Give Amanda Plumb two minutes, and she’ll discover your story. The questions she asks usually go something like this: “What’s the relationship between the two of you? How did you first meet? What was your first impression of each other? What was the point when your relationship changed?”
As the Atlanta Site Supervisor for StoryCorps, Amanda helps Atlantans record the stories of their lives. At the StoryCorps booth, which is now located at the Atlanta History Center, Amanda facilitates interviews between family members, friends, co-workers and others. Often children and grandchildren interview grandparents or engaged couples record the story of how they met during the week of their weddings. And sometimes the relationships between people are more unique, such as the man who interviewed his psychic advisor.
“It’s fun because you never know what people are going to say and what stories they are going to tell,” said Amanda, a native of Rock Hill, S.C. “And, it’s a privilege to share in people’s lives. More often than not, people come to talk about big topics … death, divorce, falling in love, people who have impacted them. In a way, StoryCorps gives them the space and permission to talk about those important events in their lives. And people tell me that the conversations continue long after they leave the studio.”
Before working at StoryCorps, Amanda served as a union organizer, a job that frequently took her into people’s homes to ask them about their work life — the good aspects and the not so favorable ones. Community involvement and social justice have been an important part of Amanda’s life since she was young, and she sees her role with StoryCorps as a continuation of that passion.
“It’s so important to let people know that their stories matter,” Amanda said. “It’s a validating experience to tell your story or hear a relative tell the story of where your family came from. Through StoryCorps I have helped foster children and undocumented workers and others who normally might not have a strong voice in society tell their stories. And, in this way, we communicate that everyone matters.”
Atlanta StoryCorps is open by appointment on Thursdays and Saturdays for Atlantans to come in and record their stories. Listen to the stories of fellow Atlantans every Tuesday during WABE’s Morning Edition and City Cafe. Learn more about StoryCorps and view animated shorts online.
Read more profiles of interesting Atlantans at www.atlantaheydays.com