[PAST EVENT] Living the Legacy: Oral Histories Commemorating 50 years of African Americans in Residence

August 31, 2017 - January 15, 2018
Swem Library, Entrance Gallery
400 Landrum Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
Janet Brown Strafer, Karen Ely, and Lynn Briley sitting for an oral history interview.
Janet Brown Strafer, Karen Ely, and Lynn Briley sitting for an oral history interview.

In 2017-2018, William & Mary is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of African Americans in Residence. The theme of the anniversary is Sankofa, which, in the Akan language of West Africa, reflects the idea that ?it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.? The commemoration slogan, ?Building on the Legacy,? derives from the Sankofa teaching that we must know and understand our past in order to move forward and make the most of our future.

As a part of the commemorative efforts, William & Mary?s oral historian, alongside Special Collections and the 50th Anniversary Committee, is recording the stories of alumni, faculty and staff in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of African Americans living on campus during these first fifty years.

Living the Legacy is a dynamic exhibit featuring the intricate, inspiring stories of African Americans who experienced these inaugural years firsthand and who broke barriers for the generations to come. Throughout the year the exhibit will grow, with new panels being added for each story we collect. Ultimately, this exhibit will convey pieces of the stories of alumni, faculty and staff; stories of finding community, overcoming adversity, owning the experience of being at William & Mary, and navigating the challenges of being ?the first.?  

If you or anyone you know would like to contribute to this project by sitting for an oral history, please contact Oral Historian Carmen Bolt.

Admission is free, and the exhibit may be viewed during Swem Library's operating hours.


Jennie Davy, W&M Libraries Exhibits Manager | Phone: 757.221.3062 | [[w|jadavy]]