Connexions Resource Centre
Oral History & Memoirs
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Bequests (September 28, 2017)
Many of us have made working for social justice a lifetime commitment. If you are thinking about leaving a legacy for social justice that will live on, you might want to consider leaving a bequest to Connexions in your will.
- People's History, Memory & Archives (September 7, 2017)
A gateway to resources on people's history and grassroots archives.
- The Memory Code: how oral cultures memorise so much information (September 26, 2016)
Long before the ancient Celts, Aboriginal Australians were recording vast scores of knowledge to memory and passing it to successive generations. Aboriginal people demonstrate that their oral traditions are not only highly detailed and complex, but they can survive -- accurately -- for thousands, even tens of thousands, of years.
- A Memoir of Life in Struggle (November 1, 2015)
Book review of Ernest Tate's Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s: A Memoir, Volume One, Canada 1955-1965.
- Deep time: Aboriginal stories tell of when the Great Barrier Reef was dry land (January 29, 2015)
Stories told by Australia's Aboriginal peoples tell of the time, over 10,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age came to an end, and sea levels rose by 120 metres. The narratives tally with the findings of contemporary science, raising the question: what is it about Aborigines and their culture than so accurately transmitted their oral traditions across thousands of generations?
- The Case for Grassroots Archives (May 2, 2013)
Grassroots archives play a valuable role in what has been called "the battle of memory". People's history projects such as grassroots archives preserve and share stories of resistance, hidden histories, and alternative visions.
- Seeds of Fire (March 7, 2013)
Recalling events that happened on this day in history. Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.
- Grassroots archive information sheet (November 24, 2012)
Connexions is working on a project to help network grassroots archives and collections of materials about activist and radical history. If you have a collection of social justice materials in your basement/locker, etc., and would like to participate in an exploration of co-operative archiving and/or searching for shared space, please fill out this form and email it to Connexions.
- Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory (November 2, 2012)
CONNEXIONS and Beit Zatoun are spotlighting grassroots archives this November with an open house and networking event November 24, a talk and discussion November 27, and an exhibit (November 16-27).
- Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory (October 14, 2012)
CONNEXIONS and Beit Zatoun are spotlighting grassroots archives this November with an open house and networking event November 24, a talk and discussion November 27, and an exhibit (November 16-27). Grassroots archives play a valuable role in what has been called the battle of memory. Mainstream media and institutions of power consign inconvenient histories, struggles, and alternative visions to what George Orwell called the memory hole. Peoples history projects such as grassroots archives preserve and share stories of resistance, hidden histories, and alternative visions. Their role is particularly important as official archives are forced to restrict acquisitions, limit access and discard materials as funding is slashed.
- Is that an archive in your basement... or are you just hoarding? (August 31, 2012)
Are you an 'accidental archivist'? Have you been saving the publications and documents produced by the social justice projects you've been involved in? Then Connexions would like to hear from you.
- Personal histories of the early CIO (2012)
Transcript of a talk given by 5 people who were involved in CIO organizing in the 1930s.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- So Different Yet So Familiar (September 8, 2010)
A fascinating and extremely readable account of a life now vanished, destroyed by the insatiable appetite of capital and told with acid wit and great style making it enjoyable to relish the language but not too much, it's not a travelog but a rare account of life that most of us are barely aware exists.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Feeling Racism (October 26, 2009)
I have found that when a person has faced racism and discrimination, he can never forget it, it stays with him always. Seeing my mother treated with such disrespect and rudeness, only because of her race, was worse than being discriminated against myself. It burned into my soul, and it will never go away.
- "Solidarity, Not Charity" - Revolution in the Ninth Ward (April 7, 2006)
In New Orleans, the people have stopped being patient with false choices. They have stopped trusting in politicians who represent only themselves and their contributors. They have chosen the common good, and they have bypassed the system that failed them in order to reclaim their lives through direct and positive action.
- Revolutionary Optimist (January 15, 2000)
- Detroiters Remember the 1967 Rebellion (September 1, 1997)
An interview with Ed Vaughn, an eyewitness observer of the 1967 Detroit rebellion, on the event, its causes and its impact on history.
- How Our Lives Have Been Changed (1997)
You understand that there's a "common union" and "community," which of course is where "communion" comes from. That's better than what I had before. The best writers write with their own voice; and in this strike I've learned to speak with a voice I didn't know I had, the verbal rather than written voice.
- Locked Out! One Wife's Story of the Staley Struggle (1997)
- Memories of the Depression (November 2, 1979)
Daily life experiences during the Great Depression.
