Since 1973, the Southern Oral History Program has worked to preserve the voices of the southern past. We have collected more than 5,000 interviews with people from all walks of life—from mill workers to civil rights leaders to future presidents of the United States. Made available through UNC’s renowned Southern Historical Collection online, these interviews capture the vivid personalities, poignant personal stories, and behind-the-scenes decision-making that bring history to life.
In order to introduce wider audiences to this trove of Southern narratives, and to support a growing community of audio producers, we are thrilled to announce our new audio competition, The Sonic South. For our inaugural competition, we’re focusing on the theme of Persistence. Women’s voices are central to the SOHP’s collection. Their stories help us understand the social and economic changes that people across the South have experienced and initiated. Women’s leadership and activism—their persistence—have been key to many of the central movements of our time. Of course, not all women have embraced change; persistence can also mean the ongoing power of old traditions and old ways of thinking. But no matter what our politics or our outlook, all our lives have been indelibly shaped by these stories. Read more about the competition here, and learn how to submit.