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Interview with Kirin Thurman, June 19, 2015

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:18 - Childhood Activities

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Partial Transcript: My name is Kirin Thurman...

Segment Synopsis: Kirin Thurman remembers his childhood in California, particularly BMX biking with his older brother, exploring surrounding areas, and roller blading. Thurman mentions how he adjusted to dealing with being different from many of his peers and how being Black affected his ability to be as carefree as his friends.

Keywords: Los Angelos, CA; Ventura, CA

00:08:03 - Growing Up Black

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Partial Transcript: Talk about what? Talk about race?

Segment Synopsis: Thurman discusses the difference in his attitude compared to his friends' and the weight of having to be careful to avoid the police. He mentions his many suspensions from school, as well as how few Black students there were in his schools due to the lack of diversity in the area. He explains the intensity of the consequences of getting in trouble with the police as a Black man, which is explained to Black children at a younger age.

00:17:14 - Racism in Simi Valley

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Partial Transcript: I've been exploring it...

Segment Synopsis: Thurman explains his worries about having seemingly necessary conversations with Black children about having to be careful, and how that affects his thoughts about having a child. He recalls the racist aspects of Simi Valley that drove him to leave, and remembers some particular experiences with friends and in school.

Keywords: Los Angelos, CA; Simi Valley, CA; institutional racism; white supremacy

00:26:23 - His Wife

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Partial Transcript: I'm interested, really interested...

Segment Synopsis: Thurman shares how his wife, who is white, has helped him navigate his emotions and thoughts about his past experiences. He discusses his love for her and how she has helped him in his life.

Keywords: Sarah (Shoenberger) Thurman; Simi Valley, CA; racism

00:31:03 - Coming to Athens

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Partial Transcript: When I first got to Athens...

Segment Synopsis: Thurman explains coming to Athens in 2013. He recalls his first date with his wife Sarah and how hurting his knees indirectly led to their rekindling, and a year later, marriage.

Keywords: Athens, GA; BMX; Sarah (Shoenberger) Thurman

00:40:41 - Charleston Church Shooting

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Partial Transcript: Changing gears, a lot actually...

Segment Synopsis: Thurman notes that Black people are said to be violent and how law enforcement responds to African Americans with violence. He compares how police are supposed to be helpful and safe to what he was taught about being careful with officers. Thurman discusses his frustration with how Black people are regularly portrayed in everyday media.

Keywords: Mother Emanuel AME Church; police brutality; racial violence; racism

00:46:37 - Discussing the Media

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Partial Transcript: Could I, I guess just one more...

Segment Synopsis: Thurman explains his difficulties with the negative portrayals of Black people in the media and how it has affected his opinions. He discusses how it feels to be surrounded by a Black community, rather than secluded and alone as he was in California. He also covers some of this goals and wishes for his children.

Keywords: Charleston Church Shooting; Charleston, South Carolina; Emanuel AME Church; Simi Valley, CA; institutional racism