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EPISODE #11 | Odell for President, 2024

Pronouns: He/Him

In this moment of reckoning, we turn to the wisdom of those before us — those who built the community and resources we need to keep moving the needle — people like Odell, a self-proclaimed collector of information and stories. In this episode, we hear the remarkable 70-year journey that led him to build the first two African Roots Libraries, a legacy that inspires us to keep amplifying the stories of underrepresented Black communities across the country.

I learned that I could never be President in my own country. That world didn’t care about my opinion, my hopes, or my ambitions. I learned that in the eyes of the white society I didn’t matter too much.

Episode Notes:

This is Episode 11, Season 2 of The TMI Project Story Hour: Black Stories Matter featuring TMI Project storyteller Odell Winfield. This episode was produced by Hayley Downs and mixed by Marlan Barry. It was co-produced by Radio Kingston. Special thanks to Ida Hakkila, Nate Brogan, Kale Kaposhilin, Jimmy Buff, and North Guild Productions.

In 1954, Odell told his third-grade teacher that he wanted to be the President of the United States; she told him it would be at least 150 years until that happened. Today, Odell is the Executive Director of the Library at the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center in Kingston, NY, and he reflects on how his experiences have turned him into the leader he always dreamed of being.

This story was presented as part of TMI Project’s first intergenerational Black Stories Matter performance during Black History Month Kingston at Pointe of Praise Family Center on February 16, 2019.


The Library at the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center:

Episode Contributors:

Eva Tenuto
Hayley Downs
Blake Pfeil
Sara DeRose
Edison Woods
Dara Lurie
Marlan Barry
Lauren Gill
Shantae Howell
Clarissa Marie Ligon
Odell Winfield



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