A Simple Story about History…and Courage

By Dovie Thomason Story Summary: Dovie weaves history within her narratives to engage listeners in the context of her life experiences as Native American. What happens when a narrative is described both as “massacre” and “victory”? Are we responsible for…

We Don’t Match: Experiences of a Transracial Adoptive Family

By Cindy Rivka Marshall Story Summary: A transracial, non-traditional family (two white women with one biological child and one adopted child who was born in China) have dealt with many rude questions and often have not been perceived as a…

A Jewish Woman and Her German Friend

By Cindy Rivka Marshall Story Summary: Cindy is an American Jewish college student studying in Paris when she meets Sabine, a German student. Their friendship feels almost illicit in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust. How does…

Tales – and Conversations – from Beyond the Ban

By Milbre Burch Story Summary: A college teacher learns traditional tales to advocate for international students whose countries have been targeted by an anti-Muslim travel ban. Interviewing the students about the tales they grew up hearing uncovers images that help…

Be Human – Find the George Within You!

By Sadika Kebbi Story Summary: Sadika witnessed the Lebanese civil war. The atrocities and the horrors can change a human being into a monster. Is there any hope for tolerance, love and forgiveness after such an experience? “Uncle George” made…

Spark Matsunaga: U.S. Senator and Warrior Poet

By Alton Takiyama-Chung Story Summary: Spark Matsunaga was a member of the 100th Battalion in WWII. He was elected to be a U.S. Senator from Hawaii and spearheaded the Redress Act through the Senate compensating Japanese Americans who were incarcerated…

Chinese Immigrants Help Complete the Transcontinental Railroad

By Alton Takiyama-Chung Story Summary: Two young men leave China and voyage to Gam Saan, Gold Mountain (San Francisco), America in 1850. They become two of the 12,000 Chinese who are hired by to help complete the first Transcontinental Railroad…

Cielito Lindo, Lovely Piece of Heaven: A Bully Tale

By Leeny Del (del Castillo) Seamonds Story Summary: After years of being bullied in school and teased, especially by her sister, Leeny’s Cuban grandmother teaches her a song and a Spanish phrase that changes Leeny’s perspective on beauty and, therefore,…

Because I’m Jewish, Doesn’t Mean I Have Horns: An Encounter with Anti-Semitism in Appalachia

By Storyteller Laura Packer Story Summary At 14, storyteller Laura Packer visited friends living in the rural south and encountered negative assumptions about Judaism for the first time. How she responded could have made the situation much worse, but she…

A Change of Heart: Muslims & Whites Crossing Cultures in a Memphis Neighborhood

By Storyteller Kate Dudding Story Summary In 2010 when the members of the Memphis Islamic Center bought property on the street nicknamed Church Road, they thought they’d have a hard time proving to their Christian neighbors that they were a…

Hey, I’m Black Too! So, Where Do I Fit In?

By Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong Story Summary Because she had grown up in a predominately white community during the turbulent Civil Rights years, when Mama Edie’s new friend, Renee, went to college she learned the pain of being treated as…

Finding Light in the Dungeons of Ghana with Mother Mary Carter Smith

By Storyteller Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong Story Summary When Mama Edie and Mother Mary Carter Smith, Co-Founder of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. enter the dark dungeons of Ghana, West Africa, where people were imprisoned for the Trans-Atlantic…

Culture Shock: An Israeli Immigrant Learns America

By Storyteller Noa Baum Story Summary Noa arrived from Israel to America in 1990 the month Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened to attack Israel. She arrived from a place where everyone walked around with boxes of gas masks in case…

Grow to Give: An Interfaith Food Equity Project

By Storyteller Heather Forest Story Summary The true tale of how storytelling inspired a group of diverse religious leaders in the town of Huntington, NY, to dig up their congregational lawns, grow vegetables tended by congregants, and then donate the…

My Chinese Grandfather

by Brenda Wong Aoki Story Summary As a child, Brenda visits her Grandfather who collects, dries and sells seaweed along the coast of California. When she is older, she helps him with his work. Brenda finds his ways strange and…

On the Train to the Japanese American Incarceration Camps

by Brenda Wong Aoki Story Summary Brenda recounts a story that was told to her by a woman who was a nurse and who, along with 120,000 of other Japanese Americans, was forced to leave her home and all she…

