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.
When the Muslims buy property for a new building, they thought they’d have difficulty proving that they were a peaceful community. When the pastor of the Methodist church across the street learns of the purchase, he doesn’t know what he should do.
A white man has an experience at a copy shop that causes him to examine the negative impact racial conditioning has had on him and he becomes painfully aware of his subconscious denial and patronizing attitude towards them.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Esther, a spunky octogenarian and Cuban refugee considers voting a hard-won, American privilege. After casting her vote, she reminds husband, Carlos, of “their views” on local elections. Carlos’ reaction is a hysterical and poignant civics lesson.
Nancy tells an excerpt from “A Window of Beauty,” a story inspired by the experiences of a young girl, her remarkable teacher and their secret art classes in the Terezin Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia during World War II.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
Gail Rosen tells the story of a Holocaust survivor. Why tell a story that’s not your own? How does understanding others’ stories help us think about our own place in history?
During the 1960’s, Patricia Redd’s family moved to the a new community in South Chicago. Hers was one of the first African- American families to integrate the parish school. Before long she begins to understand the effects of “white-flight.”
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.
Alonzo F. Herndon owned a barbershop that catered to whites only. Because of the Jim Crow laws, the black people who worked at the barbershop and even Alonzo himself had to enter by the rear door. How did the 1906 Atlanta Race Riots affect Alonzo?
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?
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.
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.
At 14, storyteller Laura Packer visited friends living in the rural south and encountered negative assumptions about Judaism for the first time.
In kindergarten, Linda was told by her classmates, “You act white! You dress white! You have white people’s hair…” And then, the taunting began. It took Linda a long time to understand what it means to be black.
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.
Michael joins a program to teach storytelling in a California prison. He learns much about the men there as well as the power of storytelling.
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.”
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 across the United States.
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?
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.
This story speaks of the imposed mental conditioning that inspires people to despise their own natural attributes. It also explores how this toxic conditioning has led to people seeing themselves as being “less than,” not as “beautiful.”
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.
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.
Charles Ishikawa grew up in Plantation camps in Waipahu, Hawaii. He was just 14 years old when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Afterward, he and his family worried if they were American enough.
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.
The night Obama became president, Donna was a black woman in a very conservative part of the country. She discovered that it is possible be a foreigner in her own country. She also found out that the world is full of people with good hearts.
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…
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.
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.
Chinese food was considered to be “exotic” by the Lo Fan or White people in 1850s San Francisco. This story follows one of the legends surrounding the origins of a popular Chinese American dish, which for a good myth.
Andy Offutt Irwin 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.
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.
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?
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 hire her and let her find out if she wants to fit in or standout.
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.
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?”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
The Chicago Public Schools were almost totally segregated in the 1950’s when Gwen first integrated a South Side High School. She in school but had an encounter with the police that threatened to overshadow her academic accomplishments.
Hasan, a Muslim, was a college student in 1992 when the siege against his city, Sarajevo, began. He joined the Army of Bosnia but would do anything to escape and live in peace and freedom. A few of his many adventures are detailed in this excerpt.
This is a true story of the writer and the haunting experience she had at age 13 on a southern plantation near an old tree by the side of the road.
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.
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.
A server navigates the sometimes subtle and sometimes blunt racial comments he receives while working at a restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images is a white man’s reflection about the powerful and debilitating impact of the disparaging imagery that has been historically used to shape the perception of African Americans as dangerous. He vows to make a change.
This story reveals how a group of immigrants rallied with resilience and ingenuity so that the 7th generation of Chinese Americans thrives today.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Jack was just 16 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. He could not stop World War II or the U.S. Army forcing his family and 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans into concentration camps.
Can Jack’s humor and sketches help him “make the best of it”?
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.
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.
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.
In the early 1960s, a Black student feels relief to encounter a White teacher who operates without apparent bias. However, he soon discovers that, in spite of her kind heart, his teacher unknowingly perpetuates White superiority.
A white woman moves into a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood with, initially, very little curiosity about the community that resides there. Her assumptions about what it means to belong are challenged.
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.
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.
When Laura fell in love with Kevin, she was certain her liberal family would love him, too. Imagine her surprise when Laura and her father needed to negotiate his discomfort with her sweetheart’s differences
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.
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?
In this excerpt from a longer story, Elizabeth tells of the time Mary McLeod Bethune faced down the Ku Klux Klan to provide education for African-American girls.
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.
Jay shares storyteller Brother Blue’s (Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill) experience as an African American soldier in World War II in the Jim Crow South.
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.
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?
Can a teenager make an impact in a world full of injustice? Jasmin looks back to a time when she joined the cause to free a young Mexican-American artist, Manuel Salazar, who sat on death row falsely accused of killing a police officer.
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?
