Essays

John Pearce Interview Essay

jkincaid : December 10, 2009 12:13 pm : Essays

Interview conducted by Jenna Kincaid and Sadie Smith

Oral history provides the field of history an opportunity to study events, movements, or people from the bottom up.  Individual narratives and perspectives construct a history not found in popular history.  Paul Thompson argues in The Voice of the Past that oral histories enable persons to voice history through his or her personal story and the narrator’s individual bias only broadens history’s scope to encompass the social and cultural human experience. (1) Oral history provides a unique opportunity to study and examine James Farmer’s time at University of Mary Washington (formerly Mary Washington College).  An interview with former MWC historic preservation professor John Pearce adds to the James Farmer at UMW oral history project a brief perspective and narration of Farmer’s contributions to the campus’ diversity and racial awareness. more »

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Dean Rucker on James Farmer

Murphy : December 10, 2009 12:05 pm : Essays

 Cedric Rucker, the current Dean of Student Life for the University of Mary Washington, returned to the university after completing his undergraduate degree when James Farmer was a distinguished visiting professor in 1989. He was interviewed about his experiences with James Farmer during his time at Mary Washington. The interview focused on the contributions that James Farmer made as a professor, as a titan of the civil rights movement and as a man to the Mary Washington community as well as the Fredericksburg community.1  James Farmer, according to Dean Rucker, was a person who engaged students in his lectures and in casual conversations outside the classroom. His classes were very popular and always filled. Dean Rucker said that Farmer advocated diversity and service and scholarship during his time at Mary Washington for everyone. His personality engaged everyone around him and he would always be available and willing to speak with students about any topic, not just the civil rights movement or his own experiences. more »

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Interview with Dr. Venita McCall Essay

zach : December 10, 2009 11:16 am : Essays

Zach Kelly

November 30th 2009

Oral History and James Farmer

James Farmer Interview Essay

Doctor Venita McCall was interviewed on November 12th 2009. She was interviewed in order to gain further information about James Farmer and his time spent at the University of Mary Washington near the end of his life. The interview focused on Farmer’s time here both as a teacher and as a historical figure, as well as his participation in the James Farmer Scholars Program that was set up shortly before his time at the University, and after his arrival was named after him. Dr. McCall had some knowledge of the name James Farmer, but as it always was for the civil rights pioneer, he was not the figure that she knew the most about, until he arrived in Fredericksburg. The Education Professor Dr. McCall is no stranger to the Civil Rights Movement and being actively involved in the struggle for racial equality, as she was the first female African American Professor at the University of Mary Washington to receive tenure after her time working at the University in an administrative role. She transitioned into teaching when the school began to develop its Education department and has taught at UMW ever since. She credits James Farmer, as well as the others involved in the Civil Rights Movement for her presence at the University, as she says several times during the interview, she would not have had those doors opened for her had they not done what they did. more »

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Interview with Dr. Arthur Tracy Essay

mdemarr : December 10, 2009 11:06 am : Essays

Professor Arthur Tracy was the Department Chair at the time that James Farmer was hired at Mary Washington. Tracy taught at Mary Washington through of the spring 2009 semester. He had a good working relationship with James Farmer until Tracy stepped down from the chair position, and began his involvement with the American Studies department. Once Tracy took that program his time with Farmer was limited to a couple of visits a year. According to Tracy this seems to be a regret of his. more »

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Interview with Dr. Claudine Ferrell

tsherran : December 10, 2009 10:20 am : Essays, Uncategorized

On November 16, 2009 we conducted an interview with Dr. Claudine Ferrell, a history professor at the University of Mary Washington.  The focus of the interview was her memories about teaching alongside civil rights activist James Farmer, who taught history courses at Mary Washington between 1984 and 1998.  During the interview, Professor Ferrell revealed valuable and fascinating information about Farmer’s tenure at Mary Washington that can help us to understand his impacts while teaching.  His presence at Mary Washington had numerous impacts on the faculty, administration, and students.  Furthermore, the interview also highlights the nature of oral history.
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Interview with Dean Rucker Essay

cherbert : December 10, 2009 10:17 am : Essays

James Farmer Interview Essay

This essay is in response to the interview conducted with Dean of Student life at the University of Mary Washington Cedric Rucker, and will examine the contributions this has had to the oral history of James Farmer.  Dean Rucker served on the faculty with Dr. Farmer for almost a decade and provided valuable information about Farmers times at Mary Washington.
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Interview with Dr. Poska Essay

Reverend : December 10, 2009 10:09 am : Essays

Interview with Dr. Allyson Poska, Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington
Conducted by: Jacqueline Marshall and Courtney Chapman

James (“Jim”) Farmer was extremely active in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, and continued to spread his wealth of knowledge about that era to students at Mary Washington College, where he taught after moving to the Fredericksburg area later in his life. While many remember Farmer as an activist, others will remember him as a teacher who possessed a “booming voice”(1) and was an excellent story teller. One such person is Dr. Allyson Poska. more »

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Dr. McCall Interview Essay

nford2 : December 10, 2009 8:49 am : Essays

Nick Ford
James Farmer Interview Essay
This interview was conducted with Ms‭. ‬Venitta McCall‭, ‬a professor in the education department at the University of Mary Washington‭. ‬She is the university’s first female African American full professor‭. ‬Her interaction with James Farmer comes from her involvement as the head of the James Farmer Scholars Program‭. ‬The James Farmer Scholars Program was established in 1987‭ ‬as an effort by then Mary Washington College‭, ‬to provide opportunities and knowledge to students who may not have considered college as part of their future beforehand‭. ‬Another crucial part of the program was the‭ “‬Afro centric‭” ‬approach to education that the program offered in addition to many of the standard educational practices involved in the program.1‭ ‬Dr‭. ‬McCall was brought in from at the beginning to head up the program‭. ‬
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Interview with Dr. Allyson Poska

chapman471 : December 10, 2009 6:28 am : Essays

Dr. Allyson Poska has been a faculty member at the Univsersity of Mary Washington for the past eighteen years.  I recently interviewed her in order to learn about the time she worked with James Farmer.  Although a faculty member for eighteen years, and working with Farmer for eight, Dr. Poska admits that she did not know the Civil Rights leader well as he was rarely on campus.  In a half-hour long interview, she reveals a different version of Farmer’s time spent at Mary Washington compared to stories told by administration and other faculty members.  Throughout the interview she highlights his class, tensions, and legacy, or lack of.
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Margaret Mock on James Farmer

christianelauer471 : December 9, 2009 8:47 pm : Blog, Essays

Oral history, as a methodology for historical research, can be a valuable tool to historians and those interested in the past.  As Paul Thompson says in his book The Voice of the Past:  Oral History, it “can be used to change the focus of history itself, and open up new areas of inquiry.”1  As a class, we have charged ourselves with the duty of archiving the oral histories of the men and women who associated with the iconic civil rights leader James Farmer during his time at the University of Mary Washington, then known as Mary Washington College. more »

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