Stereotypes and Discrimination

A Black American Son’s Survival Lessons

A frantic call from Sheila Arnold’s son during his freshmen year in college turns into a moment to remember all that she had to teach him about growing up black, and what he had learned about crossing bridges in spite of people’s perceptions.

A Father’s Gift

In 1965, there was a war between India and Pakistan and Bilal wanted to know “Why is there all this hate?” This is the true story of a special gift Dr. Bilal Ahmed, a Pakistani Muslim, received from his father when he was thirteen.

A Jewish Woman and Her German Friend

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 Sabine prove to be an ally?

A Letter From Gold Mountain

Two young men leave China and voyage to Gam Saan, Gold Mountain (San Francisco) America, in 1850. One of them writes a letter home to tell of their adventures, misfortunes, and of a promise to his best friend, which he could not keep.

A Twice Saved Life

Solly Ganor, a Lithuanian Jew, was a boy when Germany invaded his country in1940. He was eventually sent to Dachau and was rescued by members of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, the all-Japanese American unit.

A Yiddish King Lear

Judith remembers that her grandfather, Oscar Markowitz, was an actor in the Yiddish Theatre at the turn of the 20th Century. A story about hard choices, hopes, dreams, racial persecution, and love!

Afternoon with Rachel, Holocaust survivor

Gene speaks with a Holocaust survivor who asks, “Tell me about your people?” Gene tells her of the 1835 Indian Removal Act and how his ancestors were forced to leave their homes and walk 800 miles through the winter.

Albuquerque

Growing up in New York City, Gerald Fierst’s neighborhood was Jewish. But when he went to visit cousins who had retired to Albuquerque, he discovered that “we all look alike when we are the other.”

An African Native American Story

Many Africans and First Nations people bonded together during and after slavery in the Americas and in the Caribbean for protection, acceptance, friendship and love. As a result, many African descendants also share Native American ancestries.

Another Way West

At age 16, in 1855, Jane’s great-grandfather sailed from N.Y. around the Horn to San Francisco where he was stranded! He took a job with Wells Fargo as a treasure agent in the Sacramento-Shasta Mining District, the home of the Shasta Indian Nation.

Aunt Helen

A Jewish girl and her friend sneak away from the forced walk of the Nazis. They hide in a haystack and a farmer helps them until the drums toll. In the face of this innocence, what motivates the Nazi soldier? What compels the farmer to help?

Bartholomew

An African American man is a church custodian and familiar figure to the congregation. However, when it’s rumored that African Americans will be attending church, suddenly the pleasant veneer of acceptance is exposed.

Beach Drowning and Race Riot

In researching housing history in segregated Chicago, Sue learns about the 1919 Chicago race riot. She wonders why she has not heard the story before now.

Bittersweet: Mom’s Story

Nancy dives into why her relationship with her mother has been one of ambivalence. Her journey is colored by the differences between Chinese and Western values and behaviors making it even more difficult to understand.

Changing Neighborhoods

Sue grew up hearing about “them” – the people who would come and take her and her neighbors’ homes in their all-white neighborhood. When her family watched the Friday night fights, it was made clear who was “the other” and who was “us.”

Christmas Food Drive

During a high school Christmas food drive in 1965, Sue brings canned goods to a family living in Cabrini Green housing projects. Isn’t that a good thing? Why would the family resent her?

City Girls: North Side vs. South Side

In high school, Susan O’Halloran spent her first overnight away from her Chicago home and met people from different ethnic and racial groups. She learns that there is more to people and discovers layers of herself she had long been ignoring.

Construction

Storyteller Jim May relates his days working his way through school on a union construction crew; as well as the unions roll in softening the effects of classism and racism.

Cost of Racism

As Motoko raises her Japanese son in the U.S., she is reminded of prejudice against Koreans in her own country, and discovers the importance of the language we use to create the world we live in.

Dr. King Came to Town

It was August 12th, 1966 and Dr. Martin Luther King was marching through Susan O’Halloran’s south Chicago neighborhood. At the same time, the KKK heard the news and arrived in the same neighborhood, splitting it into two.

Escape to Freedom – Germany 1941

Judy Sima’s mother was a Jew in Germany during World War II. She faced the Gestapo following the Night of broken glass, escaped Germany and eventually helped gain her father’s release from Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Hear her story…

Evacuation

What if the U.S. went to war with your country of origin? Anne Shimojima tells of the difficult days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, when her Japanese-American family were forced to evacuate their home.

Everybody and Nobody: Racial Default Thinking

When Andy was a child living in the Deep South, he visited some of his family in Colorado. A woman out there told Andy, “Everybody in Georgia is a bigot.” This put him on the road to thinking about Racial Default Thinking.

