Stories to Celebrate Atlanta
Atlanta is a vibrant city with an important history to tell. From the echoes of civil rights activism that shaped the course of history, to the sweet whispers of love that found a home in these streets, our collection holds thousands of heartfelt exchanges. Listen to some cherished stories gathered from the heart of this remarkable city through our Atlanta Storybooth.
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In September 2009, after several days of heavy rain, the Atlanta metropolitan area suffered intense flash flooding. Zack Stephney came to StoryCorps with his friend Melissa Brooks a few months after the flood to remember the unique circumstances of how they met that day.
When Alice’s mom passed away she was immediately forced to become both sister and mother to her younger brother, Ibukunoluwa. She took the lead in raising him the way she believed her mother would have wanted him brought up. Over the years, Ibukunoluwa has seen pictures and heard stories about his mother, and he talks with Alice for the first time about losing her.
Octavius Humphries and Seth Smiley had their first date on Christmas Eve. Unsure of Octavius’ plans for the holiday, Seth invited him to dinner the next night at his family’s Atlanta home. Octavius, who was still grieving the deaths of his parents, reluctantly accepted Seth’s invitation.
The two of them sat down to remember their first Christmas together, as well as a more recent memorable holiday event.
In the early 1980s, Monica Jordan and her family moved to Atlanta where she met her cousin, LaTonya Walker. With two moms raising the girls under one roof, there were plenty of rules, but Monica and LaTonya dreamed of the day where they could spend a day doing whatever they wanted. And one particular afternoon, that’s exactly what they did
At Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Christopher Harris recorded his memories from the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Harris remembered how he came to work with the Atlanta Buyers Club, which distributed medications from the black market to people with HIV before the drugs had been approved by the FDA.
Winslow Jackson met his wife, Dorothy, in 2006. He was divorced. She was widowed. And they both had Multiple Sclerosis. While receiving rehabilitative care at an Atlanta hospital, they connected. The couple remembered what drew them to each other.
Shirley Duhart contracted polio when she was 2 years old, just five years before the vaccine was released. While her doctors recommended she wear flat, well-balanced shoes, Shirley has been wearing pumps since she was thirteen. She talks to her longtime doctor, Dale Strasser, about why her shoes mean so much to her.
In 1965, Tom Houck was a high school senior when he decided to drop out of school and join the fight for civil rights. Soon after his arrival in Atlanta, Tom was invited to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s’ home for lunch and was asked to become the family’s driver.
William “Bill” Gripp speaks with his friend Christine Tigue about growing up gay and becoming involved in gay politics at the Atlanta Gay Center. From the StoryCorps Archive.
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Do you want to have a conversation like these with someone you love? Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.