Where We're FromWhere We’re From is an intergenerational oral history and poetry project representing the culmination of two semester-long projects at Richmond High School and Kappa High School. It was conducted by writer Summer Brenner and photographer Ruth Morgan and was sponsored by Community Works with underwriting from Lesher Foundation, The Christensen Fund, and Target.
Personal stories enliven our sense of time and place – and make them our own. We come from somewhere. We belong to someone. Even when our past is lost or abandoned, it follows us. What value do our own personal stories hold for others? Can "where we're from" illuminate "where we're going?" Where We’re From set out to find answers to such questions.
Over the past two years, groups of high-school students in Richmond, California, met to discuss migration and genealogy, practice interview techniques, design an interview questionnaire, and conduct interviews that formed the basis for poems about themselves as well as family and community members. With family members, they gleaned new information and unexpected advice. From community members, they recognized decisive crossroads similar to their own. The interviewees were also grateful for the opportunity to express themselves. As Ruby Jean Fox told her great-granddaughter: "Nobody ever asks you to sit down and tell them about your life, and by the time they think of it, it's too late."
East Bay Cener for the Performing Arts (Richmond, CA). Spring 2012 (Date TBD)
Past Showings:Berkeley Public Library (Berkeley, CA), April 2011
Main Street (Richmond, CA), 2010
Hilltop Mall (Richmond, CA), 2009/2010
Addison Street Window Gallery (Berkeley, CA), 2009
Richmond Museum of History (Richmond, CA), 2008