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Daisy Turner’s Kin: An African American Family Saga

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Daisy Turner (1883-1988) born in Grafton, Vermont, daughter of slaves, grew up listening to her father, Alec (1845-1923) tell stories of his family heritage, a multigenerational saga spanning two centuries, from enslavement in Africa, to a farmstead in Grafton. In addition to the epic arc of this narrative, Daisy shared her own lifestory, one of discrimination, resilience and strength—a powerful and rare account of the African American experience in New England from the 1880s forward. This talk considers Daisy Turner’s narrative in terms of memory, notoriously unreliable, and within a larger canvas of social, cultural, and historical events.

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