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African American Documentation Initiative: Value of Family Archives

Resources to empower African American families to preserve their documentary heritage

from the Southern Historical Collection

Value of Family Archives

  • From generation to generation, we pass along stories, letters, photo albums, mementos, journals. Our family histories give our lives meaning.
  • Our family histories are also a part of the story of our state, the region, and the country.
  • One way to activate your family archive is to write a memoir. Read "How to Write a Family Memoir," by author William Zinsser.

"listen children" by Lucille Clifton

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

we have been ashamed
hopeless tired mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children all ways

pass it on