Columbia Archives Seeks Voices For Martin Luther King Jr. Day Oral History Project

CAlogoTREE_colorFifty years after the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, an oral history project in Howard County seeks to bring the generations together.

“The memories are still vivid for the ‘Silent Generation’ and Baby Boomers who participated in the 1963 demonstration, but for their children and grandchildren, the Generation Xers and Millennials, it might be just something they read in history books,” said Barbara Kellner, director of Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Archives.

“This project will connect the people who lived through the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Movement — and personally felt the impact — with some of today’s teens who have been impacted in a different way,” Kellner said.

On Jan. 20, Howard County will join the nation in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day of service. Columbia Archives will partner with the Howard County Public School System for the oral history project. Older adults who lived through the period will have a chance to tell their stories, and selected students will be trained to conduct interviews.

Those who have a story to tell can contact Barbara Kellner at 410-715-3103 or via email at Walk-ins are also welcome. The students will conduct interviews with Howard County citizens on Jan. 20 from approximately 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the North Laurel Senior Center, which is located at 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road. The interviews will be recorded and archived in the Columbia Archives.

Columbia was created during the 1960s and an open, diverse citizenry was a highly valued goal.  Therefore, the personal stories of those who lived through that time period and chose to make Columbia or Howard County their home are significant to Columbia’s history. The project also engages students to learn more about the impact of Martin Luther King Jr., the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Movement.

Columbia Archives collects and preserves the history of Columbia. The public is welcome to visit Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, go to or contact Archives staff at or 410-715-3103.

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit service corporation that manages Columbia, MD, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at


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Filed under Columbia Association Press Releases, Columbia News

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