By Jane C. Beck
A daughter of freed African American slaves, Daisy Turner grew to become a dwelling repository of historical past. The kin narrative entrusted to her—"a well-polished artifact, an heirloom that were rigorously preserved"—began one of the Yoruba in West Africa and persevered along with her personal century and extra of existence. In 1983, folklorist Jane Beck begun a sequence of interviews with Turner, then 100 years outdated and nonetheless concerning 4 generations of oral background. Beck makes use of Turner's storytelling to construct the Turner relations saga, utilizing at its beginning the oft-repeated touchstone tales on the middle in their stories: the kidnapping into slavery of Turner's African ancestors; Daisy's father Alec Turner studying to learn; his go back as a soldier to his former plantation to kill the overseer; and Daisy's formative years stand opposed to racism. different tales re-create enslavement and her father's lifestyles in Vermont—in brief, the variety of existence occasions huge and small, transmitted through ability so alive as to incorporate voice inflections. Beck, whilst, weaves in old study and gives a folklorist's standpoint on oral background and the hazards—and uses—of reminiscence.
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Extra info for Daisy Turner's Kin: An African American Family Saga
Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Tubman, 20. 33. Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Tubman, 20. LIBERTY O R DEATH, 1841–1850 33 34. James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 1700–1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 141; and Richard Allen, The Life Experience and Gospel Labor of the Right Reverend Richard Allen (1887; reprint, New York: Abingdon Press, 1960). 35. Humez, Harriet Tubman, 18; and Bordewich, Bound for Canaan, 350.
At some point on the 100-mile journey, Harriet crossed the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, where free black dock workers willingly provided her with food and shelter and guided her through hidden tunnels and pathways along the marshy creeks and sodden woodlands of eastern Maryland. Impelled by visions of a pillar of clouds during the day and following the North Star by night, Harriet benefited from the aid of a white woman, Hannah Leverton, the wife of a Quaker mill owner. Handing the fugitive a slip of paper with two names on it, Leverton concealed Harriet in a wagon and had her husband drive her to the Delaware border.
Mobility and economic opportunity were also accessible to African Americans, as reflected by the city’s growing black middle class. The free black community also established its own churches and charities. The most influential of these institutions was the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1791 by the Reverend Richard Allen, a 26 HARRIET TUBMAN former slave. Patterning its discipline on Methodism, the AME Church quickly became the leading body among the city’s black Methodists with over 4,000 members by 1820.
Daisy Turner's Kin: An African American Family Saga by Jane C. Beck