StoryCorps

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StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. Each month on Tapestry we’ll bring you stories from Alabamians.


Mary Kay Burnette remembers the day the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed. Even though her family was white, when they returned home from church that day, she sensed something was wrong…

That’s Mary Kay Burnette talking to her daughter Elizabeth Ott from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham.

This interview was recorded in Birmingham by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

October 2011


Linda Jones (right) and Faye Vickers reminisce about growing up together in the 1950’s in the Rosedale neighborhood of Homewood. Vickers says at that time, everything was shared, including food…

Linda Jones and Faye Vickers, best friends for more than 50 years, talking about growing up in the Rosedale community of Homewood.

This interview was recorded in Birmingham by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

September 2011


Dr. Bob Corley talks about about growing up in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement. He remembers being excited to join The Warblers, an all-male chorus at Woodlawn High School who were known for putting on a minstrel show every year. Only later did he realize that the show was offensive. Yet Corley used this experience to help him better understand the black community.

Dr. Bob Corley recorded from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. Corley went on to have a long list of public service to the Birmingham community, including serving on the task force that created and designed the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

August 2011


Dr. Michael Saag talks about the challenges of setting up an AIDS clinic in Birmingham in 1988. As a major research institution, UAB was in favor of the project. Still, Saag felt he had to be savvy about pitching the idea of an AIDS clinic to a community with a history of racial unrest.

Dr. Michael Saag recorded from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham talking about founding the 1917 Clinic, a comprehensive health clinic for persons living with HIV.

This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

July 2011


Alan Drennen Jr. talks about his involvement in Birmingham’s local government during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, Drennen was elected to the City Council. His biggest concern was getting the city to provide basic service for all citizens and he worked to get black representatives put into leadership positions in the city. Drennen tells his daughter Mary Boehm what he had to deal with upon taking office.

Alan Drennen Jr. talking to his daughter Mary Boehm from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. Drennen served on the Birmingham City Council from 1963 to 1969.

This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

June 2011


Annie Pearl Avery talks to a StoryCorps facilitator about her work as a civil rights activist in the 1960’s. Initially, she found nonviolence principles to be foreign and unappealing, yet she still attended a meeting in Atlanta of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as “SNICK”. Heading home with Wilson Brown, they encountered trouble when they got lost and ended up in Marietta, Georgia. They were traveling with a white girl and things came to a head when they stopped at the local bus station to get directions. Police arrested Wilson Brown, forcing the rest of the group to figure out what to do next.

Annie Pearl Avery speaking to StoryCorps Facilitator Marquita James from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. That night made Annie Pearl a committed activist and she began traveling the country for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee working to secure voting rights for African-Americans.

This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

May 2011


Tom Gordon (left) interviews his friend, chef Franklin Biggs. They talk about food as an art form and Biggs talks about how his love of food affects others.

Franklin Biggs talking with his friend Tom Gordon from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

April 2011


Birmingham Mayor William Bell is used to being in the public spotlight. But when he stepped into the StoryCorps booth with his son Tony Bell, he relayed a very personal story from Tony’s childhood…

That’s Birmingham Mayor William Bell talking with his son Tony from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

March 2011


Glenny Brock interviews her father Jon Marshall Brock about his psychiatric history and how it’s affected both their lives. When Glenny was eight, her mother died in a car accident. Jon talks about how being in Bryce Hospital affected his ability to gain legal custody of Glenny and her brother…

Jon Marshall Brock talking with his daughter Glenny from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. Today, Jon is a psychiatric care activist. This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM’s Michael Krall.

February 2011

 

Jefferson County health providers ‘well equipped’ for The World Games

Officials plan to treat as many people as possible at on site medical tents. They say the biggest concern is heat-related illness.

Birmingham City Council passes Woodfin’s budget untouched

Police, public works and youth programs were the biggest winners in the $517 million budget, the largest ever for the city.

Woodfin says people without homes won’t be moved from public spaces for The World Games

World Games officials clarified that anyone will be able to walk through and access public areas around venues like Railroad Park, Linn Park, Protective Stadium and the new City Walk, despite those sites being behind security parameters.

Groups oppose $725 million Alabama bond sale for building prisons

The state is expected to go to the bond market on Tuesday, to provide financing for the construction plan. That money will be added to $135 million in state funds and $400 million in pandemic relief dollars that the state already agreed to put toward the construction project.

“Expect us,” reproductive rights supporters rally across Alabama after federal abortion ruling

Alabamians took to the streets this weekend after elective abortions became a felony in the state on Friday.

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