The Library of Congress American Folklife Center
The collection features videotaped interviews with prominent African American "Visionaries," as well as transcripts of the interviews and photographs of the interviewees.
Many of the interviews were conducted by NVLP co-founders, Camille O. Cosby, Ed.D., and Renee Poussaint. The collection also includes interviews with notable, but less familiar, elders from local communities across the country. These visionaries were selected and interviewed by college students who participated in the NVLP Visionary Heritage Fellows Program.
Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, upon accepting these historical records on behalf of the Library, confirmed that the collection will be preserved for posterity in the Library's American Folklife Center, and made available to researchers.
Formal presentation of NVLP Collection
of African American Oral Histories to
Library of Congress. L to R: Renee
Poussaint, J.C. Nalle Elementary School
student Ronnie Wallace, Dr. Deanna
Marcum, Ann Gill (J. C. Nalle student).
"I am delighted that the NVLP collection resides at the American Folklife Center," said Dr. Peggy Bulger, the Center's director. "It will join and complement other collections of great historical and cultural significance, including interviews by and with Zora Neale Hurston, as well as the Fisk University Mississippi Delta Collection, and the Alan Lomax Collection, among many others."
The first installment of this priceless collection was commemorated on October 16, 2007 during the 2007 NVLP Wisdom Awards and Intergenerational Summit on the State of Black America. The inaugural donation included the 50 interviews listed below, and illustrates the many ways NVLP is preserving and sharing t he stories and wisdom of extraordinary elders, including Visionaries who have participated in our events and programs, Visionaries included in our lesson plans, and Visionaries who, unfortunately, have passed away.