By Dane E. Holmes, StoryCorps board chair

As part of our annual holiday tradition, my father, Jonas, and I sat down to listen to our StoryCorps interview from 2013. Our conversation touches on the experiences of several generations of Black men in my family, from the Deep South to Chicago, and in it, you’ll hear the warmth and laughter that are a part of any chat I have with my dad. Our story is rich and real—it’s become part of our holiday tradition because it reminds our family of the history and humor that brought us to the present moment. 

Listen to our conversation here.

I love my dad’s interview. I am so grateful to have these memories preserved, and I know they will only become more valuable as time passes. My story is about the power of love in the face of 20th century racism, how to handle naysayers with wit and confidence, and how to lead by example. And it’s thanks to StoryCorps that our story has been recorded, archived, and made available to anyone who wants to listen.

Over the last 19 years, StoryCorps has been opening us to new perspectives, one conversation at a time. I currently serve as StoryCorps’ board chair, but I’ve been part of the organization for a decade and since then, it has been my privilege to hear and share hundreds of stories from people just like—and completely unlike—my dad. Together, we preserve and share stories that illuminate our shared humanity, build mutual empathy, and create a culture of understanding and hope. 

Our work is by and for the public, and it will always be free to experience. But it’s not free to create, and we need supporters and storytellers like you to keep making StoryCorps possible. Please donate today!

We remain grateful for the listeners, supporters, participants, and friends who sustain StoryCorps, and we are excited for everything that lies ahead.

Your support makes it possible for StoryCorps, an independently funded nonprofit, to collect, archive, and share the stories of people from all backgrounds because everyone’s stories deserve to be heard.