Making Sistory – Active Voice Focus on the Klibanoff Sisters

Making Sistory - Active Voice interview with the Klibanoff sisters

By Holly Speck

What do you get when you combine sisters and history? Very literally, you get – Sistory!

Here at Active Voice we are all about female journalist empowerment in the present and fighting censorship for the future, but sometimes it’s nice to remember and learn from the past. For example, let’s take a minute to applaud Anne Royall, a woman who took the role of persistent journalist to a presidential level.

Every morning, President Adams stretched, stripped (everything) and dove into the Potomac River for a 5 a.m. swim. After months and months of interview attempts, one sunrise Royall took a stand, or rather a seat, on the President’s pile of waiting clothes. The rest is history — she became the first female journalist to interview a president.

This empowering fun fact is the type of ‘aha!’ relatable history moment you get while enjoying Caroline, Eleanor and Corinne Klibanoff’s blog, Sistory. These three sisters are making history with this March-born blog that aims to “bridge the gap between the past and the present.”

Sistory breaks down history to an understandable and current level that is curated by the voices and experiences of these three sisters, daughters and women. As the children of Pulitzer-prize journalist, Hank Klibanoff, the three aim to push past the old newspaper days of their father’s time and adapt to this new kind of blogged journalism.

“Blogs and other modern forms of media break down the barriers to entry, allowing anyone to write what they want about what they want,” says Caroline, the eldest of the Klibanoff clan.

The world of blogging is helping to stop the pressure to self-censor that many female journalists experience. For a long time, Caroline, who is on the path to her master’s degree in history, discussed the pressures she felt within the intellectual world when it came to writing.

“I felt very intimidated that unless I knew everything about history someone would point out the other book that I hadn’t read — I’ve learned through this blog that it’s not about credentials, or right or wrong, it’s about giving yourself a chance to play with [that] material,” says Caroline.

In addition, these sisters are hoping to give voice to their blog through a podcast series. By the end of the year, the Klibanoff’s are hoping to host guests ranging from historical reenactment actors to fellow historical bloggers, while showcasing their perfect combination of sibling love and sisterly banter.

After a childhood of unconventional, historical family trips — think 10 house calls to Helen Keller’s home unconventional — the Klibanoff’s discovered a united passion that weaves their vastly different lives together. All with different jobs and different places to call home and all grown up — yet, dedicated to this fun, smart and inspiring blog.

These sisters cast color on your mental history book and give voice to the forgotten figures previously left in the past.

These young women are pushing boundaries with an original and witty active voice.