"I am in my house, engaged in music lessons with my mother. Her name is Asta. She is a griot, a bard, a praise singer and poet, and it is understood that I will follow her path. My mother's mother and her mother before her were griots. It is my family's calling. We memorize our people's history, laws, customs and traditions, and recite these narratives as poetry, admonitions, lectures and songs. Out family carried the traditions of our people even as they moved across great tracts of land in their many migrations."
Friday, April 2, 2010
Phillis Wheatley ~ a teaser
This quote is from My Name Is Phillis Wheatley: A Story of Slavery and Freedom by Afua Cooper (2009). Phillis Wheatley was born free in Senegal in West Africa in 1753, where she was known as Penda Wane. She was captured by slave-traders from Boston and got a new name. The book starts in June 1773 when she was nineteen years old, being feted by the British upper- class at a reception in London. She is remembering her earlier life (page 12):