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StoryCorps Animation: Leading the Way

StoryCorps Animation: Leading the Way


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About This Lesson

John Washington was born blind and with a severe loss of hearing that has become more extreme over time. He raised three children with his wife Fannie Ruth, who was also blind and deaf. John, who did not finish high school, began reading books in braille and went on to teach others to read braille as well. He helped found the first braille magazine in the United States focused solely on issues important to the African American community. At the age of 95, John sat down with his eldest child, Melva Washington Toomer, for a conversation about the pride he takes in his kids and to laugh over some of their childhood hijinks. This StoryCorps conversation was done with the help of a TeleBraille machine, which translated Melva’s typed questions into braille for John to read and answer. This all-new animated short is presented as part of the new StoryCorps animation season, Father Figures, where father figures and their children share the strength and wisdom that they draw from each other.

Directed by Richard O’Connor Executive Producers Dave Isay Rachel Hartman Producer Savannah Winchester Senior Audio Producer Jasmyn Morris Audio Produced by Jud Esty-Kendall Supervising Sound Recordist Carolina Escobar Audio Mixed By Jarrett Floyd Animation by Ace & Son Moving Picture Co., LLC Design and Animation Natalie Greene Original Music Joshua Abrams Music Performed by Joshua Abrams Hamid Drake Marquis Hill Emmett Kelly Adam Thornburg Music Mixed by Joshua Abrams Neil Strauch Outro Music by “Towboat Theme” by Blue Dot Sessions From the Album Towboat Published by Blue Dot Sessions Special Thanks John Washington Melva Washington Toomer In Partnership with American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress NPR POV Funding Provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting A private corporation funded by the American people. Copyright © StoryCorps 2020. All Rights Reserved.


Leading the Way | Father Figures
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