Nadine’s Story (StoryCorps Recording)

by August Belly Systems on September 13, 2010

On Monday, Sept. 13th, 2010, my wife interviewed my eighty year-old mother-in-law about her experiences growing up Black in Topeka, Kansas.  The interview was part of the nationally renown StoryCorps project.  The conversation included topics of segregation, her family’s involvement with Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka (my mother-in-law’s uncle was McKinley Burnett), school integration, my father-in-law’s integration of the Topeka fire department, desegregation of the town’s restaurants, and a few other stories (including having Count Basie as a house guest).

This recording may or may not make the final cut for airing on NPR, but here is the full recording, unedited, including the voices of my beautiful wife, my mother-in-law, and the StoryCorps facilitator–who occasionally pops in with a few questions of her own.

Please click on the picture below to start the recording, and enjoy!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Berkshire September 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

I sat motionless – listening to one of the most beautiful exhanges of thought, history, family and love – cried in the wake of Nadine’s mother’s advice at the end. I encourage everyone to listen to the entire recording – otherwise you might miss the subtle, but most powerful, moments… “I was just a kid” is woven in like magic – said by both Chandra and Nadine at different points in the interview – and it seems to me that I could think of no better way to teach my children about our world than to have them listen with me. NPR should air the whole story!


Tricia September 14, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I’m so glad y’all did this, Chandra and Nadine! This is the kind of stuff that people need to know about (black prom king and queen and white prom king and queen, etc) but rarely gets remembered. It’s these kind of truly “little things” that magnify the issues and the rights that people were fighting for during the Civil Rights movement.


Molly Wigand September 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Wow, this is so amazing. Thanks for all you did, Nadine, and thanks to both of you for sharing these stories. I wish I’d known all this when I met Nadine at Chandra’s shower! I’m so glad to know both of you (and Auggie and Matt) better after hearing this beautiful recording. You turned this into a really inspiring day.


Elon Sudduth October 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm



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