Oral Histories

Oral History Collections

Oral Histories and other material produced by the BCC Archives. Coordinated by the Head of Archives, Cynthia Tobar. Our oral history collections not only chronicles the history and academic achievements of the campus, but they also promote awareness of the diverse ethnic and cultural history of its student body and the local Bronx community that it serves.

Visit our archived media through the channels listed above or explore our individual collections below.

  • StoryBlock Oral History Collection
    StoryBlock  The Bronx Community College Archives & Special Collection is proud to archive the oral history project StoryBlock since 2015. StoryBlock is an oral history and visual community archive that celebrated the cultural richness of Kelly Street residents living in the Longwood section of the South Bronx.​ This project was commissioned by The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Program and is now currently archived at Bronx Community College’s Archives. StoryBlock was the result of a collaboration between artists Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Alison Hall Kibbe, as a continuation of their Hunts Point Create Change Fellows 2014 Field Day project. These narratives shed … Read more
  • American Icons Oral History Collection
    American Icons addresses the mythology behind the National Anthem and other outdated commemorative art. We create new, local musical monuments based on oral histories of NYC residents. Student and community residents from Bronx Community College (BCC), the home of the “Hall of Fame of Great Americans,” will share their own experiences learning and working among monuments that fail to reflect America’s diversity. This project addresses the mythology behind the National Anthem and other outdated commemorative art. Questioning and deconstructing nationalistic artifacts from the past, we can create space to spotlight and honor stories of America’s present. We hope this will … Read more
  • Coming Full Circle: Practices of Resilience, 2021
    The Bronx has collectively endured years of adversity and hardship. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, residents faced down the social impact of segregation, privation, and political marginalization. Despite the stagnation of top-down progress, The Bronx remains activated through its decades-long history of mutual aid. Coming Full Circle amplifies the stories of those who survived and built community networks to reverse these harms. Schools, religious institutions, and grassroots organizing joined in tandem to strengthen this resilience. The Bronx Community College Archives teamed up with Photoville and the Friends Of Aqueduct Walk (FOAW) to support Coming Full Circle: Practices of Resilience, a … Read more
  • “Community Care during COVID”: Oral Histories of Mutual Aid in the Bronx
    Mutual aid is an act of solidarity and care between neighbors. It stands in opposition to charity and top-down giving, because it is planned and executed by a community, for a community to not just provide food and essential items but also to educate and organize. Together, Bronx Community College Archives and Mutual Aid NYC (MANYC) have formed a partnership to collect oral history interviews from community mutual aid organizers across the Bronx. In collaboration with BCC students, the Archives created this oral history archive to document these Bronx stories. Ultimately, our hope is that these stories collected during the … Read more
  • Raising Ourselves Up: Oral Histories from First Generation College Students at BCC
    “Raising Ourselves Up”: Oral Histories from First-Generation College Students at BCC is a Collaborative Experiential Learning Pilot Project to build a video oral history archive to document the stories of first-generation college students on our campus. Each student’s time at BCC is unique, yet all students are bound to each other by the shared sense of struggle towards achieving a college education. Using video oral history interviews, students will examine the challenges faced by low-income, working-class groups of peer students from various ethnic, racial, and immigrant backgrounds, groups that BCC is dedicated to serving and who have been historically underrepresented in … Read more
  • A Place Among the Greats: BCC Oral History Project
    The Archives’ purpose for this oral history project is to collect the vivid and provocative memories of BCC from students, faculty, staff and alumni. This collective effort will include several voices: from the student who struggled against all odds to get their degree, to the instructor who recognized the potential of teaching nontraditional students, and alumni on their college experience and how it helped shape them into the people they are. The focus of our oral history work will be to document the era of 1970s when BCC moved into the University Heights campus to the present day. We will … Read more