History – in the words of those who lived it 

The Journey Continues captures the experiences of people who lived through periods of great change in Springfield's African American community and shares these experiences through short videos, audio recordings and writing. This process not only allows us to tell the story in the subjects' own words, but also provides a multifaceted picture of the day-to-day life of the African American community.

Our hope is that this project will serve as a living archive, continuing to develop as Springfield's story continues to unfold. To date, interview subjects have provided a diverse and complex array of perspectives, and this mosaic of different experiences creates a rich picture of African American history in the Ozarks. 

We are interested in meeting with additional subjects – particularly those who have experiences in previous decades. We're exploring questions such as: 

  • How did you or your family first come to Springfield? 
  • How have things changed in the time you've been here? And how have they remained consistent?
  • What details can you share about jobs, schools, businesses and neighborhoods?
  • What experiences have been especially pivotal in your life?  

If you or someone you know has a story to share, please contact Lyle Foster to explore interview possibilities. 



Gertha Clark

Gertha grew up in Springfield and pursued her goal of working as a nurse.


Norma Duncan

Norma Duncan has explored historical and cultural factors that make the Springfield community unique.


Richard Lewis

As a young man, Richard experienced life at both Lincoln and Central high schools.


Betty Ransom

Betty came of age during segregation before becoming a wife, mother and business owner.