UAB captures the stories of African-Americans in StoryCorps Griot project

UAB’s Digital Media Commons will feature community stories during an open house on Jan. 17, 2013.

digital_commons_sUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) students have collaborated with the StoryCorps Griot Initiative to collect interviews of Birmingham-area African-Americans in an effort to preserve their stories in an oral history collection. (Griot is a West African word meaning “storyteller.”) Ten of the narratives will be featured on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during an open house at the state-of-the-art Digital Media Commons located on the third floor of Heritage Hall, 1401 University Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. There will be a reception from 4-5 p.m.

Featured interviews include civil-rights foot soldiers; a musician and poet; Birmingham Mayor William Bell; and Alabama’s first black federal judge, U.W. Clemon. The StoryCorps Griot Initiative has a mission to “ensure that the voices, experiences and life stories of African-Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity,” said Rosie O’Beirne, director of digital media and learning at UAB. The stories were edited by students as part of UAB’s Digital Story Telling/Oral History course.

StoryCorps Griot Project Open House
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013
Heritage Hall, third floor

The open house is among the highlights of a year-long series of events hosted by the UAB College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to mark the 50th anniversary of the transformative year of 1963 and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

A full and detailed schedule can be found at The website, which showcases the stories of many of UAB’s African-American graduates, also lists specialized courses in CAS related to civil rights. The college’s efforts are part of UAB’s overall involvement in “50 Years Forward,” the City of Birmingham’s ongoing commemoration of the anniversary. More information can be found at

About UAB and 50 Years Forward
As an institution committed to service, excellence, diversity and community involvement, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a proud partner with the City of Birmingham in 50 Years Forward, the ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the seminal events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. UAB is joining with others to mark this enduring legacy in a way that looks to the future — to sharing new knowledge that benefits society, to advancing the cause of human rights while educating tomorrow’s leaders and to improving quality of life for all. Learn more at