Faster than Sooner

When Antonio Sacre was excluded from acting jobs due because he was either too ethnic or not ethnic enough, he began storytelling to pay the bills. Soon he encounters a grade school bully and discovers the power of bilingual storytelling.

Fond Memories and The Jane Addams Project

This story is a piece of history from the 1950’s. It tells of affordable housing and living in a particular neighborhood while providing some insight into the different ethnic groups that make up some of our communities.

Four Moments

Loren learned what White privilege means when he was willing to look at how it worked every day – in a traffic stop, at the store and in community meetings. Once Loren saw it, how could he not question, “This is what we live with?”

From Moon Cookies to Martin and Me

This is a personal journey tale from Lyn’s childhood living next door to a Holocaust survivor and, then, her adolescent small but mature steps into the greater Civil Rights Movement.

Grandpa’s Story

An American family gathers for a reunion with laughter, memories, and good ol’ corn beef and cabbage. Suddenly, the father kneels before his family and sobs apologetically, “Your country has betrayed you.”

Guatemala 1993: When Hope Is Rekindled

While visiting Guatemala with her teen sons, Susan O’Halloran hears stories of atrocities people are suffering because of Guatemala’s civil war. A moment of grace and wisdom restores her sense of hope and dedication.

Gumballs and the Brothers Three

A Baptist, a Muslim, and a Jew visit a church three years in a row to promote interreligious dialogue and understanding. The transformation of one angry congregant through the image of a gumball machine provides an enduring lesson for everyone.

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

Mama Edie’s new friend, Renee, grew up in a predominately white community during the Civil Rights years. When Renee attends college she learns the pain of being treated as an outsider by some of the other Africian American students.

Hot Chili and Crackers: A Racial Stew with Danger

In 1970 Mama Edie’s Black Theater Ensemble travels to perform at a university in Iowa. After what had been a peaceful and joyful journey, the ensemble members come to realize that Civil Rights had not yet fully taken root, not even in the north.

I Deserve To Be Here

Emily Hooper Lansana reminices about how her life would be if she believed what others told her. In this story you will learn what racial justice is allowing everyone the opportunity to same opportunities to succeed.

I See Your Problem, John

In the 1980’s, John was an IT executive in a large bank based in Atlanta, Georgia. The bank received pressure to greatly increase workforce diversity. John turned to an African American friend for help and the friend’s insight changed everything.

I Wanted To Be an Indian

Stories about our ancestors help us understand who we are. Encountering troubling revelations about her forebears and their Indian neighbors in colonial New England, Jo Radner asks what it means to tell – and live with – her whole, complex history.

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

Bill Harley 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 emotions and biases aren’t in play.

Immigrant Story

This story reveals how a group of immigrants rallied with resilience and ingenuity so that the 7th generation of Chinese Americans thrives today.

In Belfast

Loren travels to North Ireland and is continually asked, “Are you Catholic or Protestant?” By the way that question is asked and answered, layers of cultural assumptions are revealed.

In the Name of God Who Do You Seek

As part of a service project, Mary Gay and her best friend are to start a Girl Scout troop at a notorious reform school in New Orleans. As an adult, Mary Gay wishes she could go back to the school and ask for more for the girls.

Incarceration

How would the government treat your family if it went to war with your ancestors’ country of origin? Anne Shimojima describes life in an incarceration camp for her Japanese-American family during World War II.

It was 1966 in Warrensburg, Missouri

On Joyce’s first day of college she met Catherine. Catherine was Black and Joyce was Caucasian. Their friendship was not a normal sight for small town, Missouri in 1966. How could Joyce ever really know the prejudice Catherine faced?

Jimmy Nessar

An unlikely friendship is formed in a small-town barbershop. The friendship is not one that can openly flourish due to racism in the town. The story illustrates how one stands firmly and humbly in the face of racism while always willing to give back.

Learning at the Dinner Table

Bill’s mother and father came from families at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. One Thanksgiving dinner, Bill’s father stands up to in-laws making bigoted comments and Bill learns a valuable lesson about taking a stand.

Looking at My Yearbooks

Looking at high school yearbooks, Shanta reflects on the changes of her childhood neighborhood and as an adult, with a larger understanding of the times – blockbusting and other pressures – the sting of being “the other” remains.

Looking for Papito

As a Cuban and Irish American child, Antonio deals with being “too ethnic” or “not ethnic enough”. By trial and error and with the support of his family, Antonio reclaims all of his ethnic heritage and his Spanish language.

Mama Said

Michael’s mother models the importance and love of reading, but, mostly importantly, the value of kindness. When Michael tours in Brazil, he discovers that his mother was teaching the students there as well.

Martin and Me – A Coming of Age Story

Growing up, Steven was involved in Boy Scouts and his church and as a teen he advocated for community development in his New Jersey neighborhood. But could he get involved in the rising black militancy of the late 1960s?

