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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

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.

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,…

Martin and Me – A Coming of Age Story

By Stephen Hobbs Story Summary:  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…

Chinese New Year’s Frogs: A Collision of Culture and Nature

By Linda Yemoto   Story Summary: “Ranger Linda” describes her encounter with a group of well-intentioned Chinese Americans bearing bullfrogs. This surprising incident illustrates how cultural differences can have unintended consequences and how cultural awareness can lead to greater understanding…

Taming the Fire: A Black Heritage Search

By Sheila Arnold   Story Summary: One day an angry black teenage girl – Sheila – stormed into her History Class and demanded to know why she had never heard about black inventors. Her favorite teacher, who happened to be white,…

A Black American Son’s Survival Lessons

By Sheila Arnold   Story Summary 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, in turn, all…

Will You Please NOT Marry Me? – Adventures In Cross-Cultural Dating

By Csenge Zalka   Story Summary:  When a single girl from Eastern Europe goes to the USA to study, she has to face certain assumptions made about green cards, marriages of convenience, and other things no one prepared her for.…

When Summer Came: Summer Vacations in the Segregated South

By Gwen Hilary   Story Summary:  During the 1950s, Gwen’s mother, like many African American parents, ritually sent their children down south for the summer. Gwen remembers the rich experiences with her grandparents on the farm but also many painful…

My Father the Whiz: A Cuban Refugee’s Response to Jim Crow

By Carmen Agra Deedy   Story Summary:  In 1964, Carmen’s father, a Cuban refugee, went to work at a steel manufacturing plant near Atlanta, Georgia. When, on the first day of work, he asked to take a bathroom break, he was…

My Father’s Race Against Discrimination: Anti-Semitism in the 1930s Track and Field

By Carol Kaufman-Kerman   Story Summary:  Carol’s father is told he is not permitted to run on his college track team at the University of Pennsylvania. Two Jewish runners in the 1936 Berlin Olympics are not permitted to participate in…

Worn Out Blinders: A Soldiers Story After D-day in Normandy, France

By Carol Kaufman-Kerman   Story Summary: Talking about World War ll was hard for Carol’s father.  As a recipient of three Purple Hearts, he shares his story of anti-Semitism at boot camp, his sense of Jewish identity with a stranger…

Angels Watching Over Me: Transforming Years at St. Sabina School

By Patricia Redd   Story Summary:  During the Civil Rights Movement, Patricia’s family moved to the Auburn Gresham community on the south side of Chicago. Hers was one of the first African- American families to integrate the parish school. Over…

Special Blends: A Youthful Perspective on Multi-Cultural, Multi-Ethnic Heritage

By Amber, Misty and Autumn Joy Saskill   Story Summary:  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…

Learning Long Division and White Superiority from My “Sweet” Third Grade Teacher

By La’Ron Williams Story Summary:  In the early 1960s, at a time when the hierarchy of race was evident in much of the country, a Black student feels relief to encounter a White teacher who operates without apparent bias. However,…

How Do You Say Blueberry in Spanish?

By Antonio Sacre   Story Summary:  Antonio explores the challenges and joys of trying to raise a bilingual child. As anxious new parents, Antonio and his wife ask, “Are two languages better than one?” and find humor along the way. 

Mr. D’s Class

By Antonio Sacre Story Summary:  Thirty teenagers from twenty countries, one Jewish teacher, and one Cuban-Irish-American storyteller (story artist, Antonio Sacre) set out to publish a book of writing in one of the poorest and most challenging high schools in…

The Restaurant Story: A French American Becomes More Visible

By Michael Parent   Story Summary: As Franco-Americans from Quebec assimilated into the larger Anglo culture in the United States, they became, as a result of that effort, more “invisible.” The story that Michael tells, as Jean-Paul Boisvert, shows a…

Vietnamese Refugees: An American Immigration Story

By Susan O’Halloran   Story Summary:  The true story of a Vietnamese teenager who makes it to America after a harrowing boat journey and refugee camp. At a commemorative storytelling event honoring Vietnamese Americans, Sue witnesses the transformative power of…

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…

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.  …

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…

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…

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…