Missing History of Massillon

Unheard African American Stories

Your Massillon Museum has partnered with Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections, LLC, (SOJCC) to document the history of Massillon’s Black community, and to maintain and integrate representation of this history into the archives, collections, and shared memory of our community.

Our first goal is to collect oral history interviews, stories, and photographs.

Our ultimate goal is to develop an exhibition (tentatively scheduled for Summer 2022) that shares these stories with the public.

We need your help! We are seeking virtual volunteers to help with:

  • Identifying individuals to interview
  • Interviewing people
  • Scanning photographs
  • Transcribing interviews
  • Researching related newspaper articles
  • Sharing YOUR stories and photographs

This community project ensures that these voices be heard, preserved, and shared.  We look forward to working with you!

Join our Facebook Group to share and discuss history topics with us!

Join us on Tuesday, October 26 (2:00-7:00pm) and Wednesday, October 27 (10:00am-Noon, 2:00-7:00pm)

The Massillon Museum will host a two-day open house event on Tuesday, October 26 (2:00 to 7:00 p.m.) and Wednesday, October 27 (10:00 a.m. to noon and 2:00 to 7:00 p.m.) to assist patrons with digitizing their materials, gathering stories, and preparing for installation of Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories on June 11, 2022. 

Community members are invited to help preserve the history of African American men and women of Massillon. Historic photographs, artifacts, documents, family letters, artworks, uniforms, patches, telegrams, and audiovisual recordings are among the many items eligible for digitization and public commemoration. Staff members will also record histories from the past and present, so contemporary stories and individuals of all ages are encouraged to participate. 

Staff will scan, photograph, and identify your treasures while you wait. Items will be returned immediately. Stories will be recorded on video or audio devices. Contributors will receive a free digital copy.  Black History Archives Day is an easy, no-appointment opportunity to talk with museum professionals about family history. 

With permission, digital copies of materials collected during the Black History Archives Day will be included in the Massillon Museum archives and be considered for possible inclusion in the upcoming exhibit Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories. 

The Massillon Museum receives operational support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark, as well as marketing support from Visit Canton.  Grants from the Massillon Community Charitable Fund at Stark Community Foundation and the Aultman Health Foundation have made this project possible, as well as private contributions. The Museum has organized this project in partnership with Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections, Inc., A Wise Way, and numerous community members. 

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon. A visit to the Massillon Museum is always free. Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in nearby city lots. For more information, call the Museum at 330-833-4061 or visit massillonmuseum.org.

Project Introduction video:

Volunteer Resources:

Initial Interview Contact Form

Oral History Release Form

Missing History suggested interview questions

Create your own community project: Use our Faces of Rural America project toolkit!

Click here for the first Oral History Training session on Facebook Live.

Oral History Training Workshop:


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