StoryCorps Southwest Florida

Thursdays 8:44am and 5:44pm

WGCU was proud to host the StoryCorps MobileBooth in January and February 2017 at the Fort Myers Regional Library. While there, the crew recorded more than 140 interviews between southwest Florida family, friends and loved ones.  They will be archived at the Library of Congress. WGCU has selected some of them and is airing them on the radio, archiving them here and uploading them in places where you listen to podcasts. National StoryCorps interviews can be heard here

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.

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.

James and Rachel Bass of Cape Coral talk about their interracial marriage, moving to Florida, James's fears as a black man in a mostly white community, and Rachel's response to her once naive perception of race in the United States in this week’s StoryCorps of southwest Florida.