Challenging invisibility

Have you ever sat down with the older generation in your community to ask questions about their lives? For Carolina junior Emmanuel Lee, an internship with the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) provided just that opportunity and challenge.

In summer 2018, Emmanuel served as the first intern for Southern Mix, a collaboration between SOHP, the Carolina Asia Center and the Alumni Committee for Racial and Ethnic Diversity (ACRED) working to build a collection of oral histories to honor the distinctive and powerful stories of Asians and Asian Americans in the American South. Emmanuel wasn’t fulfilling a long-harbored desire to conduct oral history interviews. He had changed his major twice and, after landing on sociology, was looking for something to give him experience that related to his interests. On the recommendation of a co-worker, he applied to SOHP at the last minute — and was accepted. His experiences with the Southern Mix project helped him learn more about his own family history and reinforced his desire to pursue research into the Asian-American experience.

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