From the Archives:
Preserving Oral History

Raymond Dobard, Ph.D.
Howard University

I like to remind people that before there were written documents, there was the oral tradition.  The Bible, itself, initially began as a collection of stories.  Stories are now surfacing, stories about the Underground Railroad.  Stories that currently are tucked away in the minds of the elderly, and we’re hoping that more will come forward with their stories. 

I often tell audiences, especially the young people there, to take their tape recorders and pen and paper in hand, go and sit at the feet of their elders and listen.  Take down their stories, because that’s where we’re going to find a great deal of American history.  This country is still relatively young, and there are people who today are living volumes.  But, once they die, we lose a great deal.