Folklorist retells stories of African-American experience in Vermont

Photo of Daisy Turner from the collections of Vermont Folklife Center archive in Middlebury.

Photo of Daisy Turner from the collections of Vermont Folklife Center archive in Middlebury.

— The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be honored at the Vermont History Center in Barre on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.

Acclaimed folklorist and commentator Dr. Jane Beck will recount the stories of Daisy Turner of Grafton, who was herself the child of former slaves. This story spans two centuries of American history, from Africa into slavery and back to freedom, and is based on research for a new book about the Turner family.

Jane Beck first met Daisy in 1983 and recorded a series of interviews about her remarkable life. Those interviews were the basis for the Peabody Award-winning radio series "Journey's End: The Memories and Traditions of Daisy Turner and Her Family."

Daisy Turner left us a legacy loaded with tales of discrimination, resilience, and strength of the African American experience in Vermont. Her talent, her strength of character and personality, and her rich personal story make her a notable figure in Vermont history.

Beck was the founding director of the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury. She has published numerous articles, books, and other materials and is a regular commentator on Vermont Public Radio.

This event is free and open to the public thanks to our sponsors Neighbor to Neighbor Americorps volunteers at the Central Vermont Council on Aging; Videovision Productions; Rubin, Kidney, Myer and DeWolfe; and the Vermont Human Rights Commission.

The Vermont History Center is located at 60 Washington St. in Barre. For more information, call 479-8500 or 828-2180 or see the calendar online at www.vermonthistory.org.

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