In 1964, Carmen’s father, a Cuban refugee, went to work at a steel manufacturing plant near Atlanta, Georgia. On the first day of work he was faced with two choices: a “white” bathroom and a “colored” bathroom. His solution is creative and humorous.
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 standing up for her.
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.
As a 4th grader, Sheila was given a new nickname – the “N” word – and how that nickname resulted in an unlikely friendship, and down the road, led to forgiveness and reconciliation.
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.
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.
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.
In 1991 a Jewish cantor and his family were threatened and harassed by the Grand Dragon of the state Ku Klux Klan. How did they deal with the hatred and bigotry, and still redeem a life? Based on the book, Not By the Sword by Kathryn Watterson.
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?
During WWII a Japanese American nurse is forced to leave her belongings and home to be imprisioned in an incarceration camp. Traveling to the camps a baby who should have been in the hospital takes a turn. The end-result is out of the nurse’s hands.
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.
White suburbanites shut down a nuclear power plant on Long Island, NY. while indigenous people on the Standing Rock Reservation were unable to stop the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on sacred native lands. Environmental racism?
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.
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?
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.
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.
April 4, 1968 may have ended a dream with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, another began in a young woman who pushed past despair, journeying from Mississippi to New York City, to discover that the “dream” lived on in her.
Rev. Jones gives a rousing illustration of how today’s rap music has evolved from the blues and earlier musical forms.
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.
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.
Five-year-old Kiyoshi lives in world that has been turned upside down since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Since then his father was taken away and his family moved living briefly in a horse stall before ending up in a place called Minidoka.
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.
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.
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.
A new workplace is sometimes like the first day at a new school. Differences aren’t accepted quickly, and sometimes differences can make a person feel completely isolated if they aren’t welcomed.
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 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.
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.
Amber, Misty, and Autumn – three multi-ethnic sisters – offer a sneak peek into their thoughts about self-identification. These storytellers also share a medley of emotional experiences about how they have sometimes been viewed by others.
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.
Finding herself on a historical tour of the Wall of Derry in Northern Ireland, Margaret discovers she is holding on to an ancestral hostility, the kind of hostility that perpetuates hatred, violence and war. Is this who she wants to be?
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 business.
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.
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.
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?
High school students organizing a memorial service for a teacher triggers an emotional process for Eunice Jarrett who is asked to step out of her comfort zone, again. Family life and school life create race-related expectations.
As the new Protestant Chaplain at a prision, Geraldine quickly realizes that the midweek Bible service has been overrun by the Crips – a violent, largely African-American gang. Can the midweek Bible service be saved?
This is Zahra’s personal story of reconnecting with her siblings. On a journey back to their Louisiana birthplace, Zahra and her siblings uncover a story of an event that affects the lives of their family, community and the nation.
Laura grew up on a street with many kinds of Jews. As different as they were, they had one thing in common: no one talked about WW II or the Holocaust. Two young children find a way to memorialize the unspoken through a make believe graveyard.
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.
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?
In this story, Rives Collins recalls his work directing plays for children and how, through them, he learns the importance of representation on our stages and the significance of role models for our children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 “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…
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.
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 saved the lives of the family by utilizing his special skill.
Elizabeth tells of her struggle to be comfortable with her own identity outside the boundaries of the racial norm. She describes the awkward struggles of adolescent love while discovering the acceptance of her own racial features.
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.
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.
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.
Jay O’Callahan shares storyteller Sandra Harris’s story of her involvement in the Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
In 1972, Marsha worked for the Peace Corp in Jamaica and became friendly with a neighbor named Yvonne. By casually mentioning the town she lived near Marsha set in motion a dream that Yvonne would sacrifice everything to fulfill.
In Springs, Mississippi in the late 1920’s Sadarri’s Uncle Carl was set to be lynched for “speaking out of turn.” An unlikely hero saves Carl’s life.
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.
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.
For the first time Karin moves to a small city. She is worried about fitting in but everyone seems friendly and open-minded, until she has a troubling enounter with racism. She tells her husband and three friends and gets very different responses.
During the 1950s, Gwen’s mother, like many African American parents, sent her children down south for the summer. Gwen remembers the rich experiences with her grandparents on the farmas well as painful and dangerous racist encounters.
In three short anecdotes, the teller (Milbre as a child) and her small daughter, Elizabeth, try to make sense of a world in which we are taught to fear “the other”.
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.
A single girl from Eastern Europe goes to the USA to study, she faces assumptions made about green cards, marriages of convenience, and other things she was unprepared for.
Talking about World War ll was hard for Carol’s father despite his three Purple Hearts. He shares his story of anti-Semitism, his sense of Jewish identity with a stranger in Paris and how he survived the front lines by wearing “blinders.”
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.
When in high school, Archy and his Thai family get into a fight about him dating a black girl. Years later, when Archy states he is gay, he finds that his mother’s racial attitudes have conveniently changed.