Brush the Dirt from My Heart

By Connie Regan-Blake   Story Summary:  Storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, was invited to come to Uganda by “Bead For Life”(www.beadforlife.org), an NGO helping women lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Many of them are displaced people from the horrors and atrocities…

I Wanted To Be an Indian

By Jo Radner   Story Summary:  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 asks what it means to tell – and live…

The Spirit Survives

By Dovie Thomason Part One: Gertrude Bonnin   Part Two: Grandpa   Story Summary:  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,…

Who is a Friend? German-Jewish Reconciliation After the Holocaust

By Gail Rosen   Story Summary:  Who is my friend and who is my enemy? Gail Rosen, a Jewish storyteller, goes to Germany and makes a surprising connection to a German man who lived through WWII. 

FROM MOON COOKIES TO MARTIN AND ME

By Lyn Ford   Story Summary: Empathy grows from sharing stories; this story was shared to encourage others to know, to understand, and to remember. This is a personal journey tale from Lyn’s childhood living next door to a Holocaust…

I Deserve to Be Here

By Emily Hooper Lansana Story Summary: From voluntary busing to being called an “Oreo”, Emily navigated the color lines of her elementary and high schools until she finally landed with the “theatre kids” who moved more easily between different groups.  …

Next Town

By Storyteller Diane Ferlatte   Story Summary:  As a child, each summer Diane’s family drove from California to Louisiana to visit family. Diane remembers her father responding with increasing frustration whenever her brother asked if they could stop to get…

Penny for Your Thoughts

By Diane Ferlatte   Story Summary: While sitting alone in a restaurant having lunch, Ferlatte notices an older white man also eating alone and looking sad and worried. When she tries to be friendly, the man responds with a grunt.…

Looking for Papito

By Storyteller Antonio Sacre   Story Summary:  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…

Faster Than Sooner

by Storyteller Antonio Sacre   Story Summary:  While studying to become an actor, Sacre happened into storytelling through a class at Northwestern University. Because he found that he was often excluded from acting jobs because he was seen as either…

Remembering Lisa Derman

By Jim May Story Summary Lisa Derman, the late president of the Illinois Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Holocaust Survivor, died at the Illinois Storytelling Festival (July 2002) while telling her story of survival of the Nazi atrocities in Poland when…

Changing Neighborhoods

by Storyteller Susan O’Halloran   Story Summary:  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…

Looking at My Yearbooks

by Shanta Nurullah Story Summary: Looking at high school yearbooks, Shanta reflects on the “change” in her neighborhood from mostly white to all black. As a child, Shanta could not understand when the adults told her “the white people are…

Grandma’s Story

By Storyteller Susan O’Halloran [youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33hC46e19Kc’]   Story Summary:  After her Grandmother passes, Sue searches for her Grandmother’s story. Her exploration takes her into Irish American history and, eventually, to Ireland to find her Grandmother’s childhood home.

The Oberlin Rescue of 1858

By Storyteller Susan O’Halloran   Story Summary:  John Price escapes from the Kentucky plantation where he had been enslaved. He plans to go to Canada but when he arrives in Oberlin, Ohio and sees Black shopkeepers and Black students going…

Dr. King Came to Town

by Storyteller Susan O’Halloran Story Summary: Dr. Martin Luther King marches through Sue’s southwest side neighborhood in Chicago in 1966. Her family’s and neighbor’s reaction plus her own conflicted feelings rise just as the KKK makes its appearance. 

Vindication

By Storyteller Michael McCarty   Story Summary: While in high school, Michael and some classmates make demands of his school to include more Black History in the curricula. The students hold a walkout and Michael is expelled. Decades later as…

Where Are You From?

By Storyteller Arif Choudhury   Story Summary:  Bangladeshi-American Muslim storyteller, Arif Choudhury, shares stories about growing up as the only “brown-skinned boy” in the neighborhood and how 9-11 changed how others might perceive him and his family. 

Evacuation

By Storyteller Anne Shimojima   Story Summary: 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…

More Alike Than Not

Featuring Arif Choudhury, Gerald Fierst and Susan O’Halloran Story Summary: Through exploring misconceptions and common threads such as immigration and disagreements within their own religions, these three tellers bring alive their distinct histories and our common humanity to illuminate the…