Grant received to Digitize Local Civil Rights Interview Program Videos

We are pleased to announce that Special Collections and Archives has been awarded a grant by the Ohio Historic Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) to preserve and make available video recordings of the local civil rights program “Like It Is.” The grant supports the digitization of 71 Umatic tapes, an obsolete format, thus making the video content highly endangered.

Arthur E. Thomas interviews Maj. Gen. Fred C. Sheffey on “Like It Is” in May 1979.
Arthur E. Thomas interviews Maj. Gen. Fred C. Sheffey on “Like It Is” in May 1979.

The weekly program “Like It Is” was produced from 1978 to 1985 by Arthur E. Thomas, Ed.D. (later president of Central State University). On the show, Thomas interviewed leaders known for civil rights activism and for overcoming race and gender barriers. Significant Ohioans interviewed include Dayton’s first African American mayor, James H. McGee; Louis Stokes, the first African American congressional representative elected in Ohio; and J. Kenneth Blackwell, an African American mayor of Cincinnati who later served as Ohio’s treasurer and secretary of state. In addition to prominent Ohioans, Thomas also interviewed civil rights leaders of national significance, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Maya Angelou, and Rosa Parks.

This (re)grant we have received from OHRAB is funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 

More information about the project is detailed in this article from the Wright State News Room.

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