Freddy Bendekgey – StoryCorps
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On the Front Lines: Stories Recorded with the Association of American Medical Colleges

In 2020 the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) partnered with StoryCorps to highlight health care professionals’ experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, and persistent inequities in America. Over the course of this partnership we were able to record with 17 individuals who shared their personal struggles and triumphs throughout their life working in the American healthcare system. The stories were recorded through StoryCorps for Hire, and premiered at the 2020 AAMC annual meeting from November 18 — 20. Listen to the incredible stories we recorded below:


John Vickers, MD, Adrienne Vickers, and Selwyn Vickers, MD

Dr. John Vickers, Jr. talks with his son, Dr. Selwyn Vickers, and granddaughter, Adrienne Vickers, about his journey to become one of the first Black people to graduate from the University of Alabama with a PhD, and the legacy he wants to leave for his family.


Aviad Haramati, PhD and Carrie Chen, PhD

Medical school educator Dr. Aviad “Adi” Haramati talks with his colleague, Dr. Huiju “Carrie” Chen, about his influences, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and in the midst of it all, what gives him hope.


LaShyra Nolen and Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD

Harvard medical student LaShyra “Lash” Nolen tells her former professor Dr. Elizabeth Gaufberg about how COVID-19 has changed the way she advocates for her patients and the role she’s playing during the pandemic as the first Black woman to serve as student council president.


Rachel Pearson, MD, and Benjamin Laussade

Dr. Rachel Pearson tells her husband, Ben Laussade, what it was like being pregnant and working in a hospital in San Antonio, Texas as COVID-19 spread throughout the United States. The couple welcomed their baby, Sam, at the height of the pandemic.


Sadé Frazier, DO, MS and David Kountz, MD, MBA, FACP

Colleagues Dr. David Kountz and Dr. Sadé Frazier discuss how the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have affected them both in and out of the workplace. The two also consider what needs to happen to increase the number of Black physicians in the field.


Kimberly Manning, MD, and Shanta Zimmer, MD

Dr. Kimberly Manning tells her friend and colleague, Dr. Shanta Zimmer, about her path to medicine, her experience at Tuskegee and Meharry Universities, and some of the lessons she has learned in her journey as a Black physician.


Cecil Webster, MD, and Dowin Boatright, MD

Physicians and close friends Dr. Cecil Webster and Dr. Dowin Boatright discuss racism in medical education and how difficult it can be to talk about the realities of racism with children.


Jayna Gardner-Gray, MD, and Geneva Tatem, MD

Dr. Jayna Gardner-Gray has a conversation with her colleague, Dr. Geneva Tatem, about the underrepresentation of Black doctors, advocating for the underserved communities, their experiences during the pandemic, and their hopes for the future.


At StoryCorps, we promote the power of storytelling to teach, celebrate, heal, and amplify your community or institution in partnerships tailored to your needs. If your organization is interested in partnering with StoryCorps to record and share the stories of your community, please visit our website to learn more, or reach out to [email protected]

Remarkable Friends Share Their Stories

Since the beginning of StoryCorps, countless friends have sat down, one-on-one, to share the things that matter to them through the StoryCorps interview process. In honor of International Friendship Day, we’re celebrating stories of those people who matter to each other. Explore the collection to hear lifelong companions offer enduring support, new friends meet for the first time, and old acquaintances reconnect after years apart.

Celebrate one of your friends by inviting them to a StoryCorps interview! 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.


Clean Streets

“I’ve been very lucky because he’s been the best partner I ever had.” Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves remember a decade of working together as sanitation workers in New York City.


story
"I think I survived it by always having hope."
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Even an Iota of Light

After being released from prison following a 15-year sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, Robert Sanchez met minister Fred Davie. They discuss the support that Fred offered Robert as he navigated re-entry.


story
"There’s a huge well of grief there but you gotta show up."
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“It’s Still Worth Celebrating”

Yennie Neal-Achigbu and Jamie Olivieri celebrate three decades of being there for each other, from dealing with grief to organizing Christmas sleepovers for their kids.


story
“The next time you and I saw each other was in the middle of the Vietnam War.”
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Old Friends Reunited on a Battlefield in Vietnam

Joe Galloway and Vince Cantu lost touch after graduating high school together. Years later, Joe took a photograph of a soldier in Vietnam — and quickly realized it was Vince.


story
“Oh God, here’s a newsy neighbor.”
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“You’re My Forever Love”

Beau McCall and Julaina Glass didn’t get off on the right foot. 30 years later, they look back on the friendship of a lifetime.


