Storymakers Durham

The Storymakers project elicits conversations about race and class that are candid, complicated, and as intimate as eavesdropping on someone else's dinner conversation.

2016 / John Biewen / Courtney Smith / Scene on Radio, USA


The Storymakers project elicits conversations about race and class that are candid, complicated, and as intimate as eavesdropping on someone else's dinner conversation.

We're featuring one story from the project, produced by first time radio-maker Courtney Smith. In the story, Courtney, who is black, compares the experience of growing up in Durham with a colleague who is white. Over several conversations, the two re-examine their childhood understandings that, just by living in an integrated society, racism would disappear.

Storymakers is an AIR Localore project led by veteran producer John Biewen. It's a collaboration between the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, SpiritHouse, and WUNC, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project provides citizens in Durham with tools and support to tell the stories that are most important to them.

You can listen to many more Storymakers segments on the podcast Scene on Radio .

Learn more about Storymakers' model and goals in our interview with John Biewen. Then, for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the process of making her very first audio story, be sure to check out our conversation with Courtney Smith.

Bonus: take a look at this video about Courtney from AIR's field documentary unit.


produced by

John Biewen

John Biewen is audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he teaches and produces the Scene on Radio podcast.

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith is a womanist, activist, community organizer, budding chef and baker, daughter, sister, and friend. For the past 5 years, she has been involved in anti-racist community organizing, issues surrounding wealth inequality, and organizing to combat gentrification, both residential and commercial, in East Durham, North Carolina.


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