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Black Austinites share stories for UT oral history project

August 15, 2010
Students get different perspective on city’s history as they talk to African American residents.

It’s a quiet, poignant and telling recollection, Austinite Dorothy McPhaul’s memory of being treated as a member of the family of a childless white couple for whom her mother cooked, taking her “where a lot of blacks never went because they would carry me everywhere they went.”

Hers is one of roughly 100 oral histories, almost without question the most exhaustive accounting of African American life in Austin. They are revealing, moving, funny stories about the resilient lives of people whose accomplishments are notable or more quiet. They are exhaustive. The transcripts of the interviews equal about 6,000 pages. more

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