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The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Oral History Collection

The Oral History Project at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas explores the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy and the broader history and culture of the 1960s, with an emphasis on civil rights and social activism. A multi-year collecting initiative, the Oral History Project seeks to capture first-person accounts of those who have lived through or been otherwise impacted by history.

This special oral history showcase, “Voices from the Civil Rights Movement,” includes a selection of interviews conducted in 2021 with civil rights and social justice activists. These powerful storytellers, representing multiple groups and organizations, share memories from several key moments of the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery bus boycott, Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Selma to Montgomery March and the SCOPE voter registration project of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Museum hopes that these remarkable, relevant stories will spark conversations and build bridges of understanding and communication between generations.

More information on the Oral History Project may be found here: jfk.org/the-oral-history-project/
The Museum’s online collections database includes a growing number of oral history recordings as well as lectures, panel discussions and public/educational programming: emuseum.jfk.org/collections/37372/oral-history-collection

Maria Gitin, 84min.

As a student at San Francisco State College, Maria Gitin spent the summer of 1965 participating in the Summer Community Organizing and Political Education (SCOPE) project of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She is the author of This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight (2014). This interview was recorded via Zoom on July 9, 2021. It may contain harsh language and descriptions of violence and may experience occasional technical difficulties.

After reviewing this oral history, Maria Gitin wished to acknowledge two errors: 1) She mistakenly mentions that she was in jail for a month, though it was actually about thirty-six hours. 2) The University of South Alabama is located in Mobile, not Atlanta.

All interviews featured in the “Voices from the Civil Rights Movement” series are part of the ongoing Oral History Project at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. More than 2,000 interviews have been recorded to date, exploring the history and culture of the 1960s as well as the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. If you are interested in researching or participating in the Oral History Project, please contact oralhistory@jfk.org. To see related films, photos, documents and oral histories from The Sixth Floor Museum's collection, visit our online collections database (emuseum.jfk.org).