A couple of months ago, I found a cassette copy of a radio talk my father gave in 1975 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally remembered on April 24th each year. (On that day in 1915, the Ottoman authorities arrested hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople and deported and killed many of them. It was one small outburst in a “nation-building” project that began in the 1890s and continued into the 1920s.)
As a second-generation half-member of the far-flung diaspora created by these events, I know I have been formed by them, even though I will never know the details of my grandparents’ and aunts’ and uncles’ and cousins’ stories.
I’m inviting you to listen to my father’s words: in On Being Armenian, he manages to dream forward while honoring the past. I have posted his radio program as audio and with a transcription, and I have added some photographs, links, and notes to give you additional context. Please feel free to share this widely: I would love for his voice to be heard!