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Here is a list of questions we would love to hear the answers too. Feel free to add your own questions and to ask follow up questions if you just want to know more. There is no such thing as a bad question, however if the person is uncomfortable with the question just move on to the next one. (Files can be mp3, mp4, m4a, wav. Images jpg or png and any text file send all content to a compressed zip folder and upload to our site.)


Questions to ask


  • What is your full name and when and where were you born?

  • Had your family been from that area for a long time?

  • What are your family’s roots? Where did they come from? 

  • Do you remember any stories about your family?

  • Growing up what was your neighborhood like? Was it racially and ethnically mixed?

  • What was it like growing up in that area?

  • What was your childhood like? Tell me about the schools you went too.

  • What kind of work did your mother do? Your father? Your grandparents?

  • What was it like being black in your community?

  • What kind of job/s did you have?

  • Did you have any role models in the family or the community?

  • Did you admire any pubic figures? (celebrities, Presidents, etc)

  • Do you have any memories of the Great Depression? World War II? the Roosevelts? the 1950’s? the Civil Rights Movement?

  • Can you talk about segregation and what role it had in your life?

  • Do you remember where you were when President Kennedy was killed? Martin Luther King? Robert Kennedy? Malcom X? How did their assassinations make you feel?

  • Do you have a love of your life? Tell me about them?

  • Can you tell me about your religious beliefs/spiritual beliefs? What is your religion? How important was it to you?

  • Did anyone in your family serve in the military? Do you know where?

  • What advice would you give the younger generation?

  • In your lifetime, how much progress have Black people made? Is there more to do? 






You can send your interviewee a set of questions you may be asking before hand, but let their stories lead you. Always begin with the person's full name and when and where they were born.

The Process - Coherent and Clarity.

There are a few basic steps to conducting the interviews. The most important thing is to choose a setting where you will have no interruptions, minimal to no background noise and the subject’s undivided attention. The first step is to determine if the interview(s) will be done live in-person, meaning the two of you are in a room together, or via the phone.


In Person

Place your phone an equal distance between you and your guest to make to insure you get the best audio possible.


Speaker Phone & Computer - when you call your interviewee be sure your phone mic is positioned near your computer's mic., and is on speaker setting. Go to to record from your phone directly to your computer. Once finished stop the recording and it will automatically save to your computer. 

Digital Recorder - Put your phone on speaker setting, have your digital device close to your telephone mic, using your voice recorder, record your interview, transfer it to your computer and then upload your interview.



It’s best to do a test prior to the actual recording. Record 2 different takes of about :30 seconds each, one with varying distances from the actual phone microphone to see which distance/placement gives you the best results, the other for volume levels alternating how loudly you and the person you are interviewing speaks, respectively. Once you have begun your recording it is highly recommended that you not touch the phone for the duration of the interview, and that you maintain the same distance and volume levels, thus assuring consistent levels and no jostling of the recording device. 


Sharing Audio Files & Pics

Once you’ve located it, click on it and share it with us via email  by attaching it. Or, you can upload it onto our website at We do ask that all participants also attach photographs of you and the interviewee, respectively and one of the two of you together if you have one or can take one if you are doing the interview live. The file must be smaller than 25 MB to attach via Gmail, but that shouldn’t be a problem seeing as most of these interviews - if not all of them - will be brief and most photo file sizes are also small.


Phone Microphone Setting

There are different settings to your factory provided app/mic recorder - “Standard”, “Voice”, “Interview”, etc. I would tell you that there’s very little discernible difference between the settings, but you can try the “Voice” or “Interview” options and see which one you like; some “Interview options allow you to use both top & bottom mics, if your phone model had them. Then select the “File Type” (“MP3”) and “Save To/Storage Path” options. 


Before recording, check to see where the mic is located - top, bottom or both - to make sure your phone can pick up the audio from both you and the person you are interviewing. Most likely you are going to have to lay the phone flat or stand it up between the two of you with the mic as centrally positioned as possible.

Have any questions please email us at


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The Process
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