Milagro Workshop and Performance at OSU

The OMA was incredibly excited to collaborate with OSU’s Centro Cultural César Chávez for its Tribute Month celebrations to host Teatro Milagro for a workshop and performance!

The pre-performance workshop asked attendees to think about the connections between  art and social justice - a connection especially important in the Chicano Movement. We learned about Luis Valdez and his creation of El Teatro Campesino, and the Teatro’s roots in Commedia dell’arte dating back to in Italy in the 16th century. The workshop involved participants creating still images to express emotions and concepts to get us in the theatre mindset and help us better understand the context to the evening’s performance.

Searching for Aztlán, written & directed by Lakin Valdez (following in his father’s footsteps), chronicles one high school teacher’s journey to re-energize her support of the Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program in Tucson, Arizona’s Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) which was dismantled in 2012. After an opening scene in which the teacher, Dolores Huelga, defends the MAS program to a very conservative school board, she is left discouraged and considers giving up the fight. She is then swept up in a dust storm and is taken to an alternate reality where she “searches for Aztlán” – the play very much references and follows the basic plot of Dorothy’s journey in The Wizard of Oz. Like the film, the play includes musical numbers and is a satire. The play is self-described by the theatre group as “a metaphorical yellow brick road of discovery about what it means to be Chicano in contemporary society.”

Along her journey Dolores encounters various characters (all essentially following the plot of the Wizard of Oz): the Madre of the Aztecas (the “good” witch), Jan Bruja “La Lechuza” (the “bad” witch who represents Arizona’s ex-Governor Jan Brewer), and three companions she meets along the way, all exaggerated characterizations of Chicanos 1) a 1970s militant Chicano 2) a 1980s “High-Spanic” who shuns her Latina roots 3) a 2000s “Dreamer.” In the beginning of the play the four companions are lost and alone and represent differing types of Chicano/as. By the end of the play, the characters reflect upon the idea that they are all Latino/a, and when they work together in a united cause, they are stronger.

In the end, Dolores is more committed than ever to continue with the cause in support of the MAS program. For example, the closing scene includes a voice over of news excerpts along with Dolores holding an American flag while another character carries a Mexican flag and two other characters hold signs that state: “Education is Not a Crime” and “Save Ethnic Studies” – the play ends with the characters chanting “¡Sí se puede!”

For more about Milagro’s history, be sure to check out the archival collection!
Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) Records, 1966-2014

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The OMA at REFORMA 2015

The OMA’s REFORMA Presentation

Established in the early 1970s, REFORMA is a national organization with the mission to “promote library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.” In its 45 year history, it has only hosted 5 conferences, so the OMA was delighted to attend and give a presentation at RNC V, REFORMA’s 2015 national conference, this past week!

The presentation focused on OMA projects with OSU’s Cultural Resource Centers (CRCs) including the creation of a shared CRC library system, the development of archival collections including oral histories, and the curation of small exhibits in the library to showcase the CRCs’ histories.

“Oregon State University’s Centro Cultural César Chávez: Connecting Latino/a students to other campus cultural resource centers through shared library and archival projects” click here for a copy of the presentation

The conference took place in San Diego, CA, a city that boasts the beautiful Balboa Park which includes the Centro Cultural de la Raza

Centro Cultural de la Raza

And, rumor has it that we may not need to wait another 5 years until the next conference; there may be one in 2017 which means another opportunity for the OMA to share its work!

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Minorities in the Barometer, the 1980s

 

Back in 2012 the OMA began a project to search through The Daily Barometer (day-by-day) to find as many minority issues/multicultural related articles as possible, scan them, and make them available online. We started with the 1970s, completed the 1960s in April of 2013, and now the 1980s are complete!

Minorities in the Barometer Online Collection

The Daily Barometer, OSU’s student newspaper is a fantastic source of information regarding special events and campus controversies as well as a great way to get a sense of the general atmosphere on campus from the student perspective. The archives has copies of the Barometer dating back to the early 1900s both in print, in large bound editions, as well as on microfilm, which can be viewed via specialized equipment.

This project will continue, decade by decade, and we will be sure to post about it when we make another decade worth of articles available!

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Celebrate Women’s Herstory Month ~ The OSU Women’s Center

Women’s Center Display

Join the OMA and the OSU Women’s Center in celebrating Women’s Herstory Month and International Women’s Day 2015! This year, the Women’s center has great programming planned and student staff members, Kali Mickelson and Nicthe Verdugo, curated a display for the library showcasing the mission and services the center has to offer. Come see the display in person at the Valley Library and check out photos of the items featured through the 2015 Digital Display in Flickr

Display Information:
When: March-April 2015
Where: Main Floor, OSU Valley Library, Display Case to the left of the Main Entrance 
Who: Display curated by Kali Mickelson and Nicthe Verdugo, Women’s Center student staff

Also, Be sure to check out our previous heritage month displays…

Oregon Multicultural Archives Heritage Month Displays

Display Digital Collections in Flickr

 And, if you what to learn more about the history of the Women’s Center, check out the Women’s Center Records, 1971-2011 (RG 243)!

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Oregon’s Black History ~ Authors Forum

As part of Black History Month the Oregon Black Pioneers hosted a authors forum featuring five scholars who have written books about the histories of African Americans in Oregon. The authors shared information about their research, answered audience questions, and made their books available for purchase. All of the authors commented on these five books being written within the last few years and noted the significance of archives and libraries in their facilitating their research process!

