In response to the events of spring 2020, StoryCorps aims to create a space for reflection around the murder of George Floyd and the demonstrations that followed. Each conversation recorded will be archived at the Library of Congress, where future generations can listen to and learn from this moment in the struggle for racial justice.

People process these events in different ways and on different timetables. People may feel energized, activated, angry, cynical, or every shade in between. We welcome the entire constellation of emotion and perspective. Regardless of circumstance, StoryCorps strives to provide a safe environment to share your stories.

To anyone who believes they will benefit from reflecting with another on this moment in American history, we invite you to record with us. We hope this will result in the sharing of wisdom from one generation to the next, reflection on how one’s race influences their life as an American, and reflection on what “America” means to you and what you hope it can be. We honor the opportunity to hold, preserve, and share your story.

Overview of the Interview Process

Here are the steps to record. You can also access them, along with suggested questions, recording pairings, and framing for your conversation in this downloadable document.

  1. Choose a person in your life with whom you’d like to share a reflective discussion on the topic.
  2. Familiarize yourself with StoryCorps Connect or with our App. On each platform, you can review our question list and hoped-for outcomes, and decide on which questions you’ll ask one another. Feel free to create your own questions as well.
  3. Agree on a time when you will meet for your interview and enjoy your conversation.
  4. When filling out your post-interview information form, tag the interview with the keyword “George Floyd Protests 2020
  5. Share your interview with friends and family or on social media.

 

 

Download (PDF): More Resources for Talking About the Murder of George Floyd & the Black Lives Matter Demonstrations

Suggested Questions To Start Your Conversation

Here are some questions to ask, though we also welcome you to make up your own. The person you record with will naturally shape the direction of the conversation. We encourage intergenerational pairings: someone who is older and has had experiences that they are willing to share with someone who is younger. We also invite you to have a conversation with a peer or friend with whom you have shared experiences that impacted you both.

Click here for even more question suggestions.

    • What were your thoughts and feelings when you watched the murder of George Floyd?

 

    • What has been hardest for you through all of this?

 

    • What lesson(s) do you hope our country can take from this moment?

 

    Do you have any wisdom or advice for me about getting through this moment?

Selected Stories

Watch, listen to, and share stories about racism experienced by Black Americans in these animations:

Traffic Stop

Note: The audio contains graphic descriptions of violence and the web post with the transcript contains a graphic photograph.
Alex Landau, an African American man, was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn’t matter. When Alex was pulled over by Denver police officers one night in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world—and nearly lost his life.
Read the full transcript here.

A More Perfect Union

When Theresa Burroughs came of voting age, she was ready to cast her ballot—but she had a long fight ahead of her. During the Jim Crow era, the board of registrars at Alabama’s Hale County Courthouse prevented African American people from registering to vote. Undeterred, Theresa remembers venturing to the courthouse on the first and third Monday of each month, in pursuit of her right to vote.
Read the full transcript here.

Lessons Learned

From the first roll call of the 1964 school year, William Lynn Weaver was targeted by white teachers at the Tennessee high school he and thirteen other black students integrated. A few weeks later, Weaver, a former high achiever, brought home a failing report card. What happened next still moves him.
Read the full transcript here.

School’s Out

Reverend James Seawood grew up in the 1950s in Sheridan, Arkansas, and attended an all-black school. The town’s main employer and landlord was a lumber mill. Following the federal mandate to integrate the public schools, the mill forced its African American employees and tenants out of town. As the population diminished, James’ mother became his school’s principal, janitor, and whatever else was needed.
Read the full transcript here.

Silvia’s Legacy

Ellaraino experienced a common teenage reaction when she learned she’d have to leave Los Angeles to spend the summer in Louisiana with her great-grandmother, Silvia. Less common was Ellaraino’s realization that Silvia had lived through the Civil War, and had a lot to teach her great-granddaughter about the true meaning of freedom.
Read the full transcript here.