So we're turning two. And this year, we decided to commemorate the milestone in ways different from our first radio anniversary, where we sort of ... gushed (hey, making it through that first year of hazing is tough, and it's a major feat in this business to live to talk about it). But this year, we decided to switch seats with you, sort of, and just ... listen as you tell us ideas on how we might become even better at what we do. Besides, that's how it all began, remember?
And while your suggestions and comments pour in (feel free to use the space below), TMM producer Monika Evstatieva and myself are passing the virtual mic around to our staff as we reflect on a few memorable moments from the past year.
Here's Tell Me More Editor Alicia Montgomery:
Alicia Montgomery is the lead editor for all material broadcast on NPR's 'Tell Me More.'
Lee, it was hard to narrow down a favorite story from this last year of Tell Me More. And so I chose a very difficult conversation we had in June with a daughter of civil rights strategist James Bevel. One way he brought attention to the brutality of Jim Crow was to bring children into the middle of demonstrations, even those where violence was expected. The idea was that the spectacle of CHILDREN being beaten, targeted with water hoses, and attacked by police dogs was more emotionally powerful.
But Tell Me More's conversation was about the brutality Bevel inflicted on his own children. His daughter Aaralyn Mills joined us for our Behind Closed Doors segment. And Mills talked about the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her father, how her mother wouldn't listen to pleas for help, and how she spent years thinking that she was alone in her suffering. But when Aaralyn Mills found out that her sisters were also abused, and that another younger sister might be in danger, she stepped forward and pressed charges. Her father was convicted, and sentenced to 15 years in jail. While he appealed the decision, he died in December.
Her story was heartbreaking, and brought most of us in and around the studio to tears. But her calm, serene presence, and her refusal to let the abuse define her, or even blind her to the good in her father—was inspiring. At one point, she told Michel that she didn't understand why some people thought she was a hero. After the interview, I told her I did.