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Reflections On Community Trauma 5 Years After #Ferguson

On the eve of the five-year anniversary of Michael Brown Jr.’s death, St. Louis Public Radio and poet and activist Cheeraz Gormon presented a live storytelling event featuring speakers whose lives changed drastically after Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson. The stories featured in this edition of St. Louis on the Air include reflections on race, violence and community trauma.

Hear highlights from the event:

The storytellers:

Gregory Carr Sr. is a native of St. Louis and an instructor of speech and theater at Harris-Stowe State University. His award-winning plays, “Johnnie Taylor Is Gone” and “A Colored Funeral,” were produced at the historic Karamu House in Cleveland and the Cleveland Playhouse.

Aziza Binti is a passionate storyteller with a focus on empowerment, wellness, photography and documentary film. 

Cheeraz Gormon is a poet, storyteller, award-winning advertising copywriter and St. Louis native. She is a member of St. Louis-based Screwed Arts Collective, a founding committee member of the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival and founder and executive director of Sibling Support Network, an organization dedicated to supporting people who have lost siblings to a violent crime. 

Cat Daniels, who goes by “Mama Cat,” is a retired Navy wife and grandmother, and the leader of Potbangerz, a group of volunteers who help unhoused families rebuild their lives. She has a degree from the Culinary Institute of St. Louis and a doctorate from Eden Theological Seminary. 

Dannie Boyd is a poet, songwriter and photographer. He studied creative writing at St. Louis Community College and communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, which led him to also become a teaching artist. 

Hear the full, unedited version of the event (Part 1):

(Part 2):

Living #Ferguson: A Storytelling Event - PART II

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
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