Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate as an interviewee?

Any Black person who lived, worked, or studied in Camden, New Jersey, in the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s is encouraged to participate.

Additionally, all Black alumni of Rutgers–Camden who were at the university before 2000 are encouraged to participate.

How do I participate as an interviewee?

The first step is to contact us using the contact form on our website and let us know that you are interested in recording your oral history. We will contact you to explain the interview process and answer any questions you may have about participating. Then we will schedule your interview session and give you a pre-interview survey to fill out. The pre-interview survey will help us prepare the questions for the interview. Currently, we are recording interviews virtually using Zoom. After the interview session, we will create a transcript of the recording. Once the recording is fully transcribed, you will receive the transcript to review and approve before it is published online as part of the oral history collection.

Who is conducting the interviews?

Dr. Kendra Boyd and Dr. Jesse Bayker at Rutgers University are conducting the interviews. You can see our bios here.

Where is the Pre-interview Survey form?

Go to this page: Pre-interview Survey.

Will I get a copy of the interview for my family?

Yes. You will receive a copy of the interview transcript to share with your friends and family. This way your loved ones will gain a valuable genealogical resource to help preserve family history for future generations.

What happens to the interview after the oral history project is complete?

After you review and approve your interview transcript, it will be published online so that students and historians can use your story to learn about African American history. All the interviews from the Black Camden Oral History Project will be accessible through the website Black Voices at Rutgers. The full text of the transcript will also be published on the Rutgers Oral History Archives website. These websites provide free open access to oral histories recorded by Rutgers faculty, students, and staff.

A master copy of your interview recording and transcript will be preserved in perpetuity as part of the Rutgers Oral History Archives collection housed at Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives in New Brunswick. A printed compilation of the interview transcripts will also be placed on file at the Paul Robeson Library in Camden.

I don’t live in Camden anymore. Can I still participate?

Yes. We are conducting interviews virtually using Zoom, so we can connect with you anywhere in the world. We are very interested in recording stories of migration to and from Camden, so you don’t have to live in Camden your whole life to participate in this oral history project.

I wasn’t active in Civil Rights or Black Power organizing. Would you still want to interview me?

Yes. We want to record a range of experiences of Black Camden residents during the Civil Rights and Black Power–era, including those who did not actively participate in political organizations.

I am a student at Rutgers–Camden. Can I help?

Yes. We have opportunities for students to get involved with the Black Camden Oral History Project. Contact us to learn more.

I know someone you should interview. What should I do?

If you have a parent, grandparent, or an elder in your community group who lived, worked, or studied in Camden in the 1950s/60s/70s, please contact us so we can work together to set up an interview session for them.

My parent / grandparent / mentor passed away before recording their oral history. How can I preserve the incredible stories they told me about life in Camden?

We are so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Many are gone too soon, but we can still work to preserve their legacy. Although we cannot record their story in their own voice, we can use other tools to preserve the historical record of their activism, entrepreneurship, or community leadership. Please contact us to discuss the possibility of recording your memories of your loved one or contributing other materials to our digital archive.