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康斯坦茨亚历山大:口头历史访谈与CCPL导演突出了社区和家庭


In her official capacity as Executive Director of the Calloway County Public Library, Mignon Geniviene Reed is dignified and soft-spoken. Her quiet authority is the North Star as she guides a major community project — a long-overdue addition and renovation of the library. When the going gets tough, Ms. Reed instinctively manages with grace and restraint, but ask about her earliest memories of Head Start at the Douglass School in Murray in the late 1960s, and she beams.

“I remember the cafeteria there,” she says, describing a galley-like space with a wooden table and chairs. “That was my happy place,” she admitted with a grin. “I liked to eat.”

她仍然珍惜对老师,安佩里的美好回忆,也是德拉巴·佩里做了烹饪。

Mignon Geniviene Reed

Douglass的游乐场激发了其他喜欢的回忆,并导致在她三大兄弟的注意眼睛下,漫游在松树街周围的家园周围的邻居。

They lived in a single-family house with three bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, kitchen, and a utility room. Next door were her great-grandparents, and next to them were her grandparents.

“I remember a lot of people at the house,” she said.

Living close to the railroad, the Reeds rented rooms to traveling preachers and people who came to work in Murray. Trains went to Tennessee in one direction, and Illinois, Indiana, and maybe as far as Michigan, in the other. Mignon is not certain about the train routes north, but one thing she knows for sure is that her great-great-grandfather, John (Mac) McCuiston, once played the banjo for Henry Ford in Michigan. Someone in her large extended family has a picture to prove it.

“所有孩子们都在发挥音乐,”玛雅也报道。“所有人都自学。”

A favorite pastime was sitting on the front porch, playing and singing gospel songs.

曾祖母妈妈克莱比伊扮演钢琴,在家里和教堂唱歌,在教堂召回。教堂对孩子来说是严肃的事。ope体育正规大网

“You had to sit still. You didn’t want to get in trouble. I wanted to sit by her because she gave Juicy Fruit.”

显然,口香糖显然提供了神圣的灵感,让年轻人免于在教堂坐立着。

康斯坦斯·亚历山大is a columnist, award-winning poet and playwright, and President of INTEXCommunications in Murray. She can be reached atcontancealexander@twc.com.. Or visitwww.constancealexander.com.

At Carter Elementary, Mignon’s classes were integrated, but the races were separate in many other ways. “We were there for school and then we went home. Everyone in our community was Black.”

“We saw white people at the grocery store,” she continued, “and sometimes a preacher came from Seventh and Poplar Church of Christ, or students from University Church of Christ.”

Grade 3 was a turning point. Her parents were separating and Mignon confesses it was a time of uncertainty. Beloved teacher Judy Balcolm was a big influence. “I never felt she treated me or my friends different,” Reed said.

Mignon even got to stay overnight at her teacher’s house, and she felt safe and comfortable there. All her teachers in the early grades, including Ms. Balcolm and Ms. Guerin, were beloved.

“As I got older, I became aware. I heard stories about what you do and don’t do,” she explained. “Growing up Black you learned your ‘place,’” with grandparents helping to make the children aware of the unwritten code of behavior.

In fifth grade, she remembers being in a basement classroom when some older Black kids were outside, having fun. They came to the windows and the teacher said, “Look at the little blackbirds.”

Back at home, the offensive remark was shared with parents, who expressed their official displeasure with school administrators.

Eighth-grade history class shook Mignon’s world. When the teacher declared that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War, Mignon’s brother, who was in the same class, disagreed. “The teacher grabbed him and pulled him across the desk,” Mignon reported, and he was sent to the principal.

As she looks back, she realizes, “It was in middle school that you started recognizing your ‘place.’ The division in school was clear. We noticed people from Douglass walked to school while the white kids had buses.”

对法院法院草坪上的同盟纪念碑的认识引发了负面情绪。Mignon记得看着雕像和思考,“你努力让我和我的家人在奴隶制中。当我看到那座纪念碑时,这就是我所看到的,“她继续。“我们不平等。”

重新审视过去关于卡多尔县黑人社区的一系列口语历史访谈,Mignon Reed宣布,“我们富裕”,以与收入很少有关。这一切都被几代家庭包围和一个紧密的社区。她指的是一个“村庄”的环境,邻居互相帮助。

Today, library Executive Director Mignon Reed lives in her father’s mother’s house. “Still surrounded by family,” is the way she tells it. “It’s all about family.”

Anyone with stories to tell or artifacts to share from the Douglass Community in Calloway County can contact Constance Alexander atcontancealexander@twc.com..


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