The North Carolina Room staff joined with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College History instructor David Dry to begin a project for A-B Tech students to interview gay community members in Asheville. Mr. Dry included oral history projects in the curriculum, but the subjects were usually limited to family members. Looking for a way to give back to the community through oral history interviewing, he chose this project as a collaboration between the NC Room and the A-B Tech History Department. Dry instructed students on the process of collecting oral histories and how to transcribe– students could choose to do one or the other. Pairing younger adults with people who had lived through historical transitions in the gay community proved to be mutually beneficial. The students had an opportunity to hear a personal perspective they might never have had the chance to hear, and those interviewed were able to share their stories with interested listeners.
David Dry moved to Chapel Hill to pursue a PhD, but the NC Room staff would love to continue this project as a community-driven project, or again, in cooperation with a high school or college faculty member. Please contact us if you’d like to help.