Daisy Turner's Kin

Daisy Turner's Kin

An African American Family Saga

Book - 2015
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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 century and more of life.

In 1983, folklorist Jane Beck began a series of interviews with 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 Turner's African ancestors; Daisy's father Alec Turner learning to read; his return as a soldier to his former plantation to kill his former overseer; and Daisy's childhood stand against racism. Other stories re-create enslavement and her father's life in Vermont--in short, the range of life events large and small, transmitted by means so alive as to include voice inflections. Beck, at the same time, weaves in historical research and offers a folklorist's perspective on oral history and the hazards--and uses--of memory.
Publication of this book is supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the L. J. and Mary C. Skaggs Folklore Fund.
Publisher: Urbana [Illinois] : University of Illinois Press, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780252080791
Branch Call Number: 929.2089 TURNER D
Characteristics: 295 pages : illustrations, genealogical table, maps, portraits ; 24 cm.


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Feb 09, 2018

Excellent read. The author skillfully took from her subject a oral history, then did thorough historic research, along with honest human evaluations, & wove it into a captivating read. It moved me to think and act in our own family.


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