June 23, 2006
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—The African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the United States Library of Congress has selected the audio recording of a February 23 Amherst College talk by activist Francis Bok for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials related to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. The talk was recorded by the Amherst Recording Council. ARC was founded by Nick Doty (Amherst ’06) in the spring of 2004 to record lectures and events on campus, so that the college might have “a record of the various and interesting goings on” and “remember as an intellectual community, including students, professors and alumni, the richness and diversity of opinion, polemic, reflection and creativity that we are so fortunate to possess.”
The Library of Congress preserves cultural artifacts and provides access to them. The library’s traditional functions (namely, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people in order to foster education and scholarship) extend to digital materials, including Websites. The library will provide a link to the Amherst College Website, and make this link available to researchers everywhere by hosting the collection on its public access Website. The talk is now available at www.amherst.edu/arc/audio/darfur.
A native of Southern Sudan, Bok was captured and enslaved at the age of seven, during an Arab militia raid on the village of Nymlal in 1986. Ten years later he escaped to Cairo. In 1999, the United Nations resettled him in North Dakota.
Bok is now an associate at the American Anti-Slavery Group in Boston and has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, in The New York Time, Essence and dozens of other newspapers, radio and television shows. His autobiography, Escape From Slavery, has received outstanding reviews from Entertainment Weekly, Publisher’s Weekly, The Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle.