Detroit – StoryCorps
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A COVID Love Story: Detroit Couple Reflect on How a Difficult Year Brought Them Closer Together

When they first met, it didn’t take long for Namira and Omar Anani to fall in love. For Omar it was instant, but for Namira, it was Omar’s small acts of kindness that made her realize he was the one.  

They got married in November of 2019, but just four months into their marriage, their busy lives changed as Namira, a non-profit lawyer and Omar, a restaurateur, were faced with a slew of challenges brought on by the arrival of COVID-19.

They came to StoryCorps to reflect on a difficult year and how it ultimately brought them closer together. 

Photo: Namira and Omar Anani at their wedding in 2019. Courtesy of Namira Islam Anani.
Top Photo: Namira and Omar Anani in 2020. Courtesy of Namira Islam Anani.

This interview was recorded in partnership with the Arab American National Museum. It is part of the Anwar Collection of Muslim Voices through StoryCorps’ American Pathways initiative. This initiative is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and an Anonymous Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Stuart Family Foundation. It will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Originally aired February 19th, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition. 

Gary Koivu and Kim Koivu

Vincent Chin was a 27-year-old draftsman living near Detroit. On a June night in 1982, he and a group of friends went out to celebrate his wedding, which was just few days away.

At a bar he crossed paths with Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, two auto workers angry about recent layoffs, which were widely blamed on Japanese imports. That encounter lead to Vincent’s death.

Gary Koivu was with Vincent that night, and he recently came to StoryCorps with his wife, Kim, to remember his childhood friend.

The federal case against Vincent Chin’s killers, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, marked the first time the Civil Rights Act was used to prosecute a crime against an Asian American person. It sparked a rallying cry for stronger federal hate crime legislation.

Koivu_Extra

Originally aired June 23, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Bottom Photo: An undated photo of Vincent Chin. Courtesy of American Citizens for Justice/Asian American Center for Justice.

 

The Unedited StoryCorps Interview: Grace Lee Boggs, 1915-2015

Did you know that the broadcast pieces you hear on NPR and our podcast are excerpts of longer conversations stored in the StoryCorps Archive? Participants are invited to visit one of our recording locations with a friend or family member to record a 40-minute interview with the help of a trained facilitator. As of 2017, we’ve added nearly 70,000 interviews to the StoryCorps Archive.

On October 5, 2015, Grace Lee Boggs died at the age of 100. An iconic activist, she was remembered by the New York Times as a woman who “waged a war of inspiration for civil rights, labor, feminism, the environment and other causes…with an unflagging faith that revolutionary justice was just around the corner.” A daughter of Chinese immigrants, she married African American activist James Boggs in 1953. Together they played a prominent role in the black power movement of the 1960s while organizing alongside and befriending Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

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In June 2007, just weeks before she turned 92, Boggs sat for a StoryCorps interview with her old friend Ronald Scott. The conversation, which took place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, was recorded as part of our Griot initiative, which aims to ensure that the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity. During their interview, Boggs and Scott discussed the importance of political activism, her life with her husband — who passed away in 1993 — and what she still hoped to accomplish during her remaining years. Listen below, and access a full transcript here.

All StoryCorps Griot interviews are shared with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. To hear more unedited interviews from the StoryCorps Archive, make an appointment at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

All material within the StoryCorps collection is copyrighted by StoryCorps. StoryCorps encourages use of material on this site by educators and students without prior permission, provided appropriate credit is given. This interview has not been fact-checked, and may contain sensitive personal information about living persons.

Carrie Conley and Jerry Johnson

Carrie Conley raised six children on her own. One of her sons, Jerry Johnson, talks with his mother about how she would stretch a dollars and sacrifice to make her children’s Christmases special.

Originally aired December 21, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Leon and Angela May

Leon May, who fought as a Marine in World War II, tells his daughter about leaving for basic training.

Nzingha Masani and Noah Hairston

Nzingha Masani tells her friend, Noah Hairston, about receiving her name at an African naming ceremony.

Originally aired on August 21, 2007 on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Yvonne Logan Jones and Ola Mae Logan Allen

Ola Mae Logan Allen and Yvonne Logan Jones remember their parents, who migrated from Louisiana to Detroit in the late 1947.

Their father, John Logan, worked for the Budd Company making tires for cars. Their mother, Frances, worked in restaurants as a cook. Their children have become engineers, math teachers and work in the fields of home building, computer technology and the ministry.

Larry Young and Clyde Cleveland

Larry Young (left) tells his friend Clyde Cleveland about his struggle to earn his college degree after his father refused to help him out financially because he was not interested in following in his footsteps becoming a farmer.

Originally aired July 17, 2007, on NPR’s Morning Edition.