Storytelling | St. Louis Public Radio

Storytelling

The Men's Story Project takes the stage with 14 meditations on masculinity

Apr 26, 2018
microphone
ante3 | sxc.hu

What does it mean to be a “real man?” Fourteen metro St. Louis men will share their perspectives on an auditorium stage as part of The Men’s Story Project.

The participants, ages 20 to 48, will use spoken word, monologues, poetry and storytelling to examine masculinity and expectations of manhood in a free event at Saint Louis University on April 28 and 29.

Organizers say most of the participants of The Men’s Story Project have never spoken publicly before. They include local artists and activists, students and professors.

Sonja Perryman has found her niche at the intersection of storylines and public health.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Sonja Perryman’s love for storytelling developed early in life, along with her sense of its potential to impact lives. She has vivid memories of reading “The Baby-Sitters Club” books as a girl and telling her father about one particular character in the series.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, she has diabetes, and she’s always thirsty and always hungry,’” Perryman recalled in a conversation this week on St. Louis on the Air. “And I remember my dad’s face going pale – well, as pale as it could go, but he looked like he saw a ghost – and he was like, ‘What were her symptoms again?’”

Treasure Shields Redmond and Karen Yang at Yang's kitchen table.
Provided by Kristen Trudo

The kitchen table can be a place for conversation, nurturing and sustenance. Two St. Louisans are making the intimate space the source for an ambitious podcast.

With “Who Raised You?” Treasure Shields Redmond and Karen (Jia Lian) Yang hope to explore a variety of experiences.

“It’s like a springboard,” Shields Redmond said. “Because people cannot just talk about family … they can talk about rearing influences, the music, food, travel, everything!”

Storyteller Bobby Norfolk once worked as a park ranger at The Arch. The lack of represenation of York in the Museum of Westward Expansion helped inspire his current performance.
File photo | Provided | Bobby Norfolk

Who were the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the Western United States? The obvious answer is Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But many likely don't know that an enslaved African played a crucial third role.

Lewis and Clark are famous for undertaking the “Corps of Discovery” in the early 1800s. But another man, York, typically only receives a footnote in history books.

St. Louis storyteller Bobby Norfolk wants the change that. In our latest Cut & Paste arts and culture podcast, we talk with Norfolk, whose Sept. 15 storytelling event at The Link Auditorium in the Central West End focuses on York’s experience, which included adventure, hardship and terrible mistreatment.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 7, 2011 - The first foreign language Amanda Clark ever heard was glossolalia, the religious practice of speaking in tongues.

There's a lot more to this story, but that is the only detail Clark can share. She's preparing to tell the story in front of a room full of strangers on Thursday.