Alberita Johnson grew up in Queens, New York where she was bussed to white schools and says she experienced racial violence in the 1970’s. At the Story Corps mobile booth in Fort Myers, Johnson speaks with her friend Genelle Grant about that time, as well as what it was like moving to a still segregated Fort Myers in 2002.
Fifty-three-year-old Mark Riccio talks to his friend, Erica Lynne in this week’s StoryCorps of southwest Florida about having Williams Syndrome and his love for singing and sailing. Riccio says he knows his parents are scared of letting him go but he also fears being lonely.
Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik is waiting for the results of an internal affairs report before he decides whether suspended Police Chief Tom Lewis keeps or loses his job. Lewis was acquitted of culpable negligence the last week of June in the death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton during a shoot/don’t shoot demonstration at police headquarters last August.
In this week’s StoryCorps of Southwest Florida 85-year-old Abraham Coleman of Punta Gorda speaks to his friend Jaha Cummings about serving in the Korean War as an African-American, segregation in the military, and being active in the civil rights struggle alongside Malcolm X.
Martha Bireda interviews her friend 70-year-old Eunice Wiley about being the first black teacher in her school, East Elementary, in Punta Gorda in 1970, resisting with dignity during Jim Crow, and becoming the principal at Neil Armstrong Elementary in Port Charlotte despite the prejudice she faced. She retired from there in 2005.