In this article we describe the process of implementing a community-based research project that linked student learning with documenting elements of local histories surrounding the civil rights movement in Mississippi and Tennessee. We show that developing a dialogue among community members, ourselves, and our students worked to democratize the research project, produce strong support among the community members, and contribute to an improved understanding of racial inequality for our students. We rely on our accounts of the process, student journals, and oral histories compiled during the research. Our findings show that there are considerable opportunities for community-based research around documenting and sharing key memories and that these can be realized even when the priorities between researchers and community members do not align. Our historically-oriented fieldwork, research, and findings serve to link service-learning to community-based research.

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