The life stories of two members of the department of mathematics and statistics are part of The Historymakers, the nation’s largest African-American video oral history archive, which was recently moved under the auspices of the Library of Congress.
Professors emeriti Donald St. Mary and Floyd Williams are among the notables whose videotaped interviews are part of the archive. The HistoryMakerscollection comprises 2,600 videotaped interviews with African-Americans that average three to six hours in length and span subject areas ranging from science, politics and the military to sports, music and entertainment. Other interview subjects includePresident Barack Obama,who was interviewed when he was an Illinois state senator, General Colin Powell, child advocate Marion Wright Edelman, baseball legend Ernie Banks, entertainer/activist Harry Belafonte, poet and writer Maya Angelou, former Sen. Edward Brooke, historian John Hope Franklin, musician B.B. King, poet Nikki Giovanni and actors Diahann Carroll, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, “The HistoryMakers archive provides invaluable first-person accounts of both well-known and unsung African-Americans, detailing their hopes, dreams and accomplishments—often in the face of adversity. This culturally important collection is a rich and diverse resource for scholars, teachers, students and documentarians seeking a more complete record of our nation’s history and its people.”