Love Lost, And Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed were disowned by their families after coming out. Then they found each other through a transgender veterans’ group.


story
"You were just doing what you felt you needed to do for us to be better people."
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“You Didn’t Elevate Me, But You Helped Me Elevate Myself”

Sean Lloyd was one of Raymond Blanks’s only Black teachers. After graduating college, Raymond became an educator himself. The two reflect on the impact they had on each other.


story
"I remember seeing your face and I was shocked."
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Longtime Friends Reconnect in a Homeless Shelter

“I don’t know where I would be if you and I didn’t run into each other at the shelter.” Barbara Parham and Jeanne Satterfield discuss the support they offered each other after experiencing homelessness.


story
“I was secretly really envying you to be able to be yourself.”
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Our Own Mountains to Climb

After coming out, 90-year-old Kenneth Felts talked with his trainer, David Smith, who is also gay, about Ken’s journey and the inspiration David provided.


story
“We had even stronger bonds because we had survived this together.”
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Friends During the Vietnam War Reunite Almost 50 Years After

John Nordeen and Kay Lee served in the same platoon during the Vietnam War, but they lost touch when they returned to the U.S. Then, nearly 50 years later, John gave Kay a call.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

We the People: Voices of the United States

As we celebrate the Fourth of July this year, let’s reflect on the history of our country.

Patriotism evokes different things for different people — often, it evokes different things for just one person. The U.S. is complicated, its history marked by both awesome beauty and profound injustice. And so its people are complicated too: their backgrounds, experiences, and values are diverse and nuanced. Let’s celebrate that. This Independence Day, hear what it means to be an American right from the source. Listen to these extraordinary stories from remarkable people, all of whom make up this complicated, beautiful, and diverse country.

The following stories were drawn from across the various StoryCorps initiatives, each of which highlights voices from a particular group of people living in the U.S. As you listen, click the links at the bottom of the descriptions to explore the corresponding initiative.

What’s your U.S.A. experience? By uploading an interview to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress, you and a loved one preserve your stories for generations. Download the StoryCorps App to record a conversation and add it directly to the collection. If an in-person interview isn’t an option, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.


Albert and Aidan Sykes

Aidan Sykes, a 9-year-old from Mississippi, interviews his father Albert about growing up Black, the importance of protest, and dreams for the future. From StoryCorps Griot.


story
“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Susan Ahn Cuddy faced discrimination as the first Asian American woman in the Navy. Her children, Flip and Christine, remember her life. From the Military Voices Initiative.


story
“I want people to look at us as human beings who went through a lot, and survived.”
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‘We Are Americans’: Somali Father And Son Remember Fleeing War To Resettle In U.S.

Father and son Aden and Jamal Batar fled war-torn Somalia for Utah. They discuss the difficulties of adjusting to life in the U.S. and being viewed as outsiders. From the American Pathways Initiative.


Where I Come From

The U.S. government forced Barnie Botone’s great-grandfather, a Kiowa chief, to board a train and leave his tribe’s land behind. Almost a century later, Barnie got a job on the railroad. From the StoryCorps animated season, “This Land.”


