Oral histories on plant closings in Milwaukee, 2015

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  • Interviews of Milwaukee residents on the effects of Milwaukee plant closings on the city's African-American community since 1970. The Wisconsin Historical Society, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Black Historical Society & Museum, sponsored an oral history project that ran June-August, 2015. Four Milwaukee high school and college students were trained in oral history techniques by UW-Milwaukee professors Michael Gordon and Rob Smith and then interviewed black residents who had first-hand knowledge of these events. In the interviews, students asked about four broad areas: 1) family history; 2) education; 3) work history; 4) and the plant closings and their consequences. Interviews took place at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society & Museum under the supervision of museum director Clayborn Benson, who also conducted the initial interview.