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Posts Tagged ‘Story Corps’

Police Brutality: Alex Landau’s Near Fatal Traffic Stop (Video)

Man, this ain’t the only work that StoryCorps is doing; but wow, capturing stories like these is so important! I can remember my late Grandma living across the street from a dear friend who had vivid memories of the earliest of Jim Crow times… but she NEVER spoke about it. When asked, she would quickly offer a monotone “we don’t talk about those times” response bereft of any emotional content. The truths and experiences that neighbor could have shared; but she didn’t want to. Respect shout to StoryCorps for giving a platform to those who want to share… in this case who NEED to share… even when the story is soooo AWFUL.

Alex Landau, an African American man, was raised by his adoptive White parents to believe that skin color didn’t matter. But when Alex was pulled over by Denver police officers one night in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world — and nearly lost his life. Alex tells his mother, Patsy Hathaway, what happened that night and how it affects him to this day.


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Eyes on the Stars: Ronald McNair Lived His Dream (Video)

I have been a life-long admirer of NASA Mission Specialist Dr. Ronald McNair. “Eyes on the Stars” (above) is a great PBS StoryCorps short about him; narrated by his brother Carl.

‘On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina.’

– PBS StoryCorps

A real American hero, I often shared Dr. McNair’s story during Black History Month observances at my high school. A shame we no longer have a space program to speak of in the U.S. Dreams of space travel, and astronauts like Ronald McNair who made those dreams real, are what had youngsters nationwide studying hard in math and science classes. Because you weren’t going anywhere near a shuttle if you didn’t know math and science.

A generation of kids, dreaming…filled with hope…and working hard in school. That is the legacy of Dr. McNair and all those who dared to ‘boldly go where [few] have gone before.’

R.I.P. Dr. McNair, you were an inspiration for so many (including other Black boys from the south, like me).

Footage of Dr. McNair’s final moments (aboard the doomed shuttle Challenger) – headed for the stars – after the jump. I still get choked up watching the footage.


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