Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history recordings, 2004 (VIS 178)
In 2004, the Atlanta History Center began a lesbian and gay oral history project, funded in part by a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council. “Atlanta’s Unspoken Past,” the oral history project, focused on lesbian and gay history and culture in Atlanta prior to the explosion of gay rights movements that occurred in cities across the United States in the early 1970s, and provided the framework and foundation for a public exhibition in 2005, The Unspoken Past: Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History, 1940-1970.
For the oral history project, participants were interviewed using a set of themes vetted by an advisory committee of recognized scholars and professionals from academic and cultural institutions. Gay women and men were asked to share their backgrounds; coming out experiences; reasons for staying in, moving to, or away from Atlanta; recollections of same-sex relationships and local gay life; and ideas about community, race, gender, and religion, region, and sexuality. The sound recordings and transcripts, and subsequent donations of related personal manuscript and visual collections, document the specific features of Atlanta that facilitated and structured social interactions; the institutions of everyday life (church, school, clubs, sports, etc.) that figured into participants’ identities; how work and leisure activities limited or facilitated same-sex friendships and relationships; and how race and gender shaped the everyday lives and experiences of participants.
The interviewees are mostly white, middle-class, and were raised in Protestant Christian faiths. Most of women and men were born before or during World War II and lived in Atlanta or the South during most of their adulthood or at least prior to the late 1960s. Interviews conducted after grant period include recollections post-1970.
The collection is comprised of eleven interviews, transcripts of each interview, original video and audio recordings for each interview, and a DVD access copy of each.
The Kenan Research Center located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. Our hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Wednesday – Saturday. You may contact us by calling 404.814.4040 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digitization of this collection is made possible by a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council.