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Hartford '67 Oral History Project

Identifier: OH-Hartford-67

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises five oral history interview videos recorded in 2019. All interviews are conducted by Dr. Fiona Vernal of the University of Connecticut. The subjects of the interviews are either natives of Hartford, Connecticut, or have lived in the city for the majority of their lives. Dr. Vernal speaks with Dr. Benjamin Foster, a local educator; Steve Harris, retired Captain of the Hartford Fire Department; Patricia Kelly, founder of the Ebony Horsewomen; Willie Mann, retired Hartford Public Schools educator; and Charles Teale, Sr., retired Chief of the Hartford Fire Department. Interviews range in length from 46 minutes to one hour and 49 minutes.


  • 2019


The oral history project was one of three programs Hartford Stage included along with the production of Detroit '67.

A description of the play: Dominique Morisseau’s powerful Detroit ’67 unfolds during an explosive moment in U.S. history—the race riots that tore the city of Detroit apart. The story centers on Chelle and her brother Lank, who make ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours party. When a mysterious woman makes her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than family business.

From the playbill:

In the “long, hot summer of 1967,” more than 150 instances of civil and racial unrest unfolded in cities across America, including Detroit and Hartford. In conjunction with Detroit ’67, Hartford Stage is launching a series of community engagement initiatives to explore the resonances of the play for Hartford in 1967 and today, in 2019. HARTFORD ’67 Oral History Project During the run of Detroit ’67, Hartford Stage will partner with Dr. Fiona Vernal, Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, to interview Hartford residents for first-hand accounts of the civil unrest of 1967 in Hartford. These videos will be archived at the robust history collection at the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library. DETROIT ’67/HARTFORD ’67 Lobby Display In its upper lobby, Hartford Stage has curated an exhibit juxtaposing images from the urban upheavals in 1967 Detroit and Hartford. The display was created with archival support from the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, and will tour to Hartford Public Library branches following the run of Detroit ’67. HARTFORD ’19 Panel Discussion How much has the Hartford of 2019 changed from 1967? What issues remain familiar and pressing, demanding attention and action? As the nation stands at a crossroads, Hartford Stage invites the community to the Hartford ’19 panel discussion at 7:00 PM on Monday, February 25, 2019, where community leaders will examine social justice, equity, and civic engagement in Hartford today. The panel is moderated by Dr. Stacey Close, Associate Vice President of Equity and Diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University. The event is free and open to all.


5 Recordings

Language of Materials



Oral history interviews conducted in conjunction with Hartford Stage's production of Detroit '67.


The collection is closed. Additional accruals are not expected.

Hartford '67 Oral History Project
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hartford History Center Repository

Hartford History Center
Hartford Public Library
500 Main St
Hartford CT 06103 USA