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Daisy Turner's Kin: An African American Family Saga

by Jane C. Beck - £16.99  University of Illinois Press (2015)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780252080791 | ISBN 10: 0252080793

The oral history of an American family from Africa to the twentieth century.

A daughter of freed African American slaves, Daisy Turner became a living repository of history. The family narrative entrusted to her--"a well-polished artifact, an heirloom that had been carefully preserved"--began among the Yoruba in West Africa and continued with her own long lifetime.

In 1983, folklorist Jane Beck began to interview Turner, then one hundred years old and still relating four generations of oral history. Beck uses Turner's storytelling to build the Turner family saga, using at its foundation the oft-repeated touchstone stories at the heart of their experiences: the abduction into slavery of Turnerís African ancestors; Daisy's father learning to read; his return as a soldier to his former plantation to kill the overseer; Daisy's childhood stand against racism; and her family's life in Vermont. Beck weaves in historical research and offers a folklorist's perspective on oral history and the hazards and uses of memory.

(Price & availability last checked: July 2015)

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In booklists: Slavery & the Slave Trade, Black American Women, Black American History,
In categories: History & Biography, Anti-Racism, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, Feminism & Women, World - North America,

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