Missing History of Massillon

Unheard African American Stories

About this project

The Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories project was launched in 2020 to address the Museum’s deficit in content related to Massillon’s African American heritage while striving to be more welcoming to diverse populations.  Your Massillon Museum is working 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.

Oral histories as primary source materials offer the ability to make real and meaningful connections between people, places, and things.  They inspire empathy and convey the power of story.  The Massillon Museum has been recording oral histories since the 1970s, and more than thirty people have been interviewed about the Black history of Massillon. 

Missing History of Massillon Committee members include: Marva Dodson, Heather Pennington, Mandy Altimus Stahl, A Wise Way, Alexandra Nicholis Coon, Bailey Yoder, Anna Young, Brandon Rohrer, Stephanie Toole, Margy Vogt, Daja Simpson, Ke'Aunte Harris, Tierra Pettis, Kelly Waggoner, LaToya D. Young, and Amber Ford.

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, Marathon Petroleum, 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. 

Upcoming Events and Exhibits:

  • Saturday, April 2, 2022 our Missing History preview exhibit will open on our second floor. On display through May.
  • Saturday, June 11, 2022 the main Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories exhibit will open in the Aultman Health Foundation Gallery

We need your help!

We are seeking virtual volunteers to help with:

  • Identifying individuals to interview
  • Interviewing people
  • Scanning photographs
  • Transcribing and outlining 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!

Share your story!

We invite you to upload your stories, digital photographs, scanned documents, and more through Submittable.

You can also set up an appointment or ask questions by emailing Archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl or calling 330-833-4061 x 113.


March 25, 2022, Season 24 Episode 22


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.

Help us identify these photos!

Unidentified photos

Oral History Training Workshop:


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