|Michael BallOumar Ballo
|Samantha HawkinsNathaniel Jackson
|Brandon ReederDustin Roddy
“I enjoy that I am partaking in the legacy of Sparrows Point. I see how important this place is for the people that worked at the Mill. This was a great opportunity to help with the project. I thought it was really genuine of everyone to keep the memories of Sparrows Point. Since I grew up in Baltimore I have always heard of the Mill. I have seen the Mill from a distance as well, but never knew anything about it. It was really cool hearing the people’s stories about Sparrows Point. I especially liked hearing the fun memories the people had with one another.”
“When going out into the field to interview Courtney Speed, I learned that people really do take pride in what they believe in and where they come from. She is an amazing woman who was, still to this day, doing things to help her community. The interviews I listened to of people who used to work at Sparrows Point – a.k.a. Bethlehem Steel – made me realize what it meant to them and the effects it had on their lives. Now, when I pass the Mill, I just think to myself: what a shame.”
Documenting Cultural Heritage was an excellent class that provided the key elements of interviewing and researching past and present values that exist in micro cultures globally. Through the tools that were presented and with various techniques of gaining information which included the interviewing that took place at Sparrows Point this class was an excellent opportunity to learn the skills of deriving information, organizing and developing real ethnographic observation all leading to a composite view and understanding of the important factors that depict the real life experiences of a set of employees that have experienced so much.
Coming into this special topics course I had no idea what to expect and, now as it is coming to an end, I have developed a real appreciation of the work our class has done this semester. Unlike any course I’ve ever taken, AMST 358 allowed us to be a part of the development of documenting the cultural heritage of Sparrows Point. Prior to this course I had no idea what Sparrows Point was or the story behind it and through these interviews I was able to learn so much and understand the importance of this project. These Mill stories are tales that everyone should hear and I hope that through this project these workers find some closure and peace with the closing of the plant. After hearing the many stories of workers losing their pension and ending up with nothing, I hope that someone with high-ranking could hear these stories as well and possibly take action in giving something back to them.