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William Lynn Weaver

Dr. William Lynn Weaver grew up during the 1950s and 1960s in Mechanicsville, a black working-class neighborhood in Knoxville, Tennessee.

In 1964, he was one of 14 black teens who integrated West High School. He told that story in two other StoryCorps segments here and here.

After graduation, Weaver went on to study at Howard University. This story took place when he came home during his freshman year for Christmas break.

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Dr. William Lynn Weaver died in May 2019.

Originally aired December 15, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Bottom photo: Dr. William Lynn Weaver with his younger brother, Wayne, in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1963. Courtesy of the Weaver family.

William Lynn Weaver

In 1964, Dr. William Lynn Weaver was one of 14 black teens who integrated West High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. At StoryCorps, he spoke about his experiences in the classroom and how difficult it was for him to get a quality education there.

Dr. Weaver also integrated the school’s all-white football team, along with other black players, including his older brother, Stanley. Here, he talks about what it was like to play for the West High School Rebels.

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Dr. William Lynn Weaver died in May 2019.

Originally aired September 29, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Top photo: Dr. William Lynn Weaver as a member of the West High School Rebels during his senior year in 1967. From the 1967 West High School Yearbook.
Bottom photo: Dr. William Lynn Weaver at his StoryCorps interview in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 

William Lynn Weaver

You may recall the voice of Dr. William Lynn Weaver from a StoryCorps interview he did back in 2007, where he talked about his father, Ted Weaver — the most important man in his life.

He later came back to StoryCorps to remember someone else who had a huge influence on him: his 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Edward O. Hill.

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In the fall of 1964, Weaver was 14 years old and about to start his sophomore year of high school in Knoxville, Tennessee, when, along with 13 other black students, he integrated previously all-white West High School.

At StoryCorps, he talks about what happened on his first day at West High.

Originally aired August 25, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Bottom photo: Mr. Edward O. Hill, who taught Dr. Weaver in junior high school. Photo courtesy of Rogers Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Weaver went on to become a surgeon, most recently working as Chief of Surgery at the Fayetteville, North Carolina VA Medical Center.

Lou Olivera and Joe Serna

In 2013, Green Beret Sergeant Joe Serna retired from the Army after more than 18 years of service that included three tours of duty in Afghanistan and numerous awards including two Purple Hearts. Returning to North Carolina to be with his wife and children, he found adjusting to civilian life difficult.

oliveraextraIn 2014, following a DWI arrest, Joe’s case was assigned to the Cumberland County Veterans Treatment Court. After a probation violation, District Court Judge Lou Olivera (above left), an Army veteran who served during the Gulf War, sentenced Joe to a night in jail.

Joe was with three other soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008 when their armored truck flipped over and landed in a river. It quickly filled with water and Joe was the only survivor. Knowing Joe’s history and how difficult it would be for him to spend an evening confined, Judge Olivera decided to spend the night with Joe in his jail cell.

At StoryCorps, they reflect upon the night they spent together, the difficult memories that being sentenced brought back, and the relationship they have formed since.

Originally aired October 14, 2016, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Above photo courtesy of Joe Serna.

Talana, Willie and Felicia Banks

Nine-year-old Talana Banks, and her older brother, Willie, are Army children.

In 2005, their mother, Chief Warrant Officer Felicia Banks, deployed to Iraq and had to leave them behind, in care of their grandmother.

When they sat down for StoryCorps, Talana, Willie and Felicia looked back on that year.

Originally broadcast March 9, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.