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Marygrove College Debuts Digital Interview Collection Of African-American Migration Stories Print E-mail
Friday, 07 September 2007

DETROIT, MI, SEPTEMBER 5, 2007 -- Marygrove College will debut the John Novak Digital Interview Collection of African-American migration stories on Tuesday, October 9th, at 5:30 p.m. in the Marygrove Library.  This totally Internet-based collection tells the stories of African-Americans who moved to Detroit after experiencing discrimination and Jim Crow laws in the south.

The stories were collected by Professor Dena Scher and Marygrove students as class projects from 2005 through 2007.

Dr. Scher said, "Through their own words and in their own voice, seven African Americans chronicle their life stories and experiences in the south and their decisions to move to Detroit.  These stories provide rich lessons that classroom teachers can present to their middle and high school students.  They are also valuable tools for librarians and social science and history researchers.

"They’re lessons in perseverance, determination and hope."

In addition to the uniqueness of the stories themselves, the distinction of this collection comes in its digital format.  All the stories can be downloaded, listened to and read simultaneously, said Michael Barnes, Marygrove College Librarian.  Because they’re keyword searchable, researchers do not have to wade through reams of paper to locate their topic.  The Collection will eventually contain oral interviews of other Detroiters, many of whom attended Marygrove College in its early years.  The link is www.marygrove.edu/library/special.asp .

The Collection is named in honor of Dr. John Novak, Marygrove’s late provost, under whose administration and encouragement the College was brought into the technological age.  "John would have been proud of this Collection," said Dr. Scher. 

A reception and demonstration of the John Novak Digital Interview Collection will take place on Tuesday, October 9, in the Marygrove College Library, Liberal Arts Building, 8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221.  The reception and collection debut is free and open to the public.  In attendance will be Joann Novak, wife of John Novak, 92-year old Daisy Gary and her great granddaughter, Marygrove student and interviewer, Danielle Washington.

Marygrove President Dr. David Fike said, "The involvement of our students in gathering these wonderful Detroit migration stories and the collection itself demonstrate the College’s commitment to ‘Urban Leadership.’ Urban Leadership is a strategic vision that commits us to preparing our students to become leaders in their professions and in their urban communities as well as commits Marygrove to take an expanded leadership role in Detroit."

Marygrove College is a private liberal arts college located at 8425 W. McNichols Rd. in Detroit.  More than 1,200 students attend classes in its undergraduate and graduate programs in education, business, human resource management, social justice, social work, science, theater, music, dance, the fine arts and many others.  Nearly 3,000 students are enrolled in its online and distance learning Master in the Art of Teaching program as well as more than 5,000 in its non-credit programs.  Call 866-313-1927 or visit www.marygrove.edu to Learn to Change the World.

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