Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 022 Neal Lester interviewed by Kim WatersAthens Oral History Project, AOHP 022 Neal Lester interviewed by Kim Waters

Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 022 Neal Lester interviewed by Kim Waters

Descriptive Summary

Title: Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 022 Neal Lester interviewed by Kim Waters
Dates: 2016 September 13
Extent: 1.0 interview 114 minutes
Collection Number: RBRL/361/AOHP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Collection Description

Biographical note

Neal Lester grew up in Jefferson, Georgia, and earned his B.A. in English from the State University of West Georgia, and his M.A., and Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. He taught at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), the University of Montevallo in Alabama, and since 1997, has been a professor at the University of Arizona, where he was the founding director of Project Humanities. Lester is the co-author and editor of seven books, as well as a public speaker, radio guest, and columnist.

Scope and Content

Neal Lester talks about growing up in Jefferson, Georgia, the influences of his family, church, and teachers, and recalls his experience of integrated schools and the teachers that mentored him and inspired him to teach. Lester discusses more in depth the racial dynamic of his hometown, and contextualizes race and prejudice both in the South and in other places he has studied, worked and travelled. He brings up issues surrounding interracial relationships, hair politics, and colorblindness, as well as discussing identity-creation through storytelling, the idea of teaching as performance, and the belief in people's power of transformation.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Custodial History note

The Athens Oral History Project was initiated in 2014 to document modern Athens history, roughly from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Interviews cover topics such as neighborhoods and communities in Athens, civil rights demonstrations, African American history, as well as personal histories of narrators.

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2017.


Related Materials

Related Collections in this Repository

Athens Oral History Project


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

AOHP 022 Neal Lester video on Kaltura Access Online
AOHP-022 Neal Lester audio on SoundCloud Access Online