Audio Diaries

KOSU’s Audio Diaries are a collection of first-person oral histories recorded by Oklahomans. The project was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to create a space for communities to gather and listen while physically apart.

KOSU partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to record and archive the audio diaries. The production is also in partnership with America Amplified, a CPB-funded initiative to use community engagement to inform local journalism.

Here's how to record your story for KOSU.

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Jennifer Thomas is a 36-year-old, self-employed, Black woman living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In her audio diary for KOSU, the Detroit-native discusses her fears and thankfulness for those around her as she waits for the results from the COVID-19 test she had on June 26.

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Avery Marshall is a black trans man living and working in Tulsa. In the past several months, he has gone through a lot of changes - working from home with his fiancé, postponing their wedding over COVID-19 concerns and recovering from top surgery. In his audio diary, Avery talks about the worries he has even in his regular tasks – like walking his dog, Chugg – and also how he feels about this particular Pride Month.


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Liz Fletcher's husband has cystic fibrosis, so she was already being precautious when out in public before the COVID-19 pandemic. In her audio diary for KOSU, Fletcher, who is a psychotherapist, says she's worried about when she may have to return to work in-person and what that could mean for the health of her husband and her patients. 


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Following the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, north Tulsa resident Sondra Slade and her family are having talks about being black in America. In her audio diary for KOSU, Slade talks about her worries as a parent and how these events are affecting her kids. 


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RJ Young no longer considers COVID-19 as the biggest threat to his health. As a millennial black man living in Tulsa, he says racism has – yet again – become the greatest threat to his well-being. In his audio diary, Young talks about the latest Black Lives Matter protests and how he is terrified to be a black man living in the city that, nearly a century ago, was the site of one of the worst acts of racial violence. 

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Like many of us, Robert LaBorde's daily routines have been impacted by COVID-19 - but that hasn't stopped him from living a full life. In his audio diary, he talks about being a caregiver for his mother-in-law, experiencing loss during a pandemic and how joy can still be found when plans fall by the wayside.


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Phoebe Butts has big dreams of being on a Broadway stage. The Oklahoma City-native moved to New York City in February, right before the city became an epicenter for COVID-19. In her audio diary, she talks about being diagnosed with COVID-19 and shares a moment of togetherness in the city that never sleeps. 


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This post was updated on May 11, 2020. 

Nathan Jacob won't have a typical graduation later this month due to COVID-19 - like many students who are in their final year of school.  In his audio diary, he talks about how he works through the change of being an active student to working from home and living with his parents and his brother, Joel. 


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This post was updated on May 11, 2020. 

While many people are spending lots of time together during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressures of work are forcing some families to spend time apart. Charlie Amos of Wagoner County recorded this audio diary on April 19th. 


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This post was updated May 11, 2020. 

Dr. Quisto Settle is an assistant professor of Agricultural Communications at Oklahoma State University. In his audio diary for KOSU, he talks about the challenges of living and working from home, trying to be there for his students during a global pandemic and taking time to enjoy life's little moments. 


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