Being parked outside the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) gives Mobile East a great view of two landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement: Kelly Ingram Park across the street and the 16th Street Baptist Church down the block. In the midst of all this history, we also have the pleasure of partnering with BCRI to invite members of Birmingham’s African-American community to record their stories.
Jomo and Asha Xulu were our first participants from BCRI. Asha jumped right in given the chance to ask her husband about anything in his life. She was most curious about his childhood growing up in South Africa: “You never talk about it!” (more…)
Along with a great month of recording at the MobileBooth in Waco, TX, Team Mobile West also worked with local leaders to organize a field recording with McLennan Community College, a cornerstone of the local community that has been serving the Waco area for more than 40 years.
We were joined by Santos Martinez, Vice President of Student Services at the College. He interviewed Irma Lopez, a friend and student at McLennan. (more…)
Is it too late to talk about 2010? Been feeling nostalgic for the good ‘ol days. Here’s a test. If you’re still find yourself saying “Happy New Year” then 2010 can’t be all that far behind.
2010 was a great year for the New York StoryBooth Department. There were so many great interviews. We welcomed over a thousand participants, partnered with some fantastic community organizations, recorded hundreds of stories, wept through several boxes of tissues, and withstood one mighty blizzard. Here are just some of the highlights over the course of 2010.
Excited participants frequently ask us what kind of stories people tell in the StoryCorps MobileBooth. As Facilitators, it’s difficult to identify specific themes because we hear all kinds of stories on a wide variety of topics. In Waco, TX, however, I heard quite a few stories about love and first meetings.
Ruben Paul Salazar, 39, met Rachel P. Salazar, 43, online, but in a very unusual way. On January 10, 2007, Ruben was at work checking his email. He noticed a message from someone he did not recognize and realized that he had been included in a chain of emails that were meant for someone else. Looking closely, noticed that the intended recipient, Rachel P. Salazar in Thailand, had an email address that, except for two digits, was almost identical to his. He forwarded this email it to its appropriate recipient and added a cheerful message:
“Hi Rachel. Hola prima, hello cousin! It seems as if this message came to me instead of you. I’m in Waco, TX, USA. It’s good to hear biodiversity is such an important topic around the world. Have a great day! -Ruben P. Salazar, Chicano, cyclist commuter, community artist. P.S. How’s the weather in Bangkok.?”
Josh Green (right) and Justin Mazzei (center) brought their friend and associate, Bill Strickland (left), to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for a StoryCorps interview on an October Saturday. StoryCorps visited the Museum after it won the National Award for Museum Service from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Bill described growing up in Pittsburgh’s Northside, which was once a culturally robust section enriched by residents’ work in the steel mills. As industry declined, the neighborhood emptied and fell into violent despair.
Josh and Justin asked Bill, a nonprofit executive, which memory he would hold onto for all eternity. Bill humbly replied to Josh’s and Justin’s superlative challenge by describing his favorite memory as marked by the light of Saturday afternoon.
The week of November 7-13, 2010, was Gay Pride week on the campus of Spelman College – one of Atlanta’s five HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) that comprise the Atlanta University Center (AUC). And while Spelman sponsors the Pride activities, students from the other four institutions (Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College and the Interdenominational Theological Center) are invited to participate. Spelman openly celebrates the lives and accomplishments of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and questioning (LGBTQIQ) students.
To celebrate the 2010 National Day of Listening on Thanksgiving weekend, the San Francisco StoryBooth and the Contemporary Jewish Museum collaborated to put on a fun-filled afternoon of family activities.
The program featured a “listening stick” art-making project, which was a big hit for all ages! In line with the event’s theme, kids and parents sat at tables hanging out together, telling stories, and adorning their crafty cardboard tubes with ears, collaged images, and even some written messages about the importance of listening in their lives.
StoryCorps opened in Oklahoma City to a windy autumn morning in front of the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall. Oklahomans welcomed us warmly even though the weather kept it a little chilly in the Booth.
Mary Sosa and her daughter Stephanie Armstrong came to the MobileBooth through our partnership with the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma, an organization that helps develop active communities through leadership training and grant assistance. Stephanie was most interested to find out what her mom was like before she became the president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association: “Were you a troublemaker as a child?”