing letter to the editor. As TCU’s Provost is fond of saying, we are all fighting a war against ignorance.
Grass-roots rumblings go much deeper than Trayvon Martin response
By Max Krochmal
Published: 11 August 2013 10:08 PM
Updated: 11 August 2013 10:13 PM
For the last two years, I have traveled around the South with my TCU students on a civil rights bus tour. In addition to visiting memorials and museums, we’ve had the opportunity to talk to dozens of civil rights activists, the unsung heroes and heroines of the local freedom movements that helped cripple the system of Jim Crow.
But the journey doesn’t always reflect triumph and progress. “The movement isn’t over” is a frequent refrain from the activists. They say that many of the hard-won gains are rapidly being reversed, citing the rise of voter ID bills and other restrictions. And they invariably conclude their remarks by telling the students that it’s their turn to pick up the torch and carry the struggle forward.
Many of my students and others around the country are now answering that call, mobilizing in huge numbers in support of Trayvon Martin, participating in voter registration drives, and, in North Carolina, joining the “Moral Mondays” crusade that is sweeping the state. The killing of Martin has struck a chord in black America, reminding African-Americans of a long history of violence based on racial stereotypes and the ongoing deferral of justice in the country’s police departments and legal system.
The mobilizations around the Martin case represent just the tip of a much larger iceberg. Ordinary people, young and old, are coming together to confront the many problems facing African-Americans, Latinos and Latinas, women, sexual minorities, working people, immigrants and the poor. Just as the Arab Spring exploded onto the scene and spread across the Middle East and North Africa, the United States may now be witnessing the florescence of a new wave of democratic social movements.
History suggests that social movements occur when a large number of ordinary people come to believe that they are capable of changing the world around them. Participants must individually achieve a heightened level of political self-respect — they must recognize that they cannot wait for other people to do things for them and, instead, decide that they themselves are the agent of change. The most successful social movements are the ones in which people do this collectively, through a process of trial and error, taking time at each step along the way to analyze, reflect upon, and learn from their actions as well as the larger society’s reactions.
For example, the early leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the key civil rights movement organization on the ground, were but a group of ordinary, mostly first-generation, black college students, who came together on campuses across the South to discuss the indignities of Jim Crow and the need to take action. Each local group launched uncoordinated sit-ins at lunch counters and department stores throughout the region.
What made them the shock troops of a powerful movement was the fact that once they gathered and learned from one another, they organized a new wave of coordinated direct action protests, voter registration drives and educational initiatives aimed at empowering local people and multiplying the movement’s leadership.
Today in North Carolina, leaders of the state NAACP are building upon years of grass-roots coalition-building to launch Moral Mondays, a diverse movement aimed at halting the reversal of many hard-won gains. Their weekly rallies and acts of civil disobedience are drawing attention to the state legislature’s aggressive efforts to restrict the right to vote. They are also fighting against cuts to the state’s renowned public education system, unemployment benefits, and even abortion rights.
The commemoration and re-enactment of the March on Washington later this month will be anything but an exercise in nostalgia. Participants would do well to remember some of the forgotten lessons of the march that took place 50 years ago:
First, the 1963 demonstration was titled the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” a name that indicated that its agenda included not only equal rights but economic justice issues.
Second, protesters might wish to recall the words of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who reminded the marchers that it would be up to them — to ordinary people — to produce the change they wanted to see and that they couldn’t wait on the government to take action for them. Those words, while muttered in the ’60s, couldn’t ring truer today.
Max Krochmal is an assistant professor of history at Texas Christian University and may be contacted at email@example.com.