Texas Communities Oral History Project Featured in the TCU Skiff!

Today’s edition of the TCU Skiff includes a front-page article on the Texas Communities Oral History Project, along with  a short video on TCU 360!
For more information on the project, click here.

Unfortunately, the sale of the house referenced in the piece may be falling through, but the larger oral history project will continue, beginning with the first classes in Spring 2013.  We will be collaborating with Rev. Kyev Tatum of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Tarrant County Black Historical & Genealogical Society, and other community partners.

Students who want to participate must co-enroll in (sign up for both of) the following courses:

HIST 30803 – Recent U.S. Urban History: Race, Space, and Community Activism

Using books, articles, and seminar discussions, students will be introduced to recent U.S. urban history, with a focus on race and racism as well as theories of community activism and grassroots social movements.  Students will complete weekly reading journals, two synthetic essays, and a semester-long small-group library and archival research project on urban community activism.  The course fulfills upper-division credit for the History major or minor, the Urban Studies minor, and the Latina/o Studies minor.  It also satisfies Cultural Awareness (CA) or Citizenship and Social Values (CSV) TCU Core Curriculum requirements.  Students must enroll in both this course and HIST 30813.

HIST 30813 – Oral History Field Research Seminar

This service-learning field research course introduces students to community-based research and oral history theory and methodology, including interviewing techniques and debates within the discipline.  Students will conduct extensive independent research outside the comfortable confines of the university.  With the professor’s guidance, and in collaboration with community partners, students will hit the pavement to interview Fort Worth-area community activists and leaders.  They will then compile and interpret the results and finally synthesize their findings by creating a multimedia website. Students must enroll in both this course and HIST 30803.

Three Recent / Upcoming Research Activities

  1. In early July, I attended the 40th Anniversary Reunion of the Texas Partido de la Raza Unida (RUP).  There I helped a team led by Emilio Zamora, Martha Cotera, and Jaime R. Puente collect oral history interviews with raza activists.
  2. On June 2, I gave a talk at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History titled “The View from the Ground: Local People and the New History of the Civil Rights Movement” (click here for my PowerPoint). The talk accompanied a small traveling exhibit based on the excellent new documentary film, Freedom Riders.  We had a great crowd that included several ordinary people who took extraordinary risks to advance the civil rights movement in Fort Worth.
  3. Next spring (2013), I will present on a state-of-the-field roundtable panel, “New Race Histories: Color Lines and Freedom Struggles,” at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in San Francisco.

Texas voter registration laws attacked | Editorials | Fort Worth, Arlington, Northeast Tarran…

Texas continues to lead the nation in voter disfranchisement through obscenely antiquated voter registration laws (rules that, not coincidentally, were designed to remove blacks, Mexican-Americans, and poor whites from the polls).  Even today voter registration drives as they exist everywhere else in the nation are illegal here.  It’s so bad the Star-Telegram editors are attacking it!

Texas voter registration laws attacked | Editorials | Fort Worth, Arlington, Northeast Tarran….

Historic Appeal to Join the Veasey Campaign

Dear TCU and UTA NAACP Members:

Dr. Max Krochmal here from the TCU history department.  In my day job I teach about community activism, civil rights, and labor history, but I am writing today as a volunteer for the campaign to elect a proven fighter for our community to Congress.

For decades Fort Worth civil rights activists have fought for not only integration but real, independent political power.  They won seats on city councils, school boards, county commissions, and even the state legislature.  Now we have a chance to add another chapter to this history: to elect the first African American Congressman from Tarrant County.

For years, Marc Veasey has represented Southeast Fort Worth and parts of Arlington in the Texas State House, and he has proven that he is a fighter who will stand up for all the minority communities in Tarrant and Texas.  He is a natural-born coalition builder, and he has been endorsed by leading Latino/a politicians, organized labor, and both daily papers in DFW.  To learn more about Marc, visit his campaign website at

Now Marc needs our help–especially your help.  He is locked in a tight race in the Democratic Primary run-off for the new 33rd Congressional District.  The election is July 31, with only one week of early voting, and turnout will be very low.

That’s where you fit it–Marc needs volunteers to go out in the streets, knock on doors, talk to the young and the elderly and others who need help getting to the polls, and finally, make sure that they get where they need to go and vote.  He has asked me to help recruit college students–the historic vanguard of the struggle for civil rights.

Can you come out today and give Marc and your community a few hours of your time?

Volunteers are needed all day, seven days a week, up until election day. But don’t delay–you don’t need to plan ahead, have a regular day, or make an appointment. Just call or text or email me for more info. I can pick you up, take you to headquarters, and introduce you to the campaign manager. I’ll even stay there and work with you!

You have no excuses. Join this historic campaign now. Call or text or go straight to  Veasey’s campaign headquarters, 6737 Brentwood Stair Rd., near the intersection of 30east and 820.


Welcome to my new blog!

Most of the information on reports on my scholarly activities, including research and teaching as well as service to the university and the community.

The living portion of the site — the blog — aims to educate readers on various current and historical issues related to various social movements and political struggles over justice, power, and opportunity — broadly defined.  It assumes that you want the truth and endeavors to provide it.  Its goal is to help readers gain a better understanding of the big policy issues that have shaped recent American history and continue to inform present-day debates about the proper role of the state, the distribution of power and resources, and ongoing campaigns for social change.

I hope that the blog encourages critical thinking among students and other interested readers.  Please feel free to disagree with me in the comments.

Of course, the occasional editorial or opinionated remark does not reflect the official views of TCU, the Department of History of Geography, or anyone else besides yours truly.

Please let me know what you think!