Feb. 3: Hanford History Project to celebrate Black History Month through kick-off of civil rights project

Feb. 3: Hanford History Project to celebrate Black History Month through kick-off of civil rights project

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities’ Hanford History Project will celebrate Black History Month on Saturday, Feb. 3, through a kick-off event for a project that will document African American History at the Hanford Site.

The event, which runs 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Richland Public Library, will feature a 45-minute presentation by speakers from the National Park Service, the African American Community Cultural and Education Society, the Hanford History Project and more.

Speakers will discuss the goals of the WSU and National Parks Service civil rights oral history project, the work being done in the community regarding the documentation of African American history in the area, as well as make an announcement of a new survey project taking place in East Pasco regarding African American History. Individuals will also be invited to participate in the oral history project documenting African American life at the Hanford Site.

Individuals will then be invited to mingle, enjoy refreshments and learn more about the civil rights oral history project, as well as set up interviews for the project. Posters displaying life for African American workers at the Hanford Site will also be on display.

The Hanford History Project received a grant from the National Park Service recently to analyze the experience of African Americans at Hanford, as well as research and document African American migration, immigration and settlement before and after coming to Hanford. Hanford History Project staff are looking to interview African American individuals who had some experience of the Hanford Site at the time of the Manhattan Project or in the years after.

“We hope to talk to anyone who worked at Hanford or resided in the Tri-Cities from 1943 up through the late 1960s,” said Michael Mays, director of the Hanford History Project. “We want to understand, in better detail and scope, what the experiences were of these individuals from a personal angle.”

Appointment times will be available for those who wish to schedule oral history interviews and information will be provided regarding scheduling interviews with friends or families not able to attend.

For more information on the event, and to participate in the oral history project, contact Jillian Gardner-Andrews at j.gardner-andrews@wsu.edu, or visit https://tricities.wsu.edu/hanfordhistory/.