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Who can tell your story
better than you?

 ~  by Maxine Session

 

      Who can tell your story better than you? We already know the answer to that question.  A friend of mine showed me a facebook conversation between her and someone who happened to read her black history post on George Washington Carver. The person stated that her great grandfather owned slaves and that they just loved him.  She said they loved him so much that when he freed them they took his name.  Well, there are two sides to every story and THAT IS NOT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN SIDE!  During the slavery period Black people were hung for learning to read and write, and they could only talk about their lives because they were afraid.  What they went through was told by those who ran away to the north.

After slavery, it was not written from their perspective, but told and passed down from one generation to the next. After freedom came the tradition began that black families gathered on the front porch to tell stories.  Those stories came out of their experiences with life. This tradition continued down through the years from the 1800’s through the nineteen sixties, and now at family reunions. 

 

Many families have documented their family history from what has been told to them. Others have written books. If you are not black, you don’t know our story. If you have doubt, read “Roots, The Help, or 12 Million Black Voices (1941) by Richard Wright where he says, ”Each day when you see us black folk upon the dusty land of the farms or upon the hard pavement of the city streets, you usually take us for granted and think you know us, but our history is far stranger then you suspect. Better still, ask somebody black and listen when they tell you.

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Co-publishers  Walter & Maxine Session
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