The Golden Rule

“I don’t think we could be any further apart as people.” Joseph Weidknecht, a Trump supporter, sits down with Amina Amdeen, a Muslim student who rescued him at an anti-Trump rally. From One Small Step.


story
"I told you that one day, you were going to go here to Stanford."
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Francisco and Frankie Preciado

Francisco Preciado, a janitor at Stanford University, once dreamed of becoming a teacher. Years later, his son Frankie enrolled as a student there. From StoryCorps Historias.


story
"I have to do at least what I can to give those values a voice."
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StoryCorps Extra: Giving Values a Voice

Shyamala Keshamouni and her son Abhinand reflect on their desire to preserve their Indian heritage while looking forward to participating in a U.S. presidential election for the first time. From the StoryCorps Archive.


story
"What is it that people who have never been incarcerated before don’t get?"
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Terry Banies and Darryl Cooke

Terry Banies and Darryl Cooke consider incarceration — their experiences with it, its historical roots, and its disproportionate impact on Black Americans even after re-entry. From the Justice Project.


Alexis Martinez and Lesley Martinez Etherly

Alexis Martinez and her daughter Lesley discuss Alexis’s struggle for acceptance as a transgender woman and her eventual motherhood. From Stonewall OutLoud.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

LGBTQ+ Voices to Honor This Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and we’re celebrating by lifting up the stories of LGBTQ+ history-makers. These conversations are all about firsts: first gay marriage in the US, first kisses, and first loves. Dive into memorable and touching stories from our LGBTQ+ community.

Is there an LGBTQ+ person in your life who you want to honor with a StoryCorps conversation? Learn how you can help them feel heard and record a meaningful conversation at StoryCorps.org/OutLoud.


The Door She Opened

At the age of 63, Dee Westenhauser came out as a transgender woman. She remembers growing up in El Paso, Texas in the 1950s and the one person who made her feel like herself.


podcast
We're Still Here
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StoryCorps Podcast: We’re Still Here

A collection of stories from trans women of color, who have often been the first to stand up for equality, and the last to be recognized for their contributions.


story
"In high school when I first started wearing make-up, my family didn't notice."
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Darnell Moore and Kiyan Williams

Kiyan Williams has a conversation with their friend Darnell Moore about growing up feeling different than other kids and grappling with his family’s expectations. Today, Kiyan works with LGBTQ youth in New York City.


story
“We are what we are because of our insistence on being with one another.”
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Love In The Time Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

In 2000, LGBTQ+ people in the military couldn’t serve openly. When Marine Mike Rudulph came back from deployment, he met and fell in love with Neil Rafferty. The couple sat down to remember the early days of their relationship and how they overcame their obstacles.


A Certain Kind of Love

Glenda Elliott grew up in Mayfield, Georgia during the 1940s. She met the love of her life — a woman named Lauree. Glenda sat down with her friend to tell the story of a lifelong romance that never had the chance to blossom.

 


story
“That day wasn’t about us. This really was for thousands and thousands of people.”
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How One of the First Legally Married Same-Sex Couples in the US Made it Down the Aisle

David Wilson and Robert Compton, one of the first same-sex couples to be married in the United States, reflect on their journey, nearly fifteen years after their historic wedding.


podcast
No One's Going to Stop Me
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StoryCorps Podcast: No One’s Going to Stop Me

Many of our LGBTQ stories center the voices of elders. Let’s look to the future, and hear what the next generation has to say.


We Belong to Each Other: New StoryCorps Animated Shorts

The ties that bind us, the stories that remind us. This May, we’re releasing our new animated season: “We Belong to Each Other,” a collection of stories that show how we care for one another through word and deed.

Lola’s Work

Crescenciana “Lola” Tan, originally from the Philippines, came to California to help raise her grandkids. Her daughter Olivia and grandson Kenneth came to StoryCorps to share some of the lessons she imparted and the memories they cherish from Lola’s storied life.

Read the full transcript here.


Star Bound

Six-year-old Jerry Morrison is obsessed with outer space — so of course his favorite person to talk to is his uncle Joey Jefferson, a Mission Operations Engineer at NASA. They talk all about favorite planets, how much more there is to learn, and Joey’s hopes for Jerry’s future.

Read the full transcript here.


Hand in Hand

Growing up in Wyoming in the 1950s, Sissy Goodwin started wearing his sister’s dresses. At first, he hid his clothing preferences, but when he shared that part of himself with his soon-to-be wife, Vickie, she supported him. Sissy and Vickie talk about the early days of their five-decade-long marriage, the tough times, and how they lovingly forged a new path together.

