Listening Between the Lines seeks to facilitate discussions in all types of communities, to deal with the continuing effects of historical events. We encourage broadcasters and others to use our programs and excerpts from them in talk-shows and other forums. Join the forums on this website with your own comments, questions, mini-essays and observations. We also invite all to help us develop and improve discussion guides, manuals, lesson plans and other such materials.
We’ve designed our audio documentaries so you can use selections to stimulate critical thinking and idea-exchange about the historical roots of current “race”-related issues. With expert facilitation, group-discussion participants can reach new understandings about how race has operated in the U.S., and about the social construction of cultural identities. Just as race can be difficult to discuss, focusing on the past can make discussion less threatening: because events are removed from our daily lives. This emotional and intellectual distance may help people move more comfortably and voluntarily to discussions of societal and community divisions today. Public discussions can lead to racial reconciliation within communities, as in Wilmington (below) and Charleston (2015) North Carolina. In our programs, the authentic oral histories—as examples of lived experience—and experts’ debates are meant to acknowledge and validate listeners’ own beliefs and perceptions. At the same time, discussion-participants can receive contrasting views in a credible but non-threatening context.
Here are some examples:
Wilmington — Are We Making Progress?
March 22, 2001. Originally broadcast live on WHQR-FM in Wilmington NC, this panel discussion explored the legacy of Wilmington’s “race riots” of 1898 and 1971. Produced in partnership with the 1898 Centennial Foundation Inc.
A Wilmington Circle
February 21, 2002 | Recorded at WHQR in Wilmington North Carolina, based on the well-known “study circles” format, in partnership with the YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear.
Finding a Common Path
October 22, 2000 Originally broadcast on WMNF-FM community radio in Tampa Florida, as a two-hour live program using Listening Between the Lines’ “document and debate” approach.