When I originally thought of creating a website that would make assigning podcasts easier, it was a different world. Podcasting a few years ago still felt young. At that point I could put a finger on every series relevant to my field of US history. Now, the amount of series there are, let alone relevant... Continue Reading →
The story revolves around an oral history interview between the host Tracey and her brother Steve as her attempt to understand the traumatic experience of her family's escape from Vietnam by boat. As an immigrant coming of age story, fleeing Vietnam changed Steve, transforming him from a comfortable and rich boy to a reliable provider and man for the family.
This episode tells the story of the Lavender Scare through the experience of a woman, Helen James, who was serving in the US military when she was dishonorably discharged for accusations that she was a lesbian. The episode situates her experiences within the broader Cold War-era Lavender Scare and concludes by discussing how veterans sharing this experience challenged this institutionalized homophobia.
The episode uses oral history interviews to describe the context and famous riot at the Long Binh Jail - a prison built by the US military outside of Saigon to house US soldiers during the Vietnam War. The episode focuses on the racial context that precipitated the riot, as more than half of the jail's population were African Americans.