STORI takes on East Lake and video projects

Maryellen Newton, Staff Writer

In 1957 Howard College moved from its East Lake campus to a new one in Homewood. The school, renamed 10 years later to Samford University, did not leave East Lake without leaving an impact.

Sixty years later, residents of East Lake remember what used to be.

During the week of March 6, Michelle Little, assistant director of the Samford Traditions and Oral History Recording Initiative, visited a 10th-grade class at the Cornerstone Schools of Alabama. She did an oral history workshop with the class, and then today, the class will put in to action what they learned. They will go to East 59 Vintage & Café in Birmingham to interview East Lake residents about their experience in East Lake. Residents will come to be interviewed.

This project differs from the original STORI because Little is focusing more on East Lake’s history and community versus a Samford University history.

Little wants to learn about the residents’ lives in East Lake, what changes they’ve seen and what changes they would like to see.

STORI focuses mainly on Samford’s history, but also the history of the three communities Samford has had campuses in: Marion, East Lake and Homewood.

“We give back to those communities that we’ve been a part of,” Little said.“I hope that it’ll generate good discussion among the community about what they want the community to be.”

STORI is also working on other projects this semester. Little gave an oral history workshop with one of Jonathan Bass’ classes, and following Spring Break, the class will interview residents at the Brookdale nursing home. This will be STORI’s first video project.

“It’s important for any discipline to understand that everything has a history,” Little said. “No matter what field you’re going into, everything is built up to this point… There’s a reason why things are the way they are right now.”

For more information visit oralhistory.samford.edu.

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