Racism on the Road and Into the Next Generation

by Brenda Wong Aoki Story Summary Brenda performs a children’s song in Japanese and is told to stop using “demonic language” and is called “a witch.” She is told by a producer that he is disappointed she isn’t a “real”…

First Generation Chicagoan – No Pigeon Holing

By Storyteller Kucha Brownlee Story Summary Kucha was born in the North, but her Southern family values and ties came North with her family. In this story, Kucha wonders why everyone feels the need to pigeon hole other people? She…

Tewas Go Home

By Eldrena Douma Story Summary A poster appeared and words were being spoken on the school yard. “Tewas Go Home”! After hearing these words from other students and seeing the poster at the Trading Post, she needed answers. In a…

Being Black Enough: Bullying and Race Discrimination

By Storyteller Linda Gorham Story Summary In kindergarten, Linda dressed in green for St. Patrick’s Day, was told by a teacher, “My, my, I’ve never seen an Irish N-word before!” In 7th grade, Linda was told by her classmates, “You…

My Japanese Parents’ Unromantic Marriage

by Karin Amano Story Summary Karin never dreamed about marriage growing up because of her Japanese parents’ unromantic arranged marriage. But when her father had a severe stroke and fell into a profound state of dementia, her mother, who had…

Loss and Acceptance

By Karin Amano Story Summary: Karin had been a practical Asian woman and everything, such as “going to America by age 24”, “being a professional actor by 31”, “finding a partner from match.com by age 37”, “getting pregnant by age…

When a Japanese City Person Moves into a Small Town in America

By Storyteller Karin Amano Story Summary: Five years ago, when Karin moved to a small town in the Midwest after previously living in Tokyo, New York City and Orlando, Florida she worried at first about fitting in but was glad to…

Arriving in Bulgaria: Overturning Assumptions in the Communist Era

By Storyteller Priscilla Howe Story Summary When Priscilla Howe traveled to Communist Bulgaria in the 1980s, she found herself in a difficult situation. She found help from a Bulgarian man who reminded her to look beyond appearances. 

Sagebrush Santa: Christmas, 1942 in the Minidoka Internment Camp

By Alton Takiyama-Chung Story Summary Five-year-old Kiyoshi, tries his best to make sense of his world which has been turned upside down since Japan attacked a place called Pearl Harbor. Since his father was taken away, he has had to…

Exotic Food: The Legendary Origin of a Chinese American Dish

by Storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung Story Summary People from all over the world came to America in the 1850s in search of riches during the California Gold Rush.  Many young Chinese men immigrated to America to earn money to support their…

Becoming a Woman of Color: Discovery in the Philippines

By Storyteller Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor Story Summary Rebecca, a Filipino American, grew up in nearly all-white neighborhoods and schools. In 2000, she began reconnecting with her Filipino heritage and became a woman of color. 

December 7, 1941: An Eyewitness to the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

by Alton Takiyama-Chung Story Summary Charles Ishikawa grew up in Plantation camps in Waipahu, Hawaii in the 1930s and 1940s.  He was 14 years old and on his way to his high school basketball practice when Japanese planes attacked Pearl…

That’s What My People Do: Facing Prejudice in a 1960s High School

By Eunice Jarrett Story Summary High school students organizing a memorial service for a teacher trigger an emotional process for Eunice who is asked to step out of her comfort zone, again.  Family life and school life create race-related expectations.

The White Boys: Korean-Puerto Rican Girl Seeks Anybody

by Storyteller Elizabeth Gomez Story Summary: In The White Boys, Elizabeth tells of her struggle to be comfortable with her own identity outside the boundaries of the racial norm. She tells of the normal awkward struggles of adolescent love with…

The Colfax Louisiana Massacre: A Story about Reconstruction

By Zahra Glenda Baker Story Summary: This is Zahra’s personal story of reconnecting with her siblings and learning about how history is told through the voice of the “hunter”. On a journey back to their Louisiana birthplace, Zahra and her…

The Importance of Representation on Our Stages: Role Models for Young Audiences

By Rives Collins Story Summary: In this story, Rives Collins, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University,  recalls his work directing plays for children.  He shares the discoveries the young people helped him make regarding the importance of representation on our stages…

My Life as an Engrish to English Translator: Learning to Accept My Korean Immigrant Mother

 by Elizabeth Gomez Story Summary: A story about Elizabeth, an “Army brat”, who must navigate the world for her Korean immigrant mother. Through this process she learns to stop being embarrassed by her mother and shifts to fighting for her.

