Public History Matters Blogpost: You Call That Real Food?

You Call That Real Food? Thoughts on food heritage for public historians   “Seriously, do you call this real Italian food?” exclaimed a disappointed patron at one of those touristy red-white-green strip mall eateries. “Sure I do,” replied the twenty-something manager seemingly unfazed by the criticism. “Our food is as good as Olive Garden.  What’s …

Public History Matters Blogpost: Artifacts Help Tell the Story

Artifacts help tell history’s story, not the other way around   As recent as May 2019, researchers made a profound discovery of an historical artifact, and it may turn out to be one of our nation’s most significant and powerful reminders of our worst history–slavery. National Geographic archeologist Fredrik Hiebert says, “The discovery of the …

History Laws

  Reaction was swift and condemning.  There ought to be a law against that, some said. These Holocaust deniers are insulting to the victims of Nazis, and to the brave Americans who died in WWII saving the world from fascism and white nationalism. It’s all free speech, said Billy Roper, organizer of what he called …

Who Will Write Our History

  It’s the kind of modern history lesson that makes you glance sideways at the world while shaking your head, exclaiming, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” “Why didn’t they ever teach us this stuff in school?” It’s a common reaction to mind blowing revelations and new learnings about our past that public historians are pleased …

Small Town Museums Reveal Historical Photos

Who’s Photographing Today? <img src=”http://thesocialvoiceproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Programmar-children-of-midland.jpg” alt=”” width=”1281″ height=”694″ /> We often say that local historical societies and small town museums are the best kept secrets in their communities—always present, yet hidden in plain sight.  “Oh that place?  I visited there a long time ago when I was a kid,” people frequently say.  “It’s pretty neat.  …

Oral History in the Age of Digital Storytelling

Filmmaker Chris Padgett recognizes the value of community-based storytelling. His recently released video trailer for Rivertown Anthology: Voices of Beaver County is just the beginning of what promises to be a highly creative and deeply thoughtful ongoing film series about “the people and their stories” in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Padgett’s work falls in line with …

So What About History

It’s the shortest question, and yet the hardest to answer. It challenges public historians in ways that put their knowledge, competence, credibility, and authority on the line. So What? It’s a fair question, of course, but it can unsettle us.  Behind these words is subtext: I don’t care. I’m not interested. This is irrelevant. For …

The Legend of Pat Tillman

“NFL player Pat Tillman joined U.S. Army in 2002. He was killed in action 2004. He fought for our country/freedom.” ~President Donald Trump’s 2017 social media comment used to condemn NFL players who protest during the national anthem   “The very action of self expression and the freedom to speak from one’s heart—no matter those …