On the eve of the fifteenth anniversary of Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride weekend, StoryCorps Atlanta partnered with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History to host, Pride and Community: Preserving the Black LGBTQ Experience. Since opening its recording booth in Atlanta two years ago, StoryCorps Atlanta has captured and archived hundreds of stories from the African-American community, and many of the participants who have come into the booth are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or queer. This evening was an opportunity to celebrate the lives and stories of Atlanta’s Black LGBTQ community and discuss why it’s important for its members to preserve their stories.
Community activists and AID Atlanta colleagues Craig Washington and Charles Stephens spoke passionately about how their experience in the StoryCorps recording booth helped them better understand the importance of recording and preserving Black LGBTQ stories.
Below are Cheryl Courtney-Evans and AJ Jones, who were introduced to StoryCorps through Lambda Legal’s Trans Tell Your Story Project. At Pride and Community, they explained why it is important for transgender people to tell their stories. For them, the transgender community is often hidden from sight – even within the LGBTQ community – and recording their stories is a way to be more visible.
Recent Spelman alumna Jeshawna Wholley and her friend and Morehouse alum Daniel Edwards spoke to those in attendance about the work they’ve done on their college campuses to further LGBTQ policy issues and how StoryCorps helped them record those stories. They both agreed that telling their story at StoryCorps was one of the highlights of their college careers.
Throughout the evening, as StoryCorps alumni shared their experiences, it was clear that not only is it important to record and preserve stories, but that StoryCorps is an important partner in accomplishing that goal.