Alaskans join HistoryMakers

The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, visited Anchorage the week of May 21, 2018, to interview 11 African Americans whose video oral histories will be preserved permanently at the Library of Congress and featured on The HistoryMakers Digital Archive.

Those interviewed included former commissioner for the Alaska Administration Eleanor Andrews; defense attorney Rex Butler; retired Superior Court Judge Lawrence Card; former Alaska Senator Bettye Davis; owner of Mayfield’s Quality Cleaners and E&S Diversified Services Mayfield Evans; Shiloh Community Development Director Celeste H. Growden; retired public administrator Jewel Jones; owner of Midnight Sun and Van Car Rentals Sylvester Joubert; Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Emeritus Reverend Alonzo Patterson; National Committee Man for the Alaska Democratic Party Ed Wesley; and performing historian Cal Williams.

A History Makers press statement noted that during the visit, the group also met with representatives from local museums, libraries, the university, Rasmuson Foundation and other entities to forge partnerships to help not only bring the history of African Americans in Alaska to a national stage, but also elevate it within the state.

The HistoryMakers is a national non-profit headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, dedicated to recording and preserving the personal histories of well-known and unsung African Americans. For more information, visit

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