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Black Columbus

literacy narratives

Alfred Murphy. Alfred Murphy, was a former slave who lived in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. The 105 year old was a pupil in a literacy class conducted by the Federal Writer's Project in Columbus, Ohio.

On April 8, 1935, the United States Congress passed the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act. The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Roosevelt hoped that his New Deal would allow Americans to cope with the Great Depression, would help end the current economic downturn, and would help prevent another depression from occurring in the future.

The most important accomplishment of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act was the creation of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This government office hired unemployed Americans to work on various government projects. Among these programs was The Federal Writers' Project, whichhired people to compile histories of communities across the United States. The Federal Theater Project employed actors and directors to bring live theater productions to towns and cities throughout the United States.

Photograph and text excepted from Flickr and Ohio History Central.



Every team in this class willl be expected to collect a minimum of 10 literacy narratives. Undergraduate team members must work in pairs or with a graduate student when conducting interviews.

Team members who put in effort over and above their share of this minimum can expect their Team Professionalism grade to reflect that fact.

The Interview Process Check Sheet [DOC] will walk you through the three stage process of

  • planning and preparing for interviews
  • structuring and conducting interviews
  • editing and uploading interviews to the DALN

Fill out one of these Interview Process Check Sheet [DOC] for every interview you conduct.

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