- Interview with J.J. Lebel 1975 (1975)
Transcript of an interview with J.J. Lebel.
- The Informal Work Group (1973)
Stan Weir on some of his life experiences at work and what he saw as the "the only organizational form opposed to formal bureaucracies which cannot be captured by them", the informal work group.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Abortion: Stories from North and South
Author: Singer, Gail
- American Dreams: Lost and Found
Author: Terkel, Studs
Interviews with 100 Americans who relate their dreams, disappointments, aspirations and experiences.
- Diary of Bergen-Belsen
Author: Levy-Hass, Hanna; with a foreword and afterword by Amira Hass
Hanna Lévy-Hass, a Yugoslavian Jew, emerged a defiant survivor of the Holocaust. Her observations, recorded in her own incomparable voice, shed new light on the lived experience of Nazi internment. Lévy-Hass stands alone as the only resistance fighter to report on her own experience inside the camps, and she does so with unflinching clarity in dealing with the political and social divisions inside Bergen-Belsen.
- First Contract
Women and the Fight to Unionize
Author: Conde, Carol, Beveridge, Karl
Looks at the "personal side" of the struggle of working women to organize themselves into unions and win first contracts.
- Fugitive Days
Memoirs of an Anti-War Activist
Author: Ayers, Bill
- Getting There
Producing Photostories With Immigrant Women
Author: Barndt, Deborah, Cristall, Ferne, Marino, Dian
Photostories about immigrant women surviving in and adapting to a new culture.
- Hard Times
An Oral History of The Great Depression
Author: Terkel, Studs
In a series of interviews, Studs Terkel captures a mosaic of memories of the Great Depression in the United States.
- The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings
Author: Equiano, Olaudah
Olaudah Equiano's Narrative recounts his kidnapping in Africa at the age of eleven, his service as the slave of an officer in the British Navy, and his years of labour on slave ships until he was able to purchase his freedom in 1766. As a free man on a Central American plantation, he supervised slaves; increasingly disgusted by his co-workers, he returned to England in 177. In England he worked for the resettlement of blacks in Sierra Leone, married an Englishwoman, and became a leading and respected figure in the anti-slavery movement.
- The Long Haul
Author: Horton, Myles
Myles Horton tells the story of the Highlander Folk School. A major catalyst for social change in the United States for over sixty years, this school has touched the lives of so many people, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Author: Douglass, Frederick; Jacobs, Harriet; (Introduction by Kwame Anthony Appiah)
Two first-person accounts of African-American slavery.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - December 17, 2017
Collective Memory and Cultural Amnesia
Author: Diemer, Ulli
Our society is obsessed with the short-term present. It devalues memory and the past. But there are those who do remember, and who work to preserve and share our collective memory. But they have to contend with those of us who see historical memory as a way of contributing to the struggle for a different world. For us, knowledge of history is subversive, and remembering can be a form of resistance.
- Rank and File
Personal Histories of Working Class Organizers
Author: Lynd, Alice; Lynd, Staughton (eds.)
A collection of stories and recollections from labour movement organizers.
- Street Fighting Years
An Autobiography of the Sixties
Author: Ali, Tariq
Tariq Ali takes readers through the fortunes of the British anti-war movement and the other political movements of the Sixties.
- An Unauthorized Biography of the World
Oral History on the Front Lines
Author: Riordon, Michael
This book uses oral history to discuss oral history. It is in memoir style, and delves into how oral history is done in such places as First Nations (Canada), Turkey, Chicago, Newfoundland, Peru, New York City, Cleveland, Israel, and other places. Riordon's concept is about telling stories, celebrating diversity, and making connections between people.
- Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen
Author: Rudd, Mark
Mark Rudd recalls his personal journey from idealistic freshman to student radical to the Weather Underground. He says: "It's about good organizing (Columbia), leading to worse (Weatherman), leading to horrible (the Weather Underground). I hope it's useful to contemporary organizers, as they contemplate how to build the coming mass movement(s)."
- A Very Ordinary Life
Author: Knight, Rolf; Knight, Phyllis
The story of one woman's life in the context of a dazzling and brutal century, encompassing the rise of fascism, the great depression, emigration, war, and above all, a likfe of work -- in mining and logging camps, in factories, on the farm.
Author: Terkel, Studs
People talk a bout what they do all day and how they feel about what they do.
- You, You and You!
The People Out of Step with World War II
Author: Grafton, Pete
First hand accounts of men, women and children living through World War II.
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
Sources - A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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