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Welcome! The History Center is requiring that all visitors continue to wear masks inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Our visitors include young audiences and others who are unable to be vaccinated. We appreciate your respect and awareness in following our Health & Safety Protocols

BLACK EXPERIENCE IN TOMPKINS COUNTY

Oral History Collection

The History Center in Tompkins County’s Oral History Program collects, preserves, and amplifies the stories of our local community.

The Black Experience in Tompkins County Oral History Collection was established in 2021 to highlight interviews and stories in our archives that explore the experiences of Black, African-American, African diaspora, and African people living in Tompkins County. The topics of these interviews explore a wide range of experiences, community, and culture, and the stories shared may have been guided by the specific project the interview was recorded for. This collection will continue to expand as our Oral History archives continue to grow. As of 2021 this collection includes 10+ interviews recorded between 2008 and 2020. This collection will continue to expand as our Oral History archives continue to grow.

Trigger warnings: systemic racism, antisemitism, sexism, descriptions of state sanctioned violence, child abuse, child sexual abuse, anti-Black sentiment, white supremacy.  

Visit our Exhibit Hall to hear oral history clips in our Story Vault exhibit!

BLACK EXPERIENCE IN TOMPKINS COUNTY FINDING AID



Leslyn McBean Clairborne was interviewed in 2019 as part of the Local Sisters of Change Oral History Project coordinated by the Generation to Generation Youth Ambassador program at The History Center.

FEATURED ORAL HISTORY PROJECTS

2019 - Local Sisters of Change

In collaboration with the Dorothy Cotton Institute and the Cornell Anthropology Department, undergraduate students from Cornell University explored the racial and social justice work of nine local women through oral history interviews.

Trigger warnings: Some interviews include experiences with white supremacy, anti-Black sentiment, domestic abuse, death, and gender-erasure.

LOCAL SISTERS OF CHANGE FINDING AID

2018 - Living & Working in a Diverse World - Cornell Anthropology 1900

College students conducted oral history interviews with local residents about their experiences in Tompkins County for the course “Cornell Anthropology 1900 – Global Engagements: Living & Working in a Diverse World.” Project supervised by Professor Sofia Villenas in collaboration with History Center staff Julia Taylor.

Trigger warnings: Some interviews include experiences with child abuse, descriptions of anti-Black racism, descriptions of state sanctioned violence, modern colonial trauma, Indigenous erasure, drug and alcohol addiction, war, description of bombs falling, sexual harassment, violence against women.

LIVING & WORKING IN A DIVERSE WORLD FINDING AID

BLACK EXPERIENCE IN TOMPKINS COUNTY - On SoundCloud

**PLEASE NOTE** Not all of our oral histories are available on SoundCloud or other remote streaming services. If you would like to listen to a specific interview please reach out to our archivist at archives@thehistorycenter.net to access a specific interview from our collections. Not all interviews are available yet for public listening per the interviewees request.

Audio clips may NOT be reproduced without permission. 


Thanks to support from the two-year (2021–2022) "Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility" grant from the Museum Association of New York and the Institute of Museum & Library Services, The History Center is processing its oral history collections for improved accessibility.

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Territory

Hours

Exhibit Hall Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm - CLOSED Sun-Tues

Cornell Local History Research Library & Archives - By appointment only. Please contact archives@thehistorycenter.net

Contact                                                     

Email: Refer to Contact page for individual emails, General inquiries to community@thehistorycenter.net

Phone: 607-273-8284

Web: thehistorycenter.net

Find us on social media @tompkinshistory





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