The interviews, which often last an hour or more, are raw and unedited, complete with every cough, “um,” and “uh.” Personalities, so often obscured in history texts, quickly emerge in these interviews. Virginia Jackson Kiah, Lillie May Carroll Jackson’s daughter, frequently expresses irritation with her interviewer, for example. “Three years. That’s all I can say, Mr. Exact Years,” she says at one point, in answer to a question about a date. Telling details about the historic figures under examination are also revealed. Jackson’s forceful demeanor comes through in a story Kiah, an artist, tells about her mother approaching local ministers on her behalf. “My mother would say, ‘You need a portrait painted of yourself. You know good and well that they’re not going to think about you at all after you’re gone. . . .’ And so, ‘Yes, Mrs. Jackson. All right, Mrs. Jackson.’ I got one order after the other like that,” Kiah says.