"At the age of 18, I didn't know what I was going to be doing with my life."

President Barack Obama speaks with 18-year-old Noah McQueen, a mentee in the White House Mentorship Program. Just a couple of years ago, Noah was in trouble with the law, but today he is part of My Brother's Keeper, a White House initiative for young men of color. Noah recently visited the White House where he was interviewed by the President.

Image of Noah McQueen and Barack Obama 150225
President Barack Obama speaks with 18-year-old Noah McQueen, a mentee in the White House Mentorship Program. Just a couple of ...
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Produced by

Michael Garofalo and John White

Facilitated by

John White

Themes
Angels & Mentors
Friendship
Griot
Growing Up
Identity
Struggle
Wisdom

"My basketball teammates were my first babysitters."

Today, StoryCorps remembers Wil Smith, who recorded a conversation with his daughter, Olivia, about being a single dad in college. At the time of this interview in 2012, Wil had just been diagnosed with colon cancer. He died on February 22, 2015 at 46 years old.
Recorded in Sheffield, Massachusetts
Image of Wil Smith and his daughter, Olivia
Today, StoryCorps remembers Wil Smith, who recorded a conversation with his daughter, Olivia, about being a single dad in college. ...
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Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher

Facilitated by
Jud Esty-Kendall

Themes
Griot
Growing Up
Struggle

"It was like Picasso, a great artist doing his work. When he was in that car, he was doing his work."

Frank Scott remembers his father, Wendell Scott, who will become the first African American driver in the NASCAR Hall of Fame when he is inducted today.
Recorded in Danville, Virginia
Image of Frank Scott and Warrick Scott
Frank Scott remembers his father, Wendell Scott, who will become the first African American driver in the NASCAR Hall of ...
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Recorded in Danville, Virginia
Produced by
Jud Esty-Kendall and John White

Facilitated by
John White

In Partnership with
The Danville Regional Foundation

Themes
Family
Griot
Growing Up
Struggle
Work

"How hard was it for you to find a job?"

Darlene Lewis, who helps former inmates find employment, interviews James Taylor about his life after prison.
Recorded in Little Rock, Arkansas
Image of James Taylor and Darlene Lewis
Darlene Lewis, who helps former inmates find employment, interviews James Taylor about his life after prison.
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Recorded in Little Rock, Arkansas
Produced by
Liyna Anwar

Facilitated by
John White

Themes
Angels & Mentors
Griot
Struggle
Work

"We love—that's how we roll."

Raphael and Heidi Hameed (R) lost their son when he was struck by a speeding car. They spoke with Megiddëh Goldston (L), the driver's sister, about the relationship they've formed since the accident.
Image of Raphael Hameed, Heidi Hameed, and Megiddëh Goldston
Raphael and Heidi Hameed (R) lost their son when he was struck by a speeding car. They spoke with Megiddë...
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Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher Morris

Facilitated by
Mayra Sierra

Themes
Family
Friendship
Griot
Struggle

"You can hear the shopping cart coming down the sidewalk."

Herman Travis speaks with his neighbor Robert Cochran about delivering food to elderly and disabled residents of his housing complex.
Image of Herman Travis and Robert Cochran
Herman Travis speaks with his neighbor Robert Cochran about delivering food to elderly and disabled residents of his housing complex.
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Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher Morris

Facilitated by
Yosmay del Mazo

Themes
Angels & Mentors
Friendship
Griot
Work

"In high school when I first started wearing make-up, my family didn't notice."

Kiyan Williams (R) talks with friend Darnell Moore (L) about growing up queer in Newark, New Jersey during the 1990s.
Recorded in New York City, New York
Image of Kiyan Williams and Darnell Moore
Kiyan Williams (R) talks with friend Darnell Moore (L) about growing up queer in Newark, New Jersey during the 1990s.
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Recorded in New York City, New York
Produced by
Von Diaz

Facilitated by
Von Diaz

Themes
Discovery
Friendship
Griot
Growing Up
Identity
LGBTQ
Struggle

"I remember going to REI and looking at tents that will hold a family of five."

Franklin Gilliard and his wife, Sherry, reflect upon their time in a homeless shelter after the economic crash of 2008. 
Recorded in Tacoma, Washington
Image of Sherry and Franklin Gilliard
Franklin Gilliard and his wife, Sherry, reflect upon their time in a homeless shelter after the economic crash of 2008. 
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Recorded in Tacoma, Washington
Produced by
Allison Davis and Eve Claxon

Facilitated by
Sophia Simon-Ortiz

In Partnership with
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Themes
Family
Griot
Struggle

"You told me you were so tired that you had fallen asleep at a red light."

Sonia Vasquez and her daughter, Tina Vasquez, talk about what it was like to grow up broke in the 1990s.
Recorded in New York City, New York
Image of Tina Vasquez and Sonia Vasquez
Sonia Vasquez and her daughter, Tina Vasquez, talk about what it was like to grow up broke in the 1990s.
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Recorded in New York City, New York
Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher Morris

Facilitated by
Jud Esty-Kendall

Themes
Family
Friendship
Griot
Growing Up
Historias
Struggle

"It was like driving an automobile at a hundred miles an hour and running into a stone wall."

