SCSS PHI Interns Kisha Emmanuel and Charles Thomason explore the Jennie B. Scott Family Papers

The Summersell Center for Southern History’s Public History Initiative partners students with on-campus and local organizations, such as the Gorgas House, W.H. Hoole Special Collections Library, and local churches and clubs, to conduct research and create projects that communicate their history to the public.

This semester, Kisha Emmanuel and Charles Thomason, are interning at Hoole Special Collections Library here on The University of Alabama’s campus. They have the following to say about their experiences so far:

Kisha Emmanuel

Newspaper clipping discussing the fact that race has nothing to do with nursing ability.For this internship, we are primarily working with the Jennie B. Scott Family Papers which are housed in the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. This collection contains an impressively consistent set of journals maintained by Mrs.Scott and various scrapbooks, books, and photos. Furthermore, there are materials from her sister, Rosa Lee, with whom she lived in Tuskegee after they were both widowed, and from her daughter Ruth. Mrs. Scott was a retired African-American teacher living in the South from the late-19th century through the mid-1960s. Her collection gives insight into middle-class African-American life and culture in the Jim Crow era. We have been tasked with exploring this collection and finding an aspect of it which we wish to highlight within an exhibit of our creation. Throughout our research, we noticed how her life, and the life of those around her, was shaped profoundly during the 1918 influenza pandemic. As a result, we have decided to focus on healthcare disparities in the African-American community during the Jim Crow era.

Charles Thomason

This semester I have been working at Hoole Special Collections with a team doing research on the Jennie B. Scott Family Papers, which includes items from an African-American Alabama family from the late-18th century to the mid-1960s. I’ve found looking at her diary entries to be particularly interesting because she wrote prolifically on a daily basis throughout her life and often on similar themes. You can compare what she found important during her early life with that of her later life. Later this semester our team will be using these sources to put together a display highlighting a particular facet of the Jim Crow South.