Milwaukee BBQ

Loren who is white goes to a BBQ place in an all black neighborhood and comes to understand prejudice in a direct and personal way.

Mixing It Up

In schools, racial violence often stems from learned bias. Listening to one another is an antidote to the gap between people and transforms bias into deep concern and creative change.

Mr. D’s Class

Thirty teens from twenty countries, one Jewish teacher, and one Cuban-Irish-American storyteller work with one of the poorest and most challenging high schools in Los Angeles. Will fear stop the project, or will they stand together?

My Civil Rights Moment

After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Beth realized that the fight for civil rights was happening right in her own home.  When she discovered the prejudice of her family, she had a choice to make. Her family’s beliefs? Or her own?

My Long Hair

Motoko tells a story about her own experience of sexual harassment in Japan, how she was trapped into silence imposed by her culture, and how storytelling helped her break through the silence and heal herself.

Navajo Code Talker

During WWII the Navajo Code Talkers created a code that was never broken. But in the past, the Navaho were forced off their reservations into boarding schools where they were told not to speak their language or practice their culture.

Negotiating the Narrows

As a young child in the 1950s, Susan Klein, raised Methodist, was intrigued by the mysterious practices of her Roman Catholic friends and neighbors. Susan’s growing awareness of religious difference and how it might indicate value—someone is better, someone is worse—caused her to understand how some in her community might viewed her friendship with an African American girl.

Next Town

While traveling from California to Lousiana, Diane’s family stops at a restaurant. A “whites only” sign hangs near the door and Diane’s family, all black, must eat in the kitchen. She learns about prejudice and how to keep in high spirits that day.

On the Bus: Saved By an Angel

A woman tells Jon a story about how a stranger saved her from arrest and morse but leaves before she completes her story. As Jon reflects, he asks: are we prepared to help a stranger when they need us most?

Penny for Your Thoughts

Diane Ferlatte white man at a restaurant and tries to be friendly. When he responds with a grunt she labels him a “mean old white man.” Later she learns his story and the importance of reaching across barriers of race, age and culture.

Racism on the Road and Into the Next Generation

Brenda performs a song in Japanese and is told to stop using “demonic language” and is called “a witch.” Unfortunately, bias and ignorance is also visited on the next generation when her son is mistaken for another Japanese American student.

Raising a Glass to My Teachers

Pam Faro grew up in very white central Wisconsin. Decades later, over a glass of wine with family, she learned that something she’d always done innocently was racially hurtful. How could a class taken way back in high school be of any help?

Reflections on Minidoka

Alton Takiyama-Chung visits the remains of the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of the internment campus used to incarcerate Japanese Americans during WWII. There he meets an 89-year-old woman who had been incarcerated at Minidoka years before.

Remembering Lisa Derman

Jim May remembers holocaust survivor, Lisa Derman, who died suddenly of a heart attack while telling a the story that had defined her contributions to the fight against anti-Semitism, as well as against genocide the world over.

Roots to Rap

Rev. Jones gives a rousing illustration of how today’s rap music has evolved from the blues and earlier musical forms.

Rosa

Linda Gorham tells the story of Rosa Park’s 1955 stand against racial injustice through: Claudette Colvin (a 15-year-old who nine months earlier refused to give up her bus seat), James Blake (the bus driver), and Rosa Parks herself.

Rosie the Riveter

During WWII many women took on the jobs and duties of men who had left for war. They were known simply as “Rosie.” In this excerpt you’ll meet an African American Rosie who fought racism, sexism and changed the nature of the 1944 workplace.

School of Invisibility

Charlotte Blake Alston accepts position at a Quaker school and expects she’ll be part of a school committed to respect and equality for all members of the school community. But true equity, she finds, is awareness, sensitivity and diligence.

Seriously… What Did You Call Me?!

While getting a passport Onawumi Jean discovered that her name is not on her birth certificate. Her aunt is able to clear up the mystery by disclosing a concession Onawumi’s mother made to get along and keep her job in the Jim Crow South.

Shadowball

Bobby brings to life famed “Shadowball” baseball players such as Cool Papa Bell and Satchel Paige, as he explores their triumphs and sacrifices during segregated America in the 1920s-30s.

Small Town Silence

A wannabe comedian in the suburbs of Pittsburgh finally meets a professional comic who is willing to take him under his wing. Will silence over the discovery of a small town’s nasty racial secret destroy the friendship before it can even begin?

Spark Matsunaga: U.S. Senator and Warrior Poet

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 in the U.S. during WWII.

Sparta, Georgia

Gene travels across the country to see the land of his people. Along his journey, he meets a southern white couple on a backcountry dirt road and an old black man in Sparta, Georgia who fought with First Nation men during the Korean War.

