If you don’t feel like trampling your fellow humans to save 20% on a light-up turtle toy, then relax into the idea that tomorrow isn’t just Black Friday. The Friday after Thanksgiving is also known as the “National Day of Listening.”

The concept may seem foreign, so I’ll walk you through the finer points.

– Stories are good.
– Listening shows caring.
Love is good.
– Black Friday and mass consumerism are not as good.
– StoryCorps created this holiday.
– Why? Because we needed it.
– People have stories worth sharing. … They also have stories worth hearing.



What was it like to grow up poor in Chicago where $2 was a big deal? Watch “Making It” on PBS. Credit: StoryCorps.

POV’s Thanksgiving Broadcast, ‘Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special,’ Reveals the Power of Conversation, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 at 9 p.m. on PBS

StoryCorps’ First Animated Television Special, Drawn from Its Oral History Archives, Unveils Dramatic Stories from Everyday People. All You Have to Do Is Ask—And Listen.

The first-ever animated television special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Directed by the award-winning animation team the Rauch Brothers, Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special features six stories drawn from StoryCorps’ 10 years of asking everyday people to share their conversations with family and friends. These oral histories are a never-ending testament to how much can be revealed in the closest of relationships and how readily, as StoryCorps founder Dave Isay says, “you find wisdom and poetry” in the words of regular folks. An interview between Dave and his inquisitive 9-year-old nephew, Benji, frames the program’s intimate conversations.

Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special premieres on Thanksgiving Day (also the first day of Hanukkah), Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). It is a special presentation of POV (Point of View), American television’s longest-running independent documentary series.

This broadcast takes place the day before the National Day of Listening, a holiday created by StoryCorps to encourage people take the time to record conversations with loved ones the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally known as Black Friday. To coincide with the POV broadcast, The Penguin Press has released a new book, Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, and re-released Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project, read a special excerpt online.

New animated stories in POV’s Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special:

Making It: Noe Rueda grew up poor on Chicago’s West Side. At the young age of 8, he already relied on his entrepreneurial talents to help his mom and three siblings make ends meet; even $20 would make his mother cry with gratitude. Noe tells his high school teacher Alex Fernandez about his childhood, and Alex shares his dreams for Noe’s future.

Marking the Distance: When Gweneviere Mann, a San Francisco native living in New York, lost her short-term memory following surgery to remove a brain tumor, she was forced to navigate life in a new way. But she wasn’t alone. With the support of her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, she found she could tackle the challenges her condition threw her way—and a few more.

The Road Home: Eddie Lanier ignored his father’s warning about the family’s disposition to alcoholism and struggled for over 40 years, until his 28th stint in rehab finally led to sobriety. Homeless and hungry, he roamed the streets of his native Chapel Hill, N.C., and found a friend in David Wright, a passerby whose frequent donations stood out. The two friends discuss Eddie’s remarkable journey.

Me & You: In New York, 73-year-old Jackie Miller talks to her adopted son, Scott, revealing something about her early life that puts his adoption in a new and dramatic light. As they express their profound love for one another, Scott touchingly recalls how he came out to her and expresses his trepidation about the future.

The StoryCorps special includes two favorites from previous POV seasons:

Miss Devine: In Bradenton, Fla., cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson hilariously recall their fearsome Sunday school teacher, Miss Lizzie Devine, the only woman who scared them more than their grandmother. There was no earthly excuse to miss Sunday school, even if it meant arriving in your pajamas and tennis shoes.

No More Questions! Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was reluctantly taken to a StoryCorps booth in San Francisco by her son Cheng and granddaughter Chen. Though Kay resisted, she still had stories to tell—from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors in China to her adventures as a Bloomingdale’s store detective. Kay passed away just weeks later.

Check it out tonight on PBS.

React: What story of yours is worth sharing with others, even strangers, that should be told?

My story for Small Screen Scoop readers is that even though it’s been years…when my parents moved us to a different town I was really upset to lose all my friends, start over, etc. I survived, and school was school. School is always just school in the end. But I think that unconsciously I have never forgiven them for that betrayal. Additionally, I probably always resented my brother because he was so young it didn’t affect him, and he thrived in that new school (the nerve of him). I have no moral to this story, but I think it’s important for us to acknowledge things in our past. Once you recognize them, you can flush them out of your system. Now, if only I could workout my issues with koala bears…