On this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we’re spotlighting stories from our Griot Initiative, honoring the experiences of Black people across the country.

First, we’ll hear from Albert Sykes, a youth mentor and community organizer in Jackson, Mississippi. But when he came to StoryCorps in 2015 with his nine-year-old son, Aidan, parenting was at the forefront of their conversation—specifically what it means to be a Black man raising Black boys in America.

Next, we’ll hear from Frank Scott who grew up idolizing his father, Wendell Scott, the first Black race car driver to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Wendell began his racing career during the 1950’s in the Jim Crow era South. At StoryCorps, Frank sat down with his son, Warrick, to remember him.

You won’t find Miss Lizzie Devine in the history books, but for cousins Cherie Johnson and James Ransom, she was unforgettable. At StoryCorps, they sat down to remember their most formidable Sunday school teacher.

And finally, we end with Dr. William Lynn Weaver, who recorded with us many times over the years, and became one of the most beloved voices in the StoryCorps archive. In the fall of 1964, Lynn was among the first group of Black students to integrate West High School — a previously all-white high school — in Knoxville, Tennessee. At StoryCorps, he remembers what it was like to also integrate the high school’s football team.

Top photo: Albert and Aidan Sykes at their StoryCorps interview in Jackson, Mississippi in 2015. By Vanessa Gonzalez-Block for StoryCorps.
Second Photo: Frank and Warrick Scott at their StoryCorps interview in Danville, Virginia in 2014. By Mayra Sierra for StoryCorps. 
Third Photo: Cherie Johnson and James Ransom at their StoryCorps interview in Sarasota, Florida in 2006. By Nelson Simon for StoryCorps.
Bottom photo: Dr. William Lynn Weaver at his StoryCorps interview in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2017. By Jud Esty-Kendall for StoryCorps.

Released on June 9, 2020.