anthropology m.a. student illuminates local black history

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Mississippi native Camille Richardson is working with colleagues at UNC Charlotte to recover the history of the Rosenwald Schools, institutions established in the early twentieth century to help educate rural African-American children. Along with local organizations and with graduates of the Mt. Vernon Rosenwald School in Lincoln County, NC, Richardson is engaged in both archaeological excavations of the material traces of their history, and in collecting oral histories from its former students. Each type of data enriches the other. Reflecting on the archeological research so far, Richardson’s M.A. advisor Dr. Sara Juengst points out that “It’s because these items are not what might be considered important artifacts that they have significance,” Juengst said. “These are the types of items nobody thinks about. That’s the reality of everyday life.”