For centuries, the wrong people have told our stories.
From scribes, to history books, to small and big screens, those holding the pen have mischaracterized our experiences, our culture, and our humanity.
We're reclaiming our stories.
How? By flooding airwaves with real stories, and by passing regular, degular people the microphone to share their stories in their words. We've already started. Since 2016, we've published seventy stories from Black people are are just like you, and not like you at all.
We need your story.
There's a proverb that says "those who tell stories rule the world." It will take each of us, raising our voices, or, even better, passing the mic to the person next to us to raise theirs. There are thousands and thousands of stories that need to be told. We want to tell them.
Share it with us.
Over the next thirty days we're looking for thirty stories. Share yours with us, especially if it touches on:
Your experience immigrating to the US
Coming into your sexuality or gender identity
Being pregnant or delivering a child as a black woman
Confronting state-sanctioned discrimination or violence against you or your family
Your faith or mental health journey
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHO CAN SHARE A STORY?
Adults who identify as Black, or as members of the African diaspora. Right now we can only capture stories from fluent English speakers.
In the spirit of capturing the stories that aren’t being told, we give special consideration to stories from those who do not have a platform of their own (for example: a large social following, YouTube channel or podcast).
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A STORY?
First, we’re looking for stories where something memorable happened. The event didn’t have to be life-changing, but it should have changed you in some way (for example: did you learn something new about life? Did you discover something new about yourself?)
Second, we take stories that evoke any tone or feeling: joy, sadness, innocence, regret, triump, etc.
Third, we’re most interested in stories which touch on the themes below. You are free to submit stories outside of these themes, but note that they might not be considered in this round.
The immigration experience
Coming into sexuality or gender identity
Being pregnant or delivering a child as a black woman
Confronting state-sanctioned discrimination or violence
Experiences with faith or mental health
Finally, we do not accept stories about businesses or organizations (including how you started your business or organization).
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY STORY
After you share your story, our team will review it and determine if we’d like to develop it for our podcast. Whether or not we decide to move forward with your story, your submission may get used as a clip on our social media.
If we move forward with your story, a member of our team will reach out to schedule a date to record with you. Leading up to your recording time, one of our producers will work with you to understand the details of your story and make sure you’re ready for the recording session.
IF I SUBMIT A STORY, WILL IT DEFINITELY GO ON YOUR PODCAST?
Not necessarily. Our team will review all submissions and select ones to be developed on our podcast
MY STORY IS PRIVATE OR SENSITIVE. CAN I SUBMIT ANONYMOUSLY?
You Had Me at Black understands the sensitivity of our stories, and will honor your privacy. While we need your name and contact information in order to get in touch with you, we will honor requests for anonymity. We will not share personal contact info (like email address or phone number) for any storyteller featured on our show. To see how we’ve handled anonymous or sensitive stories in the past, listen to this episode and this episode on our podcast.
IF MY STORY AIRS ON YOUR PODCAST, WILL I GET PAID?
You Had Me at Black follows journalistic best practices and does not pay for stories.
If you have questions not answered here, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT
Not quite ready to share your story? Here's how else you can support:
1) Invite your family or friends to learn about our campaign.
We all know someone whose story left a mark on our hearts or minds. Invite them to learn about our campaign, and to submit their story.
3) Connect us with a person or organization doing great work in the community.
If you know an activist, organizer, or non-profit leader doing work that relates to the topics above, please send an introduction on email: email@example.com. We can amplify the voices of the people they serve.
ABOUT YOU HAD ME AT BLACK
You Had Me at Black is a storytelling movement reclaiming the Black narrative by passing regular people the mic to share their true-life stories. We do so through a seasonal, weekly podcast and live storytelling events in our hometown of Oakland, CA and cities throughout the US.
You Had Me at Black is a response to the representation crisis in mainstream media. As racial tension reaches a tipping point in the US, You Had Me at Black provides more representation, and ownership over that representation. Our stories span a range of themes and topics, from light-hearted coming of age stories to heavier stories which touch on issues affecting our community. Each story contributes towards building a multi-faced narrative about black joy, triumph, pain and plight.
We launched in May 2016 in Oakland California. Several seasons later, listeners in the US, Canada, UK and South Africa have downloaded our episodes over 300,000 times, and 1,050 guests have attended our events. In 2018, Apple Podcasts and Spotify featured You Had Me at Black in their Black History Month playlists.
Check out a few of the seventy stories already shared on our podcast:
Despite graduating from a prestigious college and traveling the world, a young man struggles to escape the conditioning of his hometown.
Mark takes an impromptu and life-changing trip - or what's formally known as an Ayahuasca- in Peru.
Kwynn searches for a reason to live after losing her child and partner.