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Young Men of Color Learn How to Interview Their Role Models

Crossing Fences

Since 2012, the Crossing Fences project has been using audio and radio to connect generations and continue the oral tradition in Pittsburgh.

The project, run by local radio program Saturday Light Brigade, gathers African-American students in neighborhoods such as Homewood, the Hill District, and Sto-Rox, and teaches them about audio engineering.

During this time, members of Crossing Fences and the students discussed role models within the community. The students then had to reach out to these role models and plan, record and edit an interview with them.

Joining us to discuss the project are Larry Berger, executive director and Chanessa Schuler, multi-media specialist of Saturday Light Brigade Radio.

Berger explained that he started the program after several young men expressed embarrassment about the parts of the city they were brought up in.

“The reason we wanted to do this by neighborhood was to help show kids that great things come from Wilkinsburg, great things come from Homewood, from Hazelwood… and there’s also the aspect of helping more the perception and portrayal of African-American boys and men to be lifted up.”

Schuler said she could already see the positive impact the project was having on the community during the neighborhood celebrations.

“We ask the youth that were involved and the men [to attend]. It’s a public event, for people to come down and get these books and celebrate the work that the participants have done. And of course, they’re very excited about seeing something positive.

See photos and listen to the Crossing Fences interviews