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Collection Tier:
Tier 3

Video and Audio ➔ Oral History, Ron Yob

For the Changing America exhibit, local community leaders were asked to respond to the question: How do you see the legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington in Grand Rapids today?
Digital Audio
Changing America (May 25 – October 13 2019)

Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963, examines the relationship between two great people’s movements, which both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. One hundred years separate them, yet they are linked in a larger story of liberty and the American experience – one that has had a profound impact on the generations that followed. 

The GRPM added artifacts and stories to the exhibition to give it an additional local perspective. In addition to artifacts from the GRPM Collections, many artifacts on display are on loan from the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives. Local stories are told through the eyes of our community in the form of oral histories and a place for visitors to share their own stories.

Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963 was created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Ron Yob
Ron Yob is the Chairman of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians. He is the direct descendant of Chief Maish-Ke-Aw-She who was a signatory to the 1855 Treaty. During a time when American Indians throughout the country were looking for answers and seeking civil rights, Ron was an active participant. He walked the the American Indian Movement’s “Longet Walk” in Washington DC in 1978. He has continued to serve his community and share his knowledge through his love of teaching. He has touched thousands of students through his teaching career and continues as an adjunct faculty at Aquinas College and as a board member for the Grand Rapids Public Museum.