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. 

About our committee

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.

Project Support

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. 

Visit our online Missing History of Massillon archive

at MissingHistoryofMassillon.org

We are always adding to our database as we scan more materials, identify photographs, and conduct more video interviews!


Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories

on view in the Aultman Health Foundation Gallery

from  June 11 through November 9, 2022!


Upcoming Related Events:

Collections for SOJCC Backpack Giveaway
From July 26‒August 3

Drop off donations @MassMu for Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections Backpack Giveaway • Supply listing @ SisterhoodOfJewelsCommunityConnectionsLLC.com

Oral History Workshop with Mandy Altimus Stahl
Tuesday, August 9, at 6:00pm

Join MassMu's Archivist, Mandy Altimus Stahl, for a free Oral History Workshop in the Massillon Museum's Gessner Hall. She will discuss why oral histories are important and general information about conducting oral histories, and will provide resources for broader context.
Reserve your free ticket via MassMu's Eventbrite page, www.MassillonMuseum.org/Tickets, or call 330-833-4061.

BeYoutiful Weirdo presents Girl Time: A Girls’ Empowerment mini pop-up shop
Saturday, August 27 • Noon‒6:00pm
Free/All Ages/No registration • @The Straight Path Program Community Development Center • 325 3rd St. SE, Massillon • Meet with Black female business owners

Online Artist Talk with Amber Ford
Wednesday, September 14, from 6:30-7:30pm

Join MassMu via Zoom for a free Artist Talk featuring photographer Amber N. Ford.

Amber N. Ford is an artist and freelance photographer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Her work explores Blackness, identity and culture while questioning the accepted idealized conceptualization of “truth." Ford's images are featured in Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories.
Reserve your free ticket via MassMu's Eventbrite page, www.MassillonMuseum.org/Tickets, or call 330-833-4061.

Sunday Community Dinner
Sunday, September 18, from 4:00-6:00pm

Join MassMu for a free meal reminiscent of after-church dinners, followed by a panel discussion with community members. 
Reserve your free ticket via MassMu's Eventbrite page, www.MassillonMuseum.org/Tickets, or call 330-833-4061.

Love and Solidarity Film Screening
Saturday, September 24, from 6:30-7:15pm

Enjoy a free screening of the Bullfrog Films documentary Love and Solidarity, which is an exploration of nonviolence protesting and organizing through the life and teachings of Rev. James Lawson. 
Reserve your free ticket via MassMu's Eventbrite page, www.MassillonMuseum.org/Tickets, or call 330-833-4061.

Black History Archives Day
Tuesday, October 25 • 4:00‒8:00pm
Free/Public/No reservations • In the Massillon Museum's Gessner Hall

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

Photographs from the June 11, 2022 exhibit opening

Missing History Exhibit Opening



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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