Unwritten: Capturing Living History on Video

As part of Leadership Chattanooga, participants work with area schools on projects. One project consisted of assisting history students organize interviews and capture living history on videotape to share with the public and with future generations. Brainerd High School students named the project ‘Unwritten History.’ These are the stories we don’t know about because we didn’t ask. Students of Brainerd High School teacher Riley Bogema now know more about the area’s history than ever before – by videotaping their interviews with community leaders.

Designed to give students a new perspective and sense of place, working on the project also gave them a deeper sense of ownership in their own community.

The Leadership Chattanooga team contacted community leaders for students, scheduling 14 interviews. Team members assisted with interviews and editing — and then promoted the ‘Premiere’ event unveiling the personal histories to the greater community. Students sought to include Brainerd graduates, several of whom witnessed turbulent events during Brainerd’s integration in the 1960s.

Said one student, “We usually learn about racism in school as a state standard, but to actually interview an African-American who witnessed it all was an amazing experience.” Interviews will also be available online after the May 19 premiere.

Chattanooga Leadership 2016 class team members:

Brad Bingham, Unum
Mary Danielson, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Zena Hanner-Buckley, Hamilton County Department of Education
John Kerns, Preferred Care at Home of Chattanooga
Thomas Mosley, FSGBank
Sybil Topel, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Caroline Walker, FSG Bank
Harry White, Volkswagen Chattanooga


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