Read the full transcript here.


The Little Things

Herman Travis makes weekly deliveries of groceries to his elderly neighbors in a low-income housing complex. He’s joined at StoryCorps with one of those residents and friends, Robert Cochran, to talk about that weekly commitment and how much it matters.

Read the full transcript here.


Want to watch more? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to discover new voices every day and engage with our wonderful community. Or sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week!

Announcing the 2021 Military Voices Virtual Tour

This year, StoryCorps is partnering with Veteran Service Organizations across the country as part of our 2021 Military Voices Initiative Virtual tour, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Through virtual tour stops, community listening events online, and other activities, we are honoring veterans and members of the military community across the country by recording and preserving their stories.

Millions of men and women have served in the armed services, while millions more family members have stood behind them at home. The military community knows well the challenges of multiple deployments, combat-injuries, and long-awaited homecomings. Yet few civilians truly understand the complex realities faced by our troops and their loved ones.

The Military Voices Initiative acknowledges this notion and contributes to StoryCorps’ diverse collection by recording and preserving the stories of veterans of all wars, service members, and military families. The tour offers an opportunity for them to share their experiences in their own words, which may be preserved for posterity in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Since its launch in 2012, the Military Voices Initiative has preserved 2,800 of these stories, some of which are available to listen to here.

“Public media honors and supports those who serve our country by telling their stories of commitment, courage and leadership,” said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO. “CPB is proud to be a longtime supporter of StoryCorps and their work to ensure that these stories are recorded and made accessible to future generations.”

The Military Voices Tour, which, due to COVID-19 safety precautions will be entirely virtual this year, will record with residents in three U.S. cities, including Columbia, SC (April 12–23), Seattle, WA (May 10–21), and Austin, TX (June 14–25). Reservations are free and available to the public, and can be booked online at storycorps.org/military-voices. The Initiative also provides an opportunity for civilians to engage with veterans and service members in their communities through virtual listening events in each city. The event in Columbia, SC took place on April 6, and events will follow in Seattle, WA on April 29 and Austin, TX on June 8.

LocationPartnerRecording Dates
Columbia, SCSouth Carolina Public RadioApril 12 – 23, 2021
Seattle, WAKUOWMay 10 – 21, 2021
Austin, TXKUTJune 14 – 25, 2021

StoryCorps fosters an environment of comfort and intimacy for its interviews, with a trained facilitator guiding participants throughout the process. For the virtual tour, the interview process and experience are conducted via StoryCorps Virtual, a browser-based platform that allows both participants to see and hear one another during their conversation. Participants are joined and guided remotely by a facilitator. After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary copy of their interview, and a second copy is archived at the Library of Congress with the participant’s permission.

Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps has traveled to every corner of the country to record interviews in the organization’s effort to create a world where we listen closely to each other and recognize the beauty, grace and poetry in the lives and stories we find all around us. 

“Throughout a turbulent year, our military veterans and their families’ courage and sacrifice remain constant. We honor their lives by recording and amplifying these stories and preserving them for generations to come,” said Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps. 

In each city on the tour, StoryCorps partners with the local public radio station, which will air a selection of the interviews recorded and, in many cases, create special programs around the project. StoryCorps may also share edited versions of select interviews collected throughout the tour via its NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, and digital platforms

Learn more about StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative.

Celebrating AAPI Voices

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities encompass a wide range of cultures and lived experiences, and each one is an important part of the American narrative. Their stories are American stories, and their voices deserve to be heard. That’s why we’re highlighting a few of the stories from our AAPI participants, to help people find connection and understanding by amplifying their words.

Whose voices do you want to see included in the narratives of Asian American and Pacific Islander history? By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations.

StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress.


No More Questions!

