Thompson Williams and Kiamichi-tet Williams
Thompson Williams and his son Kiamichi-tet came to StoryCorps in 2014 to talk about Thompson’s father — and Kiamichi-tet’s grandfather — Melford Williams, a tribal leader with the Caddo Nation in Oklahoma and a World War II veteran.
During that conversation, they also remembered a family Christmas in 2001.
They were living in Edmond, Oklahoma at the time. Kiamichi-tet was 11 years old and his sister, AuNane, was 14. Thompson was a teacher’s assistant for students with special needs — work he loved but that didn’t pay well. His wife was an artist, selling paintings and handmade Christmas ornaments.
As the holidays approached, Thompson realized they wouldn’t have money for gifts, and he was faced with a difficult decision. But, as he remembers here, it was his children who would help him make the right choice.
Originally aired December 22, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
Hear more on episode 514 of the StoryCorps podcast, His First and Greatest Teacher.
Alex Landau and Patsy Hathaway
WARNING: The audio of this story contains graphic descriptions of violence and this web post contains a graphic photograph.
In 2009, Alex Landau was a student at Community College of Denver. After a traffic stop one night, he was severely beaten by Denver Police officers.
Alex is African American. He was adopted by a white couple and he grew up in largely white, middle-class suburbs of Denver.
Alex and his mother, Patsy Hathaway, came to StoryCorps to talk about how Alex’s race has influenced his life and what happened that night when police pulled him over.
In 2011, Alex was awarded a $795,000 settlement from the City of Denver.
Two of the officers involved have since been fired from the Denver Police Department for other incidents.
Click here to watch “Traffic Stop,” Alex’s story told as a StoryCorps animated short.
Originally aired August 15, 2014, on NPR’s Morning Edition.