Photo by Justin Criado
The Saturday Light Brigade radio station held a citywide celebration Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Children’s Museum in Allegheny Center to recognize its Crossing Fences program.
By Justin Criado
The Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) radio held a city wide celebration Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Children’s Museum for its Crossing Fences program, which is part of the African American Oral History Project.
For the past three years, SLB has selected several Pittsburgh neighborhoods for the project, including Northside in 2013. This year’s neighborhoods were nearby Sto-Rox, East Liberty and Wilkinsburg.
“The project is pretty huge overall,” SLB multimedia specialist Chanessa Schuler said.
The radio station, which is housed in the Children’s Museum, selects upwards of 50 youth and elder community members to conduct intergenerational interviews and turn them in to audio books and booklets.
Part of the process is teaching the youths interview and editing skills.
“We teach the boys how to conduct interviews. They develop the questions and we critique them together,” Schuler said. “They love the experience. We teach them how to edit on a program called Adobe Audition. It’s a professional program. They get those skills.”
The project also brings communities together in a way that may not have happened otherwise.
“I think for me it was how the young men who interviewed us felt inspired by what we do and what we gave back,” Melvin Hubbard El of East Liberty said.
Hubbard serves as the district office chief of staff for PA State Rep. Ed Gainey. Like Hubbard, Kirk Holbrook of Wilkinsburg works in politics and participating in the program caused him to look back on what he’s done.
“It caused me to be real reflective. I never thought to myself that I made, but looking back on my story I see how far I did come,” Holbrook said. “It gave me a sense of pride.”
For more on this year’s neighborhoods and about the program overall visit the official website.
Melvin Hubbard El (left) of East Liberty and Kirk Holbrook of Wilkinsburg both participated in this year’s Crossing Fences program.