Strong-willed Kay Wang allowed her son and granddaughter to ask her a few brief questions about her adventures in life — from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life escapades as a detective for Bloomingdale’s.


story
“When I buy a new book, I don’t start reading the first page. I smell it.”
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A Love Story in 10,000 Books

Alagappa Rammohan has amassed enough books over the course of his life to fill a small library. He shares his love of the written word with his daughter, Paru Venkat, and his plans to donate all of his books to his hometown in India.


story
“She wasn’t like the mothers of my friends...she lived and breathed dancing.”
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My Mother the Performer

In the late 1930’s, dancer Dorothy Toy debuted on Broadway with her partner Paul Wing. It capped years of hard work on the Vaudeville circuit and launched them to stardom. Decades later, her daughter Dorlie came to StoryCorps to remember her mother’s life and legacy.


story
"It was not so much of hugging or saying I love you. But it was all the things she did."
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Lola’s Work

Kenneth Tan celebrates the life of grandmother, Crescenciana Tan, whom he called Lola. He remembers Lola’s hard work and unwavering commitment to her family. 


Driving Lessons

Muhammad Faridi talks to his father about what it was like to grow up as the son of a NYC cab driver. Although he used to be embarrassed to talk about his family, Muhammad learned to be proud of his father’s work.


story
“If I’m in front of a blank sheet of paper with a pencil, I find such solace.”
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From Internment to Disney

Willie Ito dreamed of becoming an animator, but his dreams were put on hold when his family was sent to a Japanese American internment camp. At StoryCorps, Willie reflects on his internment and his career as an animator at Disney


story
“I decided to adopt that magpie, which I called Maggie.”
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The “Heart” of Heart Mountain

When he was 10 years old, Shig Yabu and his family were evacuated from their home and relocated to an internment camp. He remembers what defined his experience as an internee — adopting and caring for a bird named Maggie.


story
“We had even stronger bonds because we had survived this together.”
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Reunited after 50 years: Friends from the Vietnam War

Kay Lee and John Nordeen became fast friends while serving together in the same Army platoon in Vietnam. After losing touch, they reconnected to reflect on the early days of their friendship.


story
“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Susan Ahn Cuddy was the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics. Her children, Flip and Christine, remember her as a tough, yet loving mother.


Stories to Lift Your Spirit for Spring

Spring means fresh starts, clean slates, and if you’re anything like us, a whole new positive outlook. This season, let’s shake off the winter cobwebs with some of our favorite uplifting, funny, and inspiring stories.


Who in your life would you like to share a laugh with? By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

 
 

 


Marking the Distance

Gweneviere Mann lost her short-term memory following surgery to remove a brain tumor. She and her supportive boyfriend, Yasir, have learned to navigate life in a new way, together.
Read the full transcript here.


story
“When I heard the lyrics I just imagined in my head...Grandpa and I."
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A Grandfather’s Musical Legacy

William Salter, 84, helped write one of America’s most iconic love songs, ‘Just the Two of Us’ — made famous by Grover Washington Jr. in 1981. Salter’s granddaughter sat down with him to learn how he found his sound and made his life musical.
Read the full transcript here.


story
“In the kitchen, we’re like poetry in motion.”
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“We Mesh Together Like One”: A Miami Love Story

Nearly 50 years after they first met in Miami, George Ju and Angela Rivas come together to tell their love story.
Read the full transcript here.


Clean Streets

Sanitation workers Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieve worked together for nearly 10 years on the same garbage route in Manhattan’s West Village. The partners remember the neighborhood and friendships that made their time together meaningful.
Read the full transcript here.


story
“Ice cream has given me a name, like a Ted Williams or a Babe Ruth or a Larry Bird.”
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Life Through the Window of an Ice Cream Truck

Allan Ganz and his wife Rosalyn reminisce about his seven-decade-long career as an ice cream man in Peabody, Massachusetts.
Read the full transcript here.


story
“When I took you home, I didn’t know how to feel.”
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A Mother on the Challenges of Becoming a Teenage Parent

April Gibson speaks with her son Gregory about having a baby at sixteen, battling the expectations of others, and finding a sense of self.
Read the full transcript here.


Double Major

Wil Smith enrolled in college at age 27, baby daughter in tow. He shares with Olivia, now grown up, all about how he got by in those early years.
Read the full transcript here.


