My Southern Revival series about the return of African-Americans to the South wrapped up last week. This is the culmination of about five weeks of work — from researching the reversal of the Great Migration to finding sources and pre-interviews and then driving to Georgia and Mississippi to spend time with each source in their homes. Once back in Ohio, I planned the graphics, obtained the demographic and academic background, pitched the project to editors as a series of stories, tracked down historic photographs, and developed a newsy second Sunday story about how younger, educated African-Americans are leading the exit out of Ohio to the detriment of Rust Belt cities such as Toledo.
The Blade has a page devoted to the project here, with links to all seven stories that ran over the course of six days in early February, plus video, portraits and historic photographs and — TA-DA — my first foray into audio storytelling.
The audio was put together by The Blade’s new audio department, an effort spearheaded by a colleague who did all the heavy lifting on this. I’m really excited about the possibilities that come with telling stories through this medium. If you have about 4 minutes, listen to this excerpt of an interview with one of the primary sources as she talks about the adjustment of moving from Ohio to Mississippi, where she played tuba in a marching band at an historically black college.