The Forgotten Fight Oral History Project is a living history project based on a collection of personal stories from the homeless veteran community in Richmond, Virginia. The project looks at the larger narratives and common threads in the collected oral histories to place them in the context of a public and collective memory through dialogue with scholarly research.

Inspired by The Cleveland Homeless Oral History Project conducted by Daniel Kerr, the purpose of this project is to provide a deeper understanding of a marginalized population and to help give these people a voice with which to tell their story and be heard. [1] It is my hope that I can provide a service; a platform for these individuals to tell their story- whatever story they feel is important to their own history- in an attempt to understand the current state of the homeless veteran population in America beyond the analytical and scholarly research that has been done in the past and begin to break down the boundaries that exist between those who are homeless and those who are not.  Oral historians have found that giving someone the opportunity to tell their story is beneficial not only to them, but to the population as a whole because it allows for the formation of dialogue between two distinct groups; in this case those who are homeless and those who are not. [2] The project is a cultural product that exhibits the oral histories of homeless veterans and their perspectives, contextualizing the individual narrative of the homeless veteran in the frame of larger public memory. The Forgotten Fight Oral History Project is presented as an interactive video website that allows the audience to connect directly with the veterans’ stories and thoughts. The oral history videos on the website are largely unedited to allow for the veteran to tell their story with little interruption or influence and allow the audience to engage with their stories as a primary source for individual interpretation.

[1] Kerr, Daniel. “‘We Know What the Problem Is’: Using Oral History to Develop a Collaborative Analysis of Homelessness from the Bottom up.” The Oral History Review 30, no. 1 (2003): 27-45.

[2] For more oral history projects, see Studs Terkel Hard Times, and Daniel Kerr’s Cleveland Homeless Oral History Project.