Sidney Blackburn

Oral History Interview with Mac McField by Sidney Blackburn

Oral History Project Reflection:

Some things that I learned from the technical side of this project is the amount of paperwork and background work that is needed to complete a project of this magnitude. I have never completed a project like this and learning about have consent forms and other paperwork was actually really informative and I can see this being handy in the future. As we go through life, I am not sure what projects I will come across for the workplace and having this knowledge is crucial to doing anything in the future.

One of the most challenging things I found with this assignment was finding someone to interview. To my surprise I did not find someone with knowledge or have any experience with the Columbia Ave Riots in north Philadelphia, knowing this I felt stuck and did not know the best way to continue with the project. Taking my knowledge from what I understand of the Riot I decided to find someone that would have some insight on the problems going on today that somewhat mirror what that protest was about as well. I feel as though taking that path I was able to get a decent interview done. With more time to complete this and had the resources to find someone with the knowledge of the Columbia Ave Riots I think I could have made a great oral history and could make a bigger impact on the history that we can share with future generations.

The most enjoyable aspect of this project was talking to different people about what is going on today and hearing of the different protests that they may have been apart of even if it was not my original subject. I did not realize how much we rely on hearing things from others and internalizing it. Learning from others, even in the form of textbooks, is the way everyone learns and audio of events from people living through them gives a perspective that the textbooks cannot.

Actually conducting this oral history project I was quite nervous. Mainly because I had some doubt about my questions not being thoughtful enough. I think I called my mom so many times with new questions and although I think some of what she said is because she was my mother, I thought my questions would be thought provoking. I try to do my best work for assignments so that was a main stressor for me. The other was not being able to find someone with knowledge of the Columbia Ave Riots that I discussed earlier and had to find a way to navigate through that.

To be honest I probably would not change anything about the content. Professor Sias has given us plenty of background information and materials for this project for us to understand the major concepts as well as background information that we need for the legality of the project as well. For future students, I would like to say that although this project may seem daunting at first, I believe that by the end of it you will gain valuable information. In college, this is the time that we use to find ourselves and also figure out what we like and are great at. This is a project that will be useful in almost all fields and is good information to keep stored in our brains. This will help us all in the long run and is not an assignment that will never help you again in life. Keep your head up and keep your mind open to the possibilities that this assignment and future assignments will prepare you for later in life.

StoryCorps URL: