Hear first-hand accounts of life as an African American in Iowa by watching videos from our oral history projects. Our oral history projects include:

  • Adult Voices, Children’s Eyes – The AAMI partnered with youth groups to connect generations and capture little-known stories. The project focused primarily on four themes: segregation and integration, African American professionals, civil rights organizations, and church history. This project was funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • The Only One – As part of its 2011 exhibit with the Johnson County Historical Society, the AAMI captured oral histories that focused on the experience of being the only one in the classroom, on a sports team, in the office, and more.
  • Civil Rights in Linn County – In 2015, the AAMI interviewed over a dozen current and former Linn County residents, focusing on issues related to the Civil Rights Movement, segregation, and integration. This project was funded by a grant from the Linn County Historic Preservation Commission.
Ruth & Ruby Haddix
Ruth and Ruby Page were born and raised in Manly, Iowa. After high [...]
Nelson Evans
Born in Chicago, Nelson Evans came to Iowa to attend Upper Iowa [...]
Freda Long
Freda Carole Blakey Long was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. [...]
Tony Brown
Socially and politically motivated since his youth in Waterloo, Tony [...]
Lileah Harris | "Adult Voices, Children's Eyes"
Lileah Furgerson Harris was born in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of [...]
Arthur David “Superman” Pennington
Art Pennington was born in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1940, at the age of [...]