Standing on the Wall of Derry: An Irish American Confronts the Irish Conflict

By Margaret Burk Story Summary: Finding herself on a historical tour of the Wall of Derry in Northern Ireland, Margaret discovers within herself that she is holding on to an ancestral hostility, the kind of hostility that perpetuates hatred, violence…

A Brilliant Day: A Dutch Woman’s Courageous Travels in Nazi Occupied Holland

by Peter R. LeGrand Story Summary: This story weaves present day observations with the true accounts of Peter’s grandmother, a Dutch Jew, and the incredible journeys she went through during the time of Nazi occupied Holland during World War II.…

Columbian Runaway: A Latina Pushes Back on the Role of Women

 by Jasmin Cardenas Story Summary: Jasmin takes you into the rabbit hole of panic that she faces when she gets engaged to be married. Questions about her identity and her role as a woman surface as she tries to weed…

Stand Up! Redlining During the Great Migration and Marching in Marquette Park with Dr. Martin Luther King

by Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong Story Summary: Take the journey with 14-year old Mama Edie as she relives her 1966 experience of marching through the violent streets of Marquette Park in Chicago, Illinois with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Ride…

Surviving and Thriving: When Racism Destroyed 1920s Black Wall Street in Tulsa Oklahoma

By Shanta Nurullah Story Summary: This family story describes Shanta’s father and grandparents’ escape from the 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre. Shanta’s grandfather, a tailor, was forced to flee with his family to Chicago where he was able to re-establish his…

Black & White: Stereotypes and Privilege

by Storyteller Diggsy Twain Story Summary: Diggsy Twain, an African American man, tells a friend about an encounter he had on a train and what he did to stop the stereotype that all black men are angry. Then after telling…

Fit In or Stand Out: An African-American’s Battle to Fit into White Culture

 by Storyteller E.B. Diggs Story Summary: As a teen E.B. liked being unique but his coaches wanted him to fit in. Then years later as an attorney he wants to hire someone who reminds him of himself. He decides to…

Zebra Children: A Guide to Interracial Dating from the Closet for Immigrants and their Children

by Storyteller Archy Jamjun Please Note : The following video is part of a comedy routine. The video includes some mild sexual content. Story Summary: When in high school, Archy and his Thai family get into a fight about him…

My Names: Gender Expectations for a Taiwanese Woman

By Ada Cheng Story Summary: In this story, Ada Cheng explains the meanings of her Chinese name: Shu-Ju. She explains the connection between her name, her parents’ expectations for her as a daughter, and the cultural expectations for her as…

To Prove You Are Legal: Immigration from Taiwan

 by Storyteller Ada Cheng Story Summary: In this story, Ada Cheng explores her experience with the U.S. citizenship ceremony. She discusses the institutionalized vulnerability that immigrants are subject to during the process of becoming Americans. She also compares her experience…

Complexions of Love: Biracial Children and Folks Who Are Just “Too Dark”

by Storyteller Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong Story Summary: This story speaks to the cruelty of the imposed mental conditioning that inspires people to come to despise their own natural attributes. Mama Edie refers to her father who was considered “too…

Three Assassinations: Kennedy, King, Kennedy

by Megan Hicks   Story Summary:  Megan was confused when her 9th grade classmates reacted differently to the assassination of President Kennedy than her family did. She didn’t know who was right. And then she learned to listen to what…

Sparta, Georgia

by Gene Tagaban   Story Summary:  Gene travelled by van across the country to see the land of his people. Along his journey, he had the experience of meeting a southern white couple on a backcountry dirt road and an…

Navajo Code Talker

by Storyteller Gene Tagaban   Story Summary: During WWII the Navajo Code Talkers created a code that was never broken. The Navajo were forced off their reservations into boarding schools where they were told not to speak their language or…

