Seated Within Ear Shot Listening to Stories of the Past


(l-r )Frances (Michael’s Mom) and Cousin Viola Dorsey, and Michael Henderson. Still today, I find time to sit closely and listen as my elders catchup on days gone by.

“The oral tradition within my family has been alive and well for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would sit quietly with my mom, her sisters, and their aunts as they would discuss other family members. I realize now that it all bordered on gossip, but at the time, I felt that I was in an honored position to be able to listen to all of the tales of who did what to whom, what the other one said, and what happened after that. At times, it seemed that they did not even notice me in the room. At other times, I would notice the women looking at one another. They would raise their eyebrows when they glanced in my direction, and then they would speak a few words in a language I did not understand, which I later learned was French Creole.”

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