Spring

Storyteller Jim Stowell tells how an immigrant woman is faced with trials and hardships, and how she established a sense of pride and dignity for herself and her family.

Taming the Fire: A Black Heritage Search

One day an angry black girl stormed into history class and demanded to know why she had not heard about black inventors. Her favorite teacher, who was white, was faced with a decision and in making it an entire classroom of students was changed.

Tewas Go Home

Eldrena is confused when she sees a poster and students say the same thing. She asks her Tewa-Hopi grandmother what the words mean. In the process she hears a story that teaches her about integrity no matter how much time passes.

That Place Within Untarnished

A woman from Rwanda tells of a child who faces a difficult choice when he finds himself face to face with the man who murdered his parents. Is there a place untouched by war, murderous alternatives and biases?

The Day the Nazis Came

An excerpt from Syd Lieberman’s book, Streets and Alleys, this is a true story of the day the Nazis spoke near Syd’s home at Lovelace Park in Evanston, IL and Syd’s surprising reaction.

The Dirty Hands at Atwood’s Farm

One day during the 1950’s, a mixed-race couple came to visit the Atwood’s farm in rural Wisconsin. What happened to cause a young girl to question her mother’s response to the couple?

The Nuns

Growing up in his New York City Jewish neighborhood was a world of homogeneity for Gerry. But an occasional intrusion of “alien nuns” could be truly scary to a young child unfamiliar with other religions.

The Oberlin Rescue of 1858

John Price escapes from slavery in Kentucky and reached Oberlin, Ohio. There he sees Black shopkeepers and college stuents to he decides to stay. The problem is, a slaver catcher is coming for him.

The Other 9/11 Story

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, demonstrations against Muslims arose in different parts of Chicago. One group of Chicagoans on the southwest side of the city decided to support their Muslim neighbors.

The Other Block

In the melting pot of the very poor, Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY neighborhood, there lived Irish, Italians, Blacks, Polish, Jews and one Holocaust escapee kid — Erica. Kids only played with their own kind on their own block, but since Erica didn’t belong to any of those groups, she got to play with everybody. For Erica, that’s how unexpected friendships (and unexpected prejudices) formed.

The Promise: A Lesson in White Privilege

What happens when the warm connection between a black woman and a white woman is broken by insensitivity and unconscious white privilege? Are courage, honesty, forgiveness and hope enough to heal the separation?

The Spirit Survives (Part I — Gertrude Bonnin)

Dovie shares her knowledge of the Indian Boarding School experiement with her daughter and us. She weaves history, biography, autobiography and personal reflection in the story that she never “wanted” to tell. But some stories need to be told…

The Spirit Survives (Part II — Grandpa)

The “Indian Experiment” in education, the government boarding schools, is unknown to many Americans, yet affects us all. Following forty years of study of these stories, Dovie knew she had to share what she’d learned that would be essential to her daughter, and all of us. She weaves history, biography, autobiography and personal reflection in this story that she never “wanted” to tell. But there are some stories that need to be told…

The Story of My Teacher

Kiran reveals his experiences with racism as one of the few brown boys in his town contrasted with the kindness of strangers as well as the inspiration he received from his storyteller teacher, Mr. George.

Three Assassinations: Kennedy, King, Kennedy

Megan was confused when her 9th grade classmates reacted differently to the assassination of President Kennedy than her family did. Who was right? She learns to listen to her heart to find what was truth for her.

Through the Eyes of York

One man who was part of the Western exploration in the United States was an African American named York. While York was not always credited with his part, his contributions were a large part of Lewis and Clark’s success.

Tipping the Scales

When camp started, tension was high between the Chinese kids and Black and Latino kids in Robin’s group. But over the summer, the children began to let their defenses down and make new friends. That is, until Daniela returned.

Too Crazy to Know Better

Jay O’Callahan shares storyteller Sandra Harris’s story of her involvement in the Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

Urban Renewal and Vanport, Oregon in the 1940s

During World War II, a young African-American couple relocates from Georgia to Vanport, Oregon in pursuit of the American dream. But the dream turns into a nightmare due to a major catastrophe and they have to decide if they should move back home.

Vindication

Michael and some classmates hold a walk out due to limited black history curricula and are expelled. Decades later, Michael is brought back to the school to receive his high school diploma and the school’s gratitude.

Why Do You Want to go to College?

In high school, Olga was told by her counselor that her Mexican family was too poor for her to go to college.  Hear how she found a way around this negative advice.

You Never Know What the End Will Be

In 1972 Diane marries “outside her race” and her mother-in-law refuses to attend the wedding, among other things. What happens to the family’s relationship afterward is anyone’s guess. A story of hope and a reminder that love conquers many things.