Want even more stories? Follow us on YouTube to watch even more, and sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

StoryCorps Mobile Tour: A Look Back on 2020

Before we close the door on 2020 (something many of us are quite anxious to do!), the StoryCorps Mobile Tour would like to take a moment to reflect on the 2020 tour, which was certainly challenging but also full of wonderful people, important stories, and valuable work. After our second stop of the year, in response to the pandemic, the Mobile Tour took all its operations to the virtual space and began recording stories using a newly developed online platform that mirrored our in-person recording process in an exciting and innovative way. While we missed visiting with people on the ground, we were humbled and honored by the willingness of our participants and the continued commitment of our public radio station and local community partners to join us on this new adventure.

Over the course of the year we heard many heart and mind expanding stories. Across all our stops people reflected on the fear, anxiety, and sense of loss brought about by the pandemic, they gave voice to the frustrations and hope embedded in the Black Lives Matter movement, and celebrated the people and connections that inspired them. Pain and anxiety were prevalent, but so was joy and love. Through all the conversations we were privileged to witness wove a remarkable theme of resilience and a determination to simply keep at it. To keep loving, advocating, teaching, and, most importantly, to keep listening. Please join us for a brief look and listen back on 2020.

a landscape photograph of a silver airstream trailer with the red StoryCorps logo painted on the side, on a patch of asphalt surrounded by grass in front of a forested hill and bright blue skies. The door to the trailer is open, and some cabinets and recording equipment are visible inside.

Santa Monica, CA

Station Partner: KCRW
Collaborating Partner: SMC Emeritus Program
Site Partner: Downtown Santa Monica – 3rd Street Promenade
Standout Community Partners: Las Fotos Project, the 18th Street Arts Center, and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition

Santa Monica-produced stories:

Montage of Santa Monica Stories:

*Produced by Ava Ahmadbeigi

Hear a piece from the ARC recordings here: Phu Van Huyhn & Phu Sam Huynh

*Produced by Mia Raquel

One more from the SM stop: Sara Velasco & Cristina Lash

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*Produced by Mia Raquel

San Joaquin Valley, CA

Station Partner: Valley Public Radio
Fresno Site Partner: CMAC, the Community Media Access Collaborative (learn more about them here!)
Bakersfield Field Recording Host: Beale Memorial Library
Standout Community Partners: Bakersfield College, Qistory, Yonsei Memory Project


*Produced by KQED

San Joaquin-produced stories:

Montage of SJV stories:

* Produced by Ava Ahmadbeigi


*Produced by KVPR

Diane Flowers & Marilyn Harris

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*produced by Mia Raquel

Boise, ID: Our first “virtual” stop!

Station Partner: Boise State Public Radio
Thank you to JUMP, who would have been our site partner
Standout Community Partner: Refugee Speakers Bureau
Refugee speakers bureau offers a platform and support services to Refugees across Idaho. They are constantly trying to use storytelling to further their mission and helped pilot our newly updated storytelling workshop.

Boise-produced stories:

Montage of Boise stories:

* Produced by Ava Ahmadbeigi

Montana: Our first statewide stop!

Station Partner: MTPR
Map of participant locations
Standout Community Partner: Missoula Art Museum
MAM does an incredible job at engaging local artists through storytelling practices. During our partnership they chose to highlight the voices of contemporary Native artists. They also took part in our storytelling workshop and have since used SC tools to record independent conversations. Listen to some of those here!

Montana-produced stories:


*Produced by MTPR


*Produced by MTPR

The Lewis Clark Valley/Pacific Northwest

Station Partner: Northwest Public Broadcasting
Map of participants
Standout Community Partner: Monastery of St. Gertrude
The Monastery at St. Gertrude added some wonderful local conversations to the archive around topics of personal faith and community engagement.

LCV-produced stories:


*Produced by NWPB

Bay Area, CA

Station Partner: KQED
Standout Community Partner: Charlotte Maxwell Clinic
Charlotte Maxwell Clinic provides integrative cancer care to low-income women. The clinic coordinated an entire recording day between caregivers and care receivers which highlighted the mission of the organization and its impact in the community.

