Griot’s love preserved unspoken unheard truths

Jimmie Jones
Washington DC

My father spent 30 years preserving the genealogy of our family through three generations. My early Summers were spent recording voices, taking pictures, tracing gravestones and memorizing family trees into three generations. His book and his legacy led me to the plantation where I met ancestors, reclaimed cotton, cried into soil the color of blood, recovered window glass from cabins where my ancestors were born and listened to the stories the trees kept for me. With a tape player and a camera we rode dirt roads through Tennessee to preserve our family from forgetfulness. From the South-side of Chicago to Senegal, he gathered every story and every thread, to weave a garment of truth, so that our memories remained inscribed in our hearts and inseparable from the reality of our journey. His legacy is now my purpose and informs my pursuit of true freedom for my children and the world they will inherit. Hope is born of truth and I’m grateful that my father didn’t give me a chance to lose my grasp on either.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • Tracey Hughes

    what a beautiful recollection! thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Oumar Diaw

    Am very moved tha you mentioned that your family lineage starts from Senegal where I was born
    I am currently in Memphis TN visiting friends and am living in New Orleans where I see everyday something that reminds me of my native country
    Thanks for sharing this
    Hope one day you will write a book about your family tree

    Oumar Diaw
    French teacher
    New Orleans

 

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