Listen to the voices of former slaves, sharing their life stories, before, during, and after slavery. The interviews and photos are from “Voices from the Days of Slavery,” a web exhibition of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. We present the audio excerpts in our online Juneteenth celebration.
Juneteenth was June 19, 1865, also called Emancipation Day and Freedom Day: In January 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery, even in slave-holding states that were part of the Union. But, in Texas, no one told the slaves that. The owners worked them for two-and-a-half more years. Not until two months after the Civil War ended, did these African-Americans finally find out they were free.
Broadcasts from the planes, boats, beaches, and newsrooms: excerpts from the CBS network feed on June 6, 1944, when the Allied Forces began taking back Europe. (Hear the complete broadcast day at the Internet Archive.)
Father Figures (HV-015)
Paternal praise, pride, disappointment and love, hosted by Jay Allison (This I Believe): Scott Carrier gives his son Milo a “Ski Lesson.” From Animals and Other Stories, we hear “Reflections of Fathers,” aka, Bugs & Dads. Comic strip artist Lynda Barry wishes her divorced dad a “Happy Father’s Day.” A doctor tells his daughter about her granddad in “Story Corps- Dr. William Weaver.” Jay Allison describes his daughter’s questions about his love life as “Grilling Me Softly”. Dan Robb’s family remembers the day “Dad’s Moving Out,” from Life Stories. “Doc Merrick” and daughter Viki go through some girl problems. David Greenberger tells David Cobb’s story “Because of Dad.” Deirdre Sullivan’s father advises “Always Go to the Funeral,” a This I Believe essay. And from producer by Viki Merrick, Dave Masch wants to be “A Better Father.”
Talking Dads (HV-062)
Sons, daughters, and dads: Storyteller Kevin Kling shares pancakes with his “Dad.” Sarah Vowell is a gunsmith’s daughter, in “Shooting Dad.” Joe Frank lets us eavesdrop on a father-son phone call between Larry and Zachary Block. Host Larry Massett and several other sons try to get to know their “Lost and Found Fathers.”
Educating Esme: A Teacher’s Diary (HV-061)
While teaching fifth grade in a Chicago public school, Esme Codell kept a journal. This radio hour is based on her book Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year, produced by Jay Allison and Christina Egloff for their Life Stories series and Chicago Public Radio.
Getting Out: The Education of Jesse Jean (HV-060 )
Go to school, keep your grades up, go to college. That’s what we tell kids — over and over. What if just leaving your apartment, and walking up the block is risky? What if it feels safer to stay home, keep a low profile. When you do go out, head somewhere safe, like the teen center. That was the world of African American teenager, Jesse Jean. He lived a half block from host Katie Davis in their DC neighborhood. Jesse was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private boarding school. Katie kept in touch with him. We hear three stories covering seven years.
Sounds of Summer
Bugs and Birds (HV-016)
Jeff Rice of the Western Soundscape Archive hosts an hour of sounds for the start of Summer: an extinct woodpecker revives an Arkansas town, car alarms made from bird calls, breeding moths for their music, a morning walk with poet Jim Harrison, dancing with gnats, the seismic underground sounds of spiders, and the perspective of a pest controller. Stories by Long Haul Productions, M’Iou Zahner Ollswang, host Jeff Rice, and Scott Carrier; and recordings by Nina Katchadourian, Lang Elliot, and Dr. Rex Cocroft.