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Valerie Love, Curator for Human Rights and the Alternative Press Collection at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, is witnessing human rights work first hand in Kigali, Rwanda, as a participant in a human rights delegation through the organization Global Youth Connect. Fifteen years ago, between 800,000 and 1 million people were killed in a horrific genocide that attempted to destroy the Tutsi minority and also targeted moderate Hutus in Rwanda. “The new government has made extraordinary progress in restoring stability and security to a ravaged society; however the many scars of genocide are still visible and the work of justice and reconciliation is ongoing,” she writes in an email.
Watch for details in an upcoming issue of the Libraries’ newsletter and the University’s new news website.
Similar to other states, a significant portion of Connecticut’s population came from somewhere else. The variety of available employment attracted immigrants from all over the world who came, worked, stayed and contributed their peice to the state’s rich ethnic mosaic. The resulting mix of traditions, cultures and languages has been documented in several oral history projects beginning with the WPA Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, continued in the mid 1970s by the Peoples of Connecticut project at UConn and, more recently, the Waterbury Area Immigrant Oral History Collection. The transcripts for the Waterbury collection are available online and can be accessed via the finding aid for the collection at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/findaids/watbimmig/MSS20090014.html.
Related Connecticut WPA era oral histories can be found electronically on the Library of Congress’ American Memory website at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wpaintro/ctcat.html. Transcripts of the Peoples of Connecticut and WPA oral histories are available in the Reading Room of the Dodd Research Center.
You have so many memories, if you were old enough and lived close enough and knew enough to get to the Newport Folk Festival in its great days in the 1960s….And, just as certainly, you remember the blues, which was one of the richest strands in the rich weave of music and culture that was the Festival….Part of the emotional response to the blues singers was that most of them had been forgotten in the years since they’d made their handfuls of recordings for the old ‘race’ labels of the 1920s….It’s true that memories can sometimes be insubstantial, or that time can change what you heard or saw, and maybe you’ve romanticized the playing you remember or the singers you shouted for — but here on this collection of live recordings from the Newport Festival blues concerts you can hear that the music was as great as you remember it was. And if you’re hearing it for the first time — this is what it was like to be there. — Sam Charters
Blues at Newport is a compilation of blues performances recorded live at the Newport Folk Festivals, 1959-1964, produced by Samuel Charters for the Vanguard Records label. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Newport Folk Festival, founded in 1959 by Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, Pete Seeger and George Wein. Check out Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, performing Big Bill Broonzy’s standard Key to the Highway, available on the live recording.
Blues at Newport is part of the Samuel and Ann Charters Archives of Blues and Vernacular African American Musical Culture, donated in 2000 to Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. For a detailed listing of the contents of the Charters Archives, visit http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/findaids/charters/MSS20000105.html .