In the News: "Free the Memory" in the Oxford American

Foreword to History Between These Folds: Personal Narratives by the 11th Grade at George Washington Carver High School

During the spring 2017 semester, the junior class at George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans’s Ninth Ward worked with Oxford American contributing editor Kiese Laymon to write History Between These Folds, a collection of essays published in partnership with Big Class, a nonprofit organization focused on youth writing.

“Writing it was hard,” wrote the editors in the book’s introduction. “We had to open ourselves up and be vulnerable. We had to find just the right words to help people feel and understand the things we go through every day. We had to tie in our personal histories. And we couldn’t help but consider what people would think of us when they read our stories . . . Through this journey we learned we all have different voices, but we came together for one goal: to let people hear our stories and to tell the world about us. Yes, we are in New Orleans, but we are more than the stereotypes that come to mind when you think of The Big Easy. We are rare and powerful. Through this book we will make you laugh, we will make you cry, and we will challenge the ideas you may have had about us.”

Laymon wrote the foreword to the collection, reprinted below.

—The Editors

Read Kiese Laymon's Forward in the Oxford American here: