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.
6 videos found
Ruth & Ruby Haddix
525 views
Ruth and Ruby Page were born and raised in Manly, Iowa. After high ...
Nelson Evans
1,108 views
Born in Chicago, Nelson Evans came to Iowa to attend Upper Iowa ...
Freda Long
907 views
Freda Carole Blakey Long was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ...
Tony Brown
564 views
Socially and politically motivated since his youth in Waterloo, Tony ...
Lileah Harris | "Adult Voices, Children's Eyes"
454 views
Lileah Furgerson Harris was born in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of ...
Arthur David “Superman” Pennington
781 views
Art Pennington was born in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1940, at the age of ...