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Essential Oral Histories

Curated by Voice of Witness

About the Curator
Voice of Witness is an oral history nonprofit that advances human rights by amplifying the voices of people impacted by—and fighting against—injustice.

About the Folio

As a human rights oral history nonprofit, Voice of Witness is driven by the transformative power of the story. We believe that an understanding of systemic injustice is incomplete without deep listening and learning from people with firsthand experience. Oral history is a particularly powerful medium for amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, as it centers the experiences and agency of the narrators telling their stories—in their own words. There are countless unheard, urgent stories to learn from; this list shares four vital oral history books to start with.

Book selections

Voice of Witness book recommendations - Fable

Solito, Solita

Steven Mayers

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Solito, Solita

Solito, Solita

By Steven Mayers
“Solito, Solita” is one of the most impactful books to come out of the Voice of Witness oral history series. Fifteen narrators describe—in their own words—why they fled their homes, what happened on their dangerous journeys through Mexico, how they crossed the borders, and for some, their ongoing struggles to survive in the United States. In an era of fear, xenophobia, and misinformation, these stories amplify the compelling and rarely heard voices of migrant youth. They bring us into their hearts and onto streets filled with the lure of freedom and fraught with violence. From fending off kidnappers and being locked in freezing ICE holding cells to reuniting with parents, “Solito, Solita’s” narrators bring to light the experiences of young people struggling for safety and opportunities across the border.

Voice of Witness

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