This is Where I Need to Be: Oral Histories of Muslim Youth in NYC

[This website is the companion to the curriculum guide and the book], This is Where I Need to Be: Oral Histories of Muslim Youth in NYC. Introduced to the methods of oral history by a team of collaborating teachers at Teachers College, a dozen Muslim teenagers set out to document the real-life experiences and feelings of their Muslim peers in New York City high schools. The result is a compelling collection of twenty-three oral histories. These are voices of teenagers living ordinary lives at a time when being Muslim in America can provoke “extraordinary” reactions from classmates and teachers, from friends and strangers, and even from one's own family and kin.

In true oral history fashion, these voices are uncensored by a classroom teacher, unfiltered by the media newsroom, and unadulterated by social science theory. The book is a first-ever volume of oral history narratives told to and authored by Muslim American teenagers. These are personal moments and memories—“histories”—from the lives and identities of ordinary Muslim teenagers that powerfully contest the caricatured “images” and “voices” of Muslims in post-9/11 America we are so accustomed to hearing.

Using the Curriculum Guide to Teach Oral History

The curriculum guide features [also the book] five lesson plans and companion reproducibles that can be taught over the course of one or two sessions, a semester or an entire year. You will also find an oral history primer with suggestions on how to incorporate this form of storytelling and historical research into your curriculum.