Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) is excited to help kick off summertime learning with a lesson on oral history! Kids can learn how to research and collect their own family stories during “Blueberry’s Clubhouse: Family Day Dilemma” at 9:07 a.m. July 23.
“Oral History is important because there are so many stories that are not written down but are passed down from generation to generation via storytelling,” said Courtney Bradford, curator at MTCC. “Once the story is written down, it can be better preserved. I would love for all the stories that are told orally to be written down for generations to come.”
During the segment, children will learn the concept of oral history and get tips on how to conduct interviews. The segment will inspire children to discover more about themselves and where they come from. Kids will see how getting to know their own family histories can give them a sense of identity and pride.
Bradford, who also teaches history, uses her personal experience to showcase how oral storytelling can build connections to the past and strengthen family and family legacy.
She uses her own experience as an example. Bradford’s mother died before she could meet her grandson, so Bradford tells her young son about his grandmother through stories.
“Because my son never met my mother, each story I tell him about her is a form of oral history,” Bradford said.
MTCC offers a safe place to learn, research, preserve and explore Arkansas’s African American culture and history. That focus includes children: the nationally accredited museum plans to open a new, state-of-the-art children’s gallery, “Same. Different. Amazing,” during a special event at 10 a.m. Sept. 18.
“We’re not just a world-class museum,” Bradford said. “We are a culture and research center as well.”
About Mosaic Templars Cultural Center:
The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a museum of Arkansas Heritage, is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating African American history and culture in Arkansas. Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum and Old State House Museum are also parts of Arkansas Heritage, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.