The 5 Authors and Books Featured Were:

  • Red, White, and Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo by Rick Steber
  • Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory by Gregory Nokes
  • A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick
  • Images of America: African Americans of Portland by Kimberly Moreland
  • Perseverance: A History of African Americans in Oregon’s Marion and Polk Counties by Gwen Carr

Be sure to check these out and learn about Oregon’s diverse history!

Authors (left to right): Rick Steber, Gregory Nokes, Jane Kirkpatrick, Kimberly Moreland, & Gwen Carr with Willie Richardson (standing)

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Obo Addy Legacy Project Panel Discussion and Concert

This week the OMA collaborated with OSU’s Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center to host the Obo Addy Legacy Project for a panel discussion and concert. Needless to say, both events were informative and incredibly fun!

International Panel Discussion

The panel discussion on the 17th showcased storytelling, dancing, and drumming. The panelists included: Yingwana Khosa, who spoke about his life in South Africa; Alex Addy, who share his Ghanaian experiences; Kenel Pierre, who discussed his childhood in Haiti; and Prudence Eca-Mizose, who expressed his thoughts on his home country of Congo. Special features included Khosa performing the Gum Boot and Toyi dances, and Addy demonstrating the kpanlogo drum. Susan Addy & Michael Sweeney of the Obo Addy Legacy Project introduced and facilitated the discussion.

Kenel Pierre, Yingwana Khosa, Michael Sweeney, Susan Addy, Prudence Eca-Mizose, & Alex Addy

Cross Cultural Rhythms Concert

Two days later, on February 19th, the OALP group Okropong performed an incredibly dynamic concert featuring Ghanaian music and dance!

Okropong Concert in the MU Lounge

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Okropong Dancers

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Okropong Concert

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Okropong Dancers

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Okropong Concert

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Okropong Concert

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The OMA at Online Northwest 2015

For the first time, the OMA presented at Online Northwest and the presentation is now online! Online Northwest is a one day conference focusing on the use of technology within libraries and so, the OMA gave a presentation titled “Using PressBooks to Engage Students with Campus History” about the use of PressBooks, an online book publishing software, for a Fall 2014 class assignment.

Click below for access to the presentation slides:

“Using PressBooks to Engage Students with Campus History”

And of course, if you want more information about the Pressbooks assignment, check out the blog post about the class: “Oral Histories of Faculty & Staff of Color at Oregon State University”

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Celebrate Black History Month 2015

Join the OMA and the Lonnie B Harris Black Cultural Center (BCC) in celebrating Black History Month (BHM) 2015! This year, the BCC has over a dozen events planned and student staff members, Osenat Quadri and Kala Hill, curated a display for the library showcasing various items. Come see the display in person at the Valley Library and check out photos of the items featured through the BHM 2015 Digital Display in Flickr

Display Information:
When: February 2015
Where: Main Floor, OSU Valley Library, Display Case to the left of the Main Entrance 
Who: Display curated by Osenat Quadri and Kala Hill, BCC student staff

Also, Be sure to check out our previous heritage month displays…

Oregon Multicultural Archives Heritage Month Displays

Display Digital Collections in Flickr

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“A Community on the Move” OHS Exhibit

“A Community on the Move” Exhibit Information

The Oregon Black Pioneers new exhibit “A Community on the Move” hosted by the Oregon Historical Society is now open to the public! This exhibit highlights the lives of Portland’s African Americans during the 1940s-1950s, so several Urban League of Portland photos were featured. And, as a contributor, the OMA was invited to a sneak peak of the exhibit and opening reception.

Exhibit Information:
Dates: February 1 – June 28, 2015
Curation: Oregon Black Pioneers
Description and Community Events: “A Community on the Move” Information Page
Location: Oregon Historical Society Portland, OR

Check out these photos from the reception and exhibit:

Exhibit Title Panel

 

Curators – Oregon Black Pioneers

 

The Exhibit Features Photos, Textual Information, and Oral Histories

And, the Urban League of Portland collection photos!

Urban League Photos Featured in the Exhibit

 

Urban League Photos

 

Urban League Photos

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OSU’s Black Cultural Center, Historical Records: 1974-1984

BCC Binder (the original is on the left and the display copy is on the right)

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When new material comes to the OMA, it is always an interesting experience to assess the contents, organize it, and make it accessible. This is the case with the new material received from both the OSU Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center (BCC) and the Memorial Union. The material from the BCC is all in a binder that includes materials from 1974 to 1980. Encompassed in its content are contracts, meeting minutes, inventory, correspondence, and position descriptions all pertaining to the Black Cultural Center. The material from the Memorial Union is a folder labeled “Black Cultural Center” that came as an addition to the Memorial Union Records collection (when the campus cultural centers were first established, they reported to the Memorial Union). The BCC folder includes subject matters such as vandalism, the establishment of the Asian Cultural Center, the BCC Lonnie B. Harris name change, the Black Youth of America, and BCC events ranging from 1974 to 1984.

The contents of the BCC binder produced an interesting task because the BCC wanted to keep the original materials for the Center’s use, therefore, the organization and original format needed to be retained. Because the binder’s condition is unfit for constant use, I also created a display binder identical to the original (with the added MU collection materials at the end) for patrons of the BCC to use rather than risk the condition of the original. This entailed creating a PDF of the materials by scanning all the documents which then allowed me to create a completely usable, identical binder for the BCC while also enabling OMA researchers to use these materials via a digital, full text searchable PDF.

Click here to access the “OSU Black Cultural Center Historical Records 1974-1984″

These materials contribute to a rich history of Oregon State University’s Black Cultural Center. Because of its importance, the BCC is retaining the materials while enabling researchers to fully realize its research potential through the online version, thus maintaining the history of such an important center.

 ~ Avery Sorensen, OMA Student Worker

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