Alton Yates tells his daughter, Toni, about being part of a small group of Air Force volunteers who tested the effects of high speeds on the body, and helped prove that space travel was safe for humans.
Recorded in Jacksonville, Florida
Image of Alton Yates and Toni Yates
Alton Yates tells his daughter, Toni, about being part of a small group of Air Force volunteers who tested the ...
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Recorded in Jacksonville, Florida
Produced by
Michael Garofalo and Jud Esty-Kendall

Facilitated by
Jeremy Helton

Themes
Family
Griot
Growing Up
Military
Work

"I was just another black face in the streets."

Alex Landau, who is African American, and his adoptive mother, Patsy Hathaway, who is white, talk about how Alex's race has influenced his life and what happened in 2009 when he was beaten by Denver Police after a traffic stop.
Recorded in Aurora, Colorado
Image of Alex Landau and Patsy Hathaway
Alex Landau, who is African American, and his adoptive mother, Patsy Hathaway, who is white, talk about how Alex's race ...
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Recorded in Aurora, Colorado
Produced by
Jud Esty-Kendall

Facilitated by
Daniel Sitts

Themes
Family
Griot
Identity

"Someone was shooting in our direction..."

Aja David and her younger sister, Kai Leigh Harriott, remember the night Kai was hit by a stray bullet and paralyzed from the chest down. They spoke with their mother Tonya David.
Recorded in Providence, Rhode Island
Image of Kai Leigh Harriott and Aja David
Aja David and her younger sister, Kai Leigh Harriott, remember the night Kai was hit by a stray bullet and ...
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Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher Morris

Facilitated by
Christina Stanton

Themes
Family
Griot
Struggle

"Everyone wanted to be like Mike, but you were my Michael Jordan."

Dekalb Walcott III talks to his dad, retired Chicago Fire Chief Dekalb Walcott Jr., about following in his line of work.
Recorded in Chicago, Illinois
Image of Dekalb Walcott Jr. and Dekalb Walcott III
Dekalb Walcott III talks to his dad, retired Chicago Fire Chief Dekalb Walcott Jr., about following in his line of ...
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Recorded in Chicago, Illinois
Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher Morris

Facilitated by
Andre Perez and Alicia Williams

Themes
Family
Griot
Growing Up
Work

"I'm not so sure the Civil Rights Act would have been passed had there not been a St. Augustine"

J.T. Johnson and Al Lingo remember having acid thrown on them after jumping into a whites only swimming pool in St. Augustine, Florida in June of 1964.
Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia
Image of J.T. Johnson and Al Lingo
J.T. Johnson and Al Lingo remember having acid thrown on them after jumping into a whites only swimming pool ...
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Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia
Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher Morris

Facilitated by
Stephanie Burton, Amanda Plumb and John White

Themes
Griot
Identity
Legacy
Struggle
Witness

"You remember the first dinner together?"

Yelitza Castro talks with her friend Willie Davis about serving meals to the homeless community in Charlotte, North Carolina for the past three years.
Image of Yelitza Castro and Willie Davis
Yelitza Castro talks with her friend Willie Davis about serving meals to the homeless community in Charlotte, North Carolina for ...
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Produced by
Anita Rao

Facilitated by
Yasmina Guerda

Themes
Griot
Historias

"I saw something that no one else could see, and that is me walking around with that big tall hat on."

Clayton Sherrod looks back to 1964, when at 19 years old he became executive chef at an all-white country club in Birmingham, Alabama.
Recorded in Birmingham, Alabama
Image of Clayton Sherrod
Clayton Sherrod looks back to 1964, when at 19 years old he became executive chef at an all-white country club in Birmingham, ...
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Recorded in Birmingham, Alabama
Produced by
Yasmina Guerda

Facilitated by
Stephanie Burton

In Partnership with
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and The Birmingham African American Genealogy Study Group

Themes
Griot
Work

"If you need me to hold your hand, I'm there."

New York City Subway Conductor Paquita Williams talks to one of her passengers, Laura Lane, about her job.
Recorded in New York City, New York
Image of Paquita Williams and Laura Lane
New York City Subway Conductor Paquita Williams talks to one of her passengers, Laura Lane, about her job.
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Recorded in New York City, New York
Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher

Facilitated by
John White

Themes
Griot
Work

"We walked everyday from sunup to sunset."

Lawrence Cumberbatch (R) tells his son, Simeon (L), how he traveled from New York City to Washington DC with Brooklyn CORE for the March on Washington in 1963.
Recorded in New York City, New York
Image of Lawrence and Simeon Cumberbatch
Lawrence Cumberbatch (R) tells his son, Simeon (L), how he traveled from New York City to Washington DC with Brooklyn ...
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Recorded in New York City, New York
Produced by
Katie Simon with Eve Claxton

Facilitated by
Michael Garofalo

Themes
Griot
Witness

"Why do you care so much for a stranger?"

Adrian Hawkins talks to his foster father, Horace Atwater Jr.
Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia
Image of Adrian Hawkins and Horace Atwater Jr.
Adrian Hawkins talks to his foster father, Horace Atwater Jr.
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Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia
Produced by
Jasmyn Belcher

Facilitated by
Katrina Singh

In Partnership with
Casey Family Programs

Themes
Griot
Growing Up

"When I was growing up, the emphasis was on being able to get a job."

Herman Blake and his brother Sidney remember their childhood during the 1940s.
Recorded in New York City, New York
Image of Herman and Sidney Blake
Herman Blake and his brother Sidney remember their childhood during the 1940s.
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Recorded in New York City, New York
Produced by
Katie Simon with Jud Esty-Kendall

Facilitated by
Jud Esty-Kendall

Themes
Angels & Mentors
Griot
Growing Up