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How We Know What We See (& Hear): How to “Read” an Oral History

How We Know What We See (& Hear) explores oral history as an immediate, detailed, intimate historical document to study.

Because an oral history recording is a primary source document, like a letter, manuscript, or map, it can be analyzed and interpreted for its evidence of personal, family, community, national, even world history.

You'll be introduced to oral history interview techniques, procedures, and audio and video production tools to understand the structure and vocabulary of oral history. 

The program then leads you, through artful critical thinking skills, to interpret, or "read," the evidence. 

Using excerpts of oral history interview recordings of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, comedian Richard Pryor, and a little-known father and daughter, we will read evidence of Marshall’s life and US history; Pryor’s humanity and a liberal white interviewer's misuse of it; and one family’s responses to existential choices.

Join Pratt Special Collections Department staff  to “read” oral history and develop visual literacy skills to interpret recordings and assess their value.

Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Black History, Genealogy, Virtual Event

Age Group

Adults, Seniors

Compass Category

Programs For Adults

Event Publisher

Emily Levine, Manager of Adult Services

Digital Signage



#oralhistory #literacy #ThurgoodMarshall #RichardPryor #visualliteracy

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