Bay Area-produced stories:


*Produced by KQED

*Bronte Sorotsky & Eddie Huijon

Las Vegas, NV

Station Partner: Nevada Public Radio
Standout Community Partner: Forced Trajectory Project
Forced Trajectory Project is a multimedia project that examines the impact that Police Brutality has on the lives of individuals and communities. Through our partnership with them, they were able to highlight the voices of victims of police violence and their family members.

Las Vegas-produced stories:

Montage of Las Vegas Stories:

*Produced by Mia Raquel

High Plains

Station Partner: HPPR
Map of participants
Standout Community Partner: Center City of Amarillo
Center City of Amarillo is an organization that seeks to revitalize Amarillo’s historic downtown. Through our partnership they chose to highlight the voices of individuals with strong ties to Amarillo’s history and evolution.

West Texas

Station Partner: Marfa Public Radio
Map of participants
Standout Community Partner: Terlingua Community
Terlingua is considered a “ghost town” in Brewster County Texas. Storycorps Virtual allowed us to gather quite a few stories from this remote location which tackled topics from environmental activism to covid-19 to the unique experiences that led folks to settle in Terlingua proper.

Stories to Celebrate Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing StoryCorps stories that center Black voices in conversations about Black history, identity, struggles, and joy. This collection also includes behind-the-scenes information about some of the stories. Through these broadcasts and animations, you can discover new perspectives and reflections on our shared history as a nation.

Whose voice do you want to see included in the narrative of Black history? By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

 
 

 

Historic Black Voices


Silvia’s Legacy

In the 1950s Ellaraino, then age 16, was sent to Louisiana to visit her great-grandmother Silvia, who had lived through the Civil War. That summer, Silvia shared the moment she got her freedom.
Read the full transcript here.


story
"I truly think everyone should do what they can to sustain their country."
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Olivia J. Hooker on Making Military History

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, 103, shares what it was like as one of the first Black women to join the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve in 1945, and what her time in the service has meant to her.
Read the full transcript here.

 

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker was thought to be the last surviving witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. You can hear more about her life and the lives of other groundbreaking women in our podcast episode, “The First, But Not The Last.”

Photo: Olivia Hooker (in front) and fellow SPAR Aileen Anita Cooks, pause on the ladder of the dry-land ship ‘U.S.S. Neversail’ during their ‘boot’ training at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Station, Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, NY, 1945.
A black-and-white photo of two women, one in front of the other, smiling at the camera on the steps of the ship wearing the U.S. Coast Guard uniform.

A More Perfect Union

As a Black woman who came of voting age in the late 1940s, Theresa Burroughs was one of many Americans to fight against voter suppression. Every month for two years, she traveled to Alabama’s Hale County Courthouse in pursuit of her right to vote.
Read the full transcript here.


The Civil Rights Era


The Treasures of Mrs. Grady’s Library

Growing up in Arkansas in the 1950s, Judge Olly Neal was afraid to let his high school classmates see him reading. To keep this secret, he would steal books from the library. What he didn’t realize was that the librarian Mrs. Grady was supporting his love of reading from afar.
Read the full transcript here.


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"I was 15 years of age when I first started having my own private sit-ins."
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Dion Diamond: Reflections on 60 Years of Activism

This photo, taken in 1960, shows then-teenage civil rights activist Dion Diamond conducting a sit-in at a “white only” lunch counter in Arlington, VA. He shares his experience, as he puts it, “crashing segregated society.”
Read the full transcript here.


Driven

Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, race car driver Wendell Scott poured his heart, soul, and all of his earnings into racing across the South. In 2015, he became the first Black person to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Read the full transcript here.

 

Wendell Scott competed in race cars that he put together from pieces he found in junkyards. You can hear more about his extraordinary life and race car driving career in our podcast episode, “The Ballad of Wendell Scott.”

Photo: A rough drawing of Wendell Scott created for the Storycorps animation “Driven.”
Black-and-white horizontal drawing of Wendell Scott wearing a helmet and race car uniform, driving a race car, glaring ahead as he grips the wheel.

