October 14, 2022

Family Dig

Two people go on excavations of their families’ pasts. Including the first episode of the new podcast, “We Were Three,” hosted by our longtime producer, Nancy Updike, and from Serial Productions and The New York Times.

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.



Ira Glass introduces Nancy Updike, one of This American Life's founding producers. She has a new podcast, "We Were Three."

Act One

The Black Box

One evening last fall, Rachel McKibbens got a text from her younger brother, Peter. It read: “I’ve been too distraught to tell you, but Dad passed away today at 2:42 p.m.” She had no idea her father had even been sick, and no idea that her brother was also dying. They were unvaccinated, but the story of what happened started long before that. (44 minutes)

By Nancy Updike; Produced by Jenelle Pifer
Act Two

The Great Lie-Gration

Jahmal Williams stumbles on a clue about his grandmother’s history that answers a question he’s always had. (11 minutes)

Video: The Williams family gets on the bus for their trip north in 1962. WJAR-TV Collection © Rhode Island Historical Society.
Archival audio in the story: WPRI-TV Collection ©1962 WPRI-12, Nexstar Media Inc. Courtesy of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

More from Gabrielle Emanuel on the Reverse Freedom Rides:

Produced by Lilly Sullivan; Reported by Gabrielle Emanuel