SEEDS oral history project showcases local mothers

by Jock Lauterer
Durham VOICE co-adviser
the Durham VOICE

In an effort to record the authentic voices of their community, seven teenagers in Northeast Central Durham went searching with video cameras last fall for diamonds in the rough. And without anyone telling them who to interview, they all selected as their hometown heroes…mothers, aunts, grandmothers and other strong women from NECD.

The resulting oral history project, a 12-minute video titled “It Takes a Mother to Raise a Village,” captures the
life stories of inspirational African-American women who have made a positive difference in their community.

SEEDS kids participating in the oral history project include Quinton Dorsey, LaTasha McMillan, Vianey Martinez, Krystal Shelby, Sharada Fozard-McCall, Kamaia Aldridge, Damion Graves and Destiney Robinson. After several weeks of “journalism 101” training, we sent the teens home with FLIP video cameras, supplied by the VOICE.

Sponsored by the Northeast Central Durham Community VOICE in conjunction with SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces), the video oral history project grew out of summer photo lessons that I had the honor to lead. Thankfully, UNC journalism students Carly Brantmeyer, Ayana Allen, Kaithlyn Hall and Trey Green all pitched in with mentoring and teaching.

UNC students Ayana Allen and Perrine Deshield from the Carolina Association of Black Journalists edited the SEEDS kids’ work into the final package you’re seeing here now.

And what’s next for the budding videographers from SEEDS? This summer they plan to do a follow-up video oral history project on African-American farmers in Durham County.

The Northeast Central Durham Community VOICE is again proud and honored to be a part of this worthy project. A big shout-out goes to SEEDS leaders Lucy Harris, executive director; Santos Flores, community garden coordinator and Kavanah Ramsier, farm coordinator.