Making History Today


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“It opened up for me like a gift. And I’m like, ‘I’m in this lab killing cancer.’”
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Untangling The Code

After being raised by her aunt and uncle, Hadiyah-Nicole Green lost both of them to cancer in her early 20s. Caring for them inspired Dr. Green to dedicate her life to fighting the disease.
Read the full transcript here.

 

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green is the first person ever to kill cancer in mice using laser-activated nanoparticles, which is a big departure from predominant cancer treatments today. She founded the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation in honor of her late aunt, and her work is in the process of moving forward into human trials. Her goal is to make cancer treatment accessible, effective, and affordable for all.

A sepia-colored photo of a Black woman and girl smiling for a portrait against a cloudy brown background. The woman has short, curly black hair and wears brown glasses and a collared shirt with a design of purple flowers. The girl in her lap has braided hair and wears pink shirt with a ruffly white collar and bow.

Photo: “Auntie” Ora Lee Smith and Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green.

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"You’re my favorite person to talk about space to."
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Dreams of Outer Space

Six-year-old Jerry Morrison’s favorite person to talk to is his uncle, NASA engineer Joey Jefferson. They celebrate their shared passion for space and exploration.
Read the full transcript here.

 

Joey Jefferson spoke about his love of space with his other love: his partner, Wilford Lenov. You can hear more from them in our podcast episode, “Love and a Life Complete.”

Drawing of two people in silhouette in front of a forest, looking out at the stars. Behind them in the forest is a pink bunny wearing headphones.

From the StoryCorps Archive


Notes from StoryCorps Facilitator Franchesca Peña who compiled this selection of stories from our Archive: At one point in my Archive search I came across the keyword “leisure” which led me to the word “hobbies”. These keywords led me to stories of Black people relaxing and doing things that they love. I think it’s important to have these stories in conversation with the narrative of Black people needing to work extra hard and overcoming obstacles (which is also important but a narrative I’ve been exposed to more than that of leisure, rest, and joy).

Bruce Waight and Vanessa Morrison

Bruce Waight talks with his life and business partner, Vanessa Morrison, about the mobile barbershop they started together, En Root. They talk about what it means to be Black entrepreneurs, help their community, and provide haircuts to people experiencing vulnerability.

Mary Sims and Linda Jones

Mary E. Sims talks with her friend, Linda Jones, about attending “Nappy Hair Affair” gatherings at Linda’s house where women, and later men, of color were encouraged to wear their hair naturally and learn how to style it. The two unpack how trauma and healing are linked to how they choose to wear their hair.

Jaida Nelson and Joia Thornton

Sisters Jaida Elyse Nelson and Joia Erin Thornton reflect on their sisterhood, their experiences growing up and going to college, and why they started the Queen Esteem Foundation.

RaShauna Wright and John Wright

RaShauna Nicole Wright talks with her husband John Henry Wright IV about their “bucket lists,” what they’re most proud of, first meeting each other, and hopes for the future.

Doris Jackson, Lucy Jackson, and LaToya Jackson

Doris Jackson and her sister Lucy talk with Doris’ daughter, LaToya, about some of their favorite family memories. LaToya thanks her mother for the sacrifice she made to send LaToya to college.

Jason Pryor and Svetlana Binshtok

Jason Pryor talks to his girlfriend Svetlana Binshtok about how he started fencing at age 11 on a whim, got hooked on the sport, and became a competitive athlete. He describes the bittersweetness of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games and the challenges of being a professional fencer.

Regina Mitchell and E. Mitchell

Spouses Regina Mitchell and E. Stanley “Stan” Mitchell reflect on their marriage and share how it all started with a chance meeting and a piece of gum.

Nothando Zulu, Mariama Gillespie, and Makeda Zulu-Gillespie

Nothando Zulu talks with her granddaughter, Mariama Gillespie, and daughter, Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, about being a storyteller, “whoopins,” and love.

Mary Mills and April Banks

April Banks talks to new acquaintance Mary Mills, an African American woman who surfs in the LA county area.

Javal Blades and Kenny Halbert

Javal Blades speaks to their friend Kenny Halbert about family, their trans identity, and remembering the evolution of their individual identities since they met in high school.


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