Did I Tell You the Story?


We live our lives in stories, but not just any kind of stories.

They are the stories we re-create, we frame, we nourish.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez said it best.

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”

Because the ethnic news media is the mirror to the past and window to tomorrow, it should embrace the stories of its people.

I struck when Reklama, a Russian language outlet, not long ago told the stories of Russian Jews and their sufferings in World War II. Week after week, they gave a page to one person’s life, a page that had never been dedicated before in their lives.

I marveled when Radio Arte invited people to come on the air to tell about the jobs they did before they came to the United States. There was a life and a career that they lived before and another which they live now. But they needed to talk about those lives which meant so much to them.

Take this effort by the Washington Post. They go over the history of immigration in the last few decades. You can do the same thing on a small scale, talking about communities, lives, and politics. Here’s a link to the series:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/immigration/path_to_now/?wpisrc=nl_politics

In this place of so many stories, I hope more news outlets would answer this hunger for stories.

How?

By producing short one-person videos. By enlisting story tellers from towns, communities and places that live on in memories. By training people to write for your webpages and to become correspondents from over there. By inviting your audience to help decide what is your news coverage.By encouraging events like the one listed below.

 

JCUA (Jewish Council on Urban Affairs) invites you to listen and experience “Immigration and Its Discontents: Stories and Schtick,” an evening of Jewish and non-Jewish immigration stories and the life that comes next.  Kevin Coval, author, poet and co-founder of “Louder than a Bomb,” will share his tale of Jewish assimilation “in all its bawdy, contradictory, and inventive glory.”

At “Immigration and Its Discontents” you are invited to reflect on the Jewish American story and take action for immigrant justice.

Thursday, June 13, 2013 / 7:30 p.m.

Heartland Cafe
7000 N. Glenwood Ave. Chicago
(Located right off the CTA Red Line’s Morse stop)

The event is free, but online RSVP is required.

So are you doing this?

If you are telling these stories, let’s share them so others can see what this means to our audiences.

Talking of memories, I will not forget the first few times I took part in the annual Ricky Byrdsong race. I think it is the most diverse race today in Chicago and that’s very appropriate because it is called the Race Against Hate.

Byrdsong, a former basketball coach at Northwestern, was shot down one day by a white extremist,who went on to randomly kill a young Korean-American, and then injure several other blacks and Asians and Jews walking on the streets.

The race is June 16th in Evanston and if you would like to tell the story of it, or share you legs in a very good cause, I urge you do so because I’ll be there. I’ll be the old guy way at the end, coming across the finish, hands held high like I’m a winner.

Here’s the link:

http://www.ywca.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1055514

Talk to me – digame. Steve@chicagoistheworld.org, office 312 369 6400storytelling



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