Malika Bakayoko comes from the Ivory Coast and has parents who come from different tribes with different languages.
 
Their language in common was French, so that is what she learned at home and school. Now she longs to feel comfortable with her tribal families, but she cannot even talk to them. She must always turn to her father and say, “What is she saying?”
 
Mom is Christian, Dad is Muslim
Mom is Ébrié, Dad is Dioula
So they speak in French
Neither of them taught us
The language of their tribe
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Sacha De Keizer (on the left in the photo) grew up negotiating a French home life and a Flemish school life. Additionally she found herself acting as “a third wheel” confidant in her parents deteriorating marriage.
 
They divorced, and and she lost her family, her home, and even her loyal dog Happy. She says, in an understatement, there was “Collateral Damage.”
 
For me everything that is family
Is my house and my dog
She is the only one
who went through it all with me
I am the third wheel in the marriage
There was collateral damage
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Camila Solis Torrez, who grew up with her Bolivian mother in England, recalls a time in 6th form when she yearned to be friends with people who shared a Spanish cultural background.
 
She finds them, but then she discovers that she is different from them. She’s not interested in fashion or the things they love to talk about. She becomes so isolated that her mom says, “Your room looks like you’re depressed.”
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Noura Safar is a university student in London whose mother is half-German and half-Iranian. Her father is Iraqi. She grew up as an only child with Germany as her home, but her heart feels alive whenever she visits the Middle East.
 
In either place, she feels she’s only half of herself. She has learned that she has a half-brother from her father’s previous marriage. She’s reaching out to this half-brother, hoping, as an only child, to find a sense of kinship. She emails to introduce herself, wondering, “Should I say My Dad, Your Dad, or Our Dad?”
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As a young boy, Don Mitchell witnessed a fire raging through his Maine village. But then, in the ashes, beautiful raspberries began to grow.
 
Film Design and Artwork: Clio Berta
Story Source: Interview with Don Mitchell by his son Roger Mitchell
 
The fire came, the fire came, the fire came down
 
Well, she started at Hasting Brook
Hasting Brook by the big falls
Between Jackson Sluice and Adam’s Ridge
She took out strip of land
And the trees, she took ‘em all
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From the #MeToo Songs project: Dina Black, story source, breaks four decades of silence. She hopes for a solution that is broader than justice.
 
If I spoke up
After 40 years
Does it take away what you’ve done
Does my life get any better
If you spend yours in jail
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Learning that a long-time friend is gay and has decided to move away, Malcolm Brooks wrestles with losing contact but wanting what’s best for his friend.
 
You finally told me your secret
You told no one for years
You tell me that soon you’ll be moving
There’s nobody like you here
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Cat Bennett, a farmer in upstate New York, reveals her experience of the changing American dream.
 
What do you do when money fails?
For me, wealth was measured in healthy food
And getting to play outside. I never noticed we were poor,
I had cows to hug and trees to climb.
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Before his passing at the age of 96 in early 2017, Lester Tenney recounted this story and inspired this blues song about finding hope during World War II. After Lester heard Will Foote on a sketch recording, he requested a CD so that he could practice singing like Will. He and Will differed in age by 73 years, but something about this song bridged that gap.
 
When we walked by the Filipino’s hut,
We saw the apples and we knew
Americans were sending us a message, saying
Prisoners, we have not forgotten you.
We were Americans on a death walk,
Prisoners of the Japanese.
We didn’t know whether we were going to live
To walk, to walk, to walk another ten feet.
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Yiyu Cui left her home country of China, but that doesn’t mean she can leave home. Her family has a long reach.
 
I was raised by my grandma.
My parents are always busy.
When I wake in the morning,
They’re already at work.
They sent me to boarding school
Since kindergarten.
My dad used to hit me
And he drinks a lot.
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Grace Tamlyn vacillates between compassion and ambivalence. She raises the question, can you care for someone even if they never care back?
 
The cat was never playful
But I was getting paid
A friend came over
The cat bit my friend
So she didn’t come over again
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