Collaborative Complexities: Co-Authorship, Voice, and African American Rhetoric in Oral History Community Literacy Projects

Laurie Grobman


This co-authored article describes a community literacy oral history project involving 14 undergraduate students. It is intellectually situated at the intersection of writing studies, oral history, and African American rhetoric and distinguished by two features: 1) we were a combined team of 20 collaborators, and 2) our narrator, Frank Gilyard, the founder and former director of the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum (CPAAM), was deceased. Because oral history is narrator-driven, Gilyard’s death required us to remain especially attentive to the epistemic value of his voice. 

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