Ms. Shirley Scott


Shirley Scott comes to the  Blackstorytelling League from our sister organization, Akwaaba:the  Heritage Associates. Shirley enjoys sharing history and telling tales.  For many years she worked for the New York State Office of Mental  Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and is now happily retired.

Everyone has a story!
Everyone must tell their story!

Everyone does have a story; Everyone  must have their story told. It has been this way for many many years,  starting with the Griot. The Griot would remember the stories and pass  them on to the next generation. As his time on earth draws to an end, he  would tell all the stories to another Griot and the next Griot would  then tell those stories and also tell the new stories to the next  generation. And so on and so it went from generations to generations.

Now, it seems as if our stories have  stopped being told. When our ancestors came to this country unwillingly  and under the constraints of that horrible institution called slavery,  they kept telling our stories of Kings, Queens, brave warriors and  fathers, loving strong mothers respect, honor and love. At some point in  time we stop telling our stories. Why, was it because we thought we  should be ashamed of being enslaved, should we be ashamed of our  ancestors being treated like something less than human?

I say NO, we should remember that only  the strongest African survived the middle passage, only the strong  enslaved people survived such a terrible ordeal and out of all that,  LOVE, HONOR, and PRIDE in our people survived. That’s why we, “The  Blackstorytelling League of Rochester,” tell our stories and why we say  to you each time we tell stories “To send down the stories, To send down  the stories, We need the stories, and after you hear the stories then  you must Pass on the stories”. That’s why I tell the stories, that’s why  I tell Anna Murray Douglass’s story, Adeline Green’s story, Mary Louise  Wilson’s story, Maggie Catherine Hooks’ story and Fred Aaron Hooks’  story.

I pass them on to my children, my  grandchildren and everyone that will listen. My hope is that they will  pass on the stories. Out of those stories come strength, love, pride,  respect and endurance. You can hear it in the words, you can feel it in  the message and your heart and soul is never the same. All is not lost  even though some days as we listen to the news and hear all the stories  about our young people killing each other and the loss of respect for  themselves and others we think that all is lost. We must continue to  tell the stories even more.

The Blackstorytelling League of  Rochester and Akwaaba the Heritage Associates are out and about as are  others passing the stories on. As you read this, think about your  grandparents, your mother and father, your aunt and uncle, and what they  endured for you to be able to be the person you are today. If you are  passing the stories on, continue. If you are not then, start. Our people  need to hear the stories.

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