Springfield African-American History

(Interviews conducted by Springfield African-American History Foundation)

Established in 2003, the Springfield, Illinois African American History Foundation (SAAHF) seeks to record the history of African American families who have lived in the Springfield area for several generations. Tapes that have not yet been transcribed or digitized for access on the Web are available in the Library’s Audio-Visual Collection.

Springfield African-American History Foundation

The tapes, created by the SAAHF, provide insight into life in the African American community and include discussions of family life, civil rights, discrimination, integration, and segregation in the workplace and educational community. Residents involved in the Springfield school desegregation suit are interviewed. Life in the military, including both the days before and following integration, is also discussed. Attention is also given to the variety of businesses that were owned and operated by African Americans. Interviewees include former teachers, community and religious leaders, as well as business men and women. Life in rural areas, small towns, and large and small cities is discussed in the interviews.

Acknowledgments: Funding for transcriptions has been provided by the SAAHF, the Sangamon County Community Foundation, and the Illinois Humanities Council.