Oral Histories // Participate in the Harlem Prep Project!
Perhaps most important to reconstructing Harlem Prep is through the stories of students and staff who went there. If you are an alumnus or attended the school in any capacity, help us learn your story! Arrange for an oral history interview today by contacting me here, or just to learn more information about the project!
Oral histories are at the heart of this project, and besides helping the book/dissertation project, with the permission of each interviewee, will be accessible here to read. Thank you to all the alumni who are willing to share your stories thus far!
Do you know a student who attended Harlem Prep? See the class lists in progress here.
Why are Oral Histories so important to Harlem Prep's history?
That's a good question! However, the answer can be boiled down to one simple reason: oral histories are the best way to forever place your stories in the historical record. This is particularly important because each person who attended (or taught at) Harlem Prep has such a unique story, and it is important to make sure all those stories are known and recorded for future people (current educators, descendants of Harlem Prep alumni, historians, etc.) to learn about. If these story are not known and recorded, then they are lost forever. Finally, oral histories provide me (Barry) testimonies, anecdotes, and a better understanding of Harlem Prep that I will include in my research -- the more students (and staff) I speak with, the better I will be able to understand and write about the school.
What happens during and after an Oral History?
Generally, myself (Barry) and an assistant (a Harlem resident and current college student) will meet with you at a time/location (or via phone if not in the New York City area). There, we will just have a discussion about your life, including your experience at Harlem Prep and anything that you want to share about your time there, which all be recorded. Then, I will "transcribe" the audio into a text document to read. Finally, only with your permission, I will be able to use the interview in future research and post the transcript to this website. Overall, the interviews are really just conversations, and they should always be enjoyable and a trip down memory lane!
Oral Histories are organized by alphabetically by last name. Click to read each interview.
Grayman-Rich, Beverly (Class of '74)
Kahamu, Mwanajua [Greg Hardy] (Class '71)
Randolph, Ed (Class of '68/Teacher)
Teachers and Staff
Supporters and Advocates
Carpenter, Casey (daughter of Ed and Ann)
Smith, Joshua (Ford Foundation)