Afternoon with Rachel, Holocaust Survivor

by Storyteller Gene Tagaban   Story Summary:  Gene tells of an afternoon he spent with Rachel, a Holocaust survivor, in Omaha, Nebraska. Rachel, an elderly woman, asks Gene, “Tell me about your people?” Gene tells her of the 1835 Indian…

The Story of My Teacher

By Kiran Singh Sirah   Story Summary:  Kiran reveals the experiences of living between two worlds: on one hand, his experiences with racism being one of the few brown boys in his town contrasted with the kindness of strangers as…

The Complexity of Our Street – Burying the Unspoken

By Laura Simms   Story Summary: Issues within the same religious group or ethnicity are complex and rarely discussed. Laura grew up on a street in Brooklyn with many kinds of Jews – Orthodox, Conservative, Sephardic, cultural and so forth.…

Hasan’s Story: Escaping the Bosnian-Serbian War 1994

by Susan O’Halloran   Story Summary: When former Yugoslavia broke up in the early 1990s, war broke out across the region. Hasan, a Muslim, was a college student in 1992 when the siege against his city, Sarajevo, began. He joined…

The West Indies: Brer Rabbit Avoids Danger For A Black Family Traveling In America

by Storyteller Donna Washington   Story Summary:  Donna’s father is quite a trickster, and one afternoon in the 1980’s, while her large family was traveling through the south, they ran into a potentially dangerous situation. Donna’s trickster father literally saved…

Election Night:  How President Barack Obama’s Elections Changed My Life

by Donna Washington   Story Summary: The night Obama was elected to the presidency, Donna was a lone black woman in a very conservative part of the country. She discovered that it is possible be in a foreign land in…

Expectations and Surprise: School Segregation and Tracking in the 1960s

by Andy Offutt Irwin   Story Summary:  Andy experienced school desegregation in the 1960s but students were “tracked” which led to a more subtle form of segregation. However, racial tracking led Andy to unexpected friendships.  . Go to the Home…

Learning at the Dinner Table

by Bill Harley Story Summary:  Bill’s mother and father came from opposite ends of the political spectrum which meant that his mother and father’s family did as well. Bill’s father could not tolerate the biased language that was spoken at…

I’m Gonna Let It Shine – It’s In All of Us

by Storyteller Bill Harley   Story Summary:  Bill gathers a group of musicians together to record an album of Civil Rights freedom songs. However, they learn that they can’t assume they are all on the same page or that underlying…

A Child’s Eye View

by Storyteller Cynthia Changaris   Story Summary: Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina during Jim Crow, Cynthia is baffled by why Black people get to ride in the “best part” of the bus, the back of the bus with the…

Seriously…What Did You Call Me?!

By Onawumi Jean Moss   Story Summary:  While getting a passport to prepare for a trip abroad, Onawumi Jean discovered that her name is not on her birth certificate. Her aunt is able to clear up the mystery by disclosing…

Bittersweet: A Chinese American Daughter’s Legacy

The stories offered here—Immigrant History and Mom’s Story—come from Chinese American storyteller, Nancy Wangs longer story Bittersweet: A Chinese American Daughter’s Legacy. In this story, Wang explores the history of her own family, beginning with the immigration of her great-great-grandparents…

Ripples: From a Field in Mississippi to General Motors in New York

By Diane Macklin   Story Summary:  April 4, 1968 may have been the end of one dream with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, on that day, another began in a young woman who pushed past despair, journeying…

Just Hair: Finding Out the Importance of Your True Roots

By Diane Macklin Story Summary:  A chance encounter is an unexpected blessing for a teenager, who discovers that true strength is rooted within, extending down into the roots of the ancestors.

The Immigration Process vs. Pre-Wedding Bliss

By Arianna Ross   Story Summary: Listen and move as this spoken word piece takes your mind and body through an insider’s/outsider’s understanding of immigration, identity, and family. The story began when Arianna and her now husband wanted to get…

A Link in the Circle: Learning to Lean on My Indonesian Family

By Arianna Ross   Story Summary:  What is it like to be so immersed in a culture that a lady on the bus becomes your adopted “Aunt” and a bus driver your “Brother? While Arianna Ross travelled alone through Indonesia,…