Something to Say.
In college, we had to complete a Senior Project in order to graduate. I knew I wanted to do something related to storytelling, but was not sure what, how, or why.
So, I started interviewing people.
And then the stories revealed themselves along the way.
The year prior, I had met the most beautiful woman when I was putting together a storytelling festival for the community. Her name was Theresa and she was a proud foot soldier of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. Theresa knew Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr. very well, and now she has a museum called the Safe House in Greensboro, Alabama that is devoted to remembering the fight for justice during the Movement. Theresa is a gem and anyone lucky enough to meet her would agree.
Fast forward a year when I was working on my Senior Project, and I realized, I don’t really know the local history and the local foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement.
My Senior Project was born.
I was to interview 4-5 individuals who participated in marches and fought for racial equality in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
And this is where I absolutely fell in love with collecting stories. There was one man I interviewed by the name of Maxie. His eyes were kind and he let me come to his office for an interview. An hour or so later, the recorder was still on. Maxie had cried, he had thrown in his fist to the table in anger, and most of all, he had shared his heart with a stranger.
In that moment, I knew somehow, someway, I had to get back to this.
Back to story-collecting, narrative journalism, oral history.
I saw Maxie the following year and he said that story session was healing for him. Now he tells his story more openly and he realizes, he has something to say.
This is what it’s all about. Letting people know, they have something to say.
One Voice Nashville exists to empower youth to capture stories, and to find their own.