Monday, November 29, 2010

My Friend...A Historical First!

      Before I do today's post let me first thank all of you who left comments for my hubby yesterday. He had a ball doing that post and then popping back and seeing what you all wrote. I could hear him howling with laughter! So, good job honey...and good job to you all too! :-)

   Today's post is to let you all meet, more personally, a dear friend of mine. I've spoken about her more than once over these last 8 months or so doing my blog. {8 months?! Is that all it's been?! WOW!} I've spoken about her daughter and her wedding, but I've never spoken about what she does! She's an oral StoryTeller!!
   She spent countless hours with her grandmother and great-grandmother... Columbus Mississippi, where she was born. Her grandmother lived to be 100 years old. Her great-grandmother used to be a slave. She lived to be 125 years old!! Both of them were known storytellers, and they passed the gift of storytelling along to their granddaughter, my friend for many years now, Tammy.
     Tammy loves history and being able to tell people about the past. How great, to be able to do for a living what you love to do!
   In her series Obscured Women,” she introduces you into the world of fascinating women who've been obscured through the annals of history, yet were instrumental as African-Americans in the American community.
     In her position of Museum Educator, she teaches children through stories of Colonial History, Health, Medicine, Slavery and Native American History. She's also a historical tour guide for local Colonial-American homes. Isn't that neat?! I marvel at her sometimes!
   As an accomplished Performing Artist/Storyteller, what she really specializes in is bringing to life the lives of very important, yet “obscured” women in history.
      Among her favorites, and the first one I ever saw her perform, was Bessie Coleman (the first internationally licensed pilot in the world). You can venture with Tammy  from the cotton fields of Texas to aviation history in Paris France with Bessie Coleman.
     The first time I saw this performance it was so funny, yet inspiring, to see my good friend transformed right before my eyes! And I learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know too!! That's always a plus for a active-brained person like myself!...If any of you ever catch her perform I venture to say that you'll learn something too! :-) {She has a performance coming up soon, I think it's in December, at Old Sturbridge Village}.
     She's performed other characters in history too, like Elizabeth Keckly (a former enslaved woman who worked at Lincoln’s White House). Through her performance you get to live the life of Elizabeth Keckly, struggling to purchase her freedom as well as her body to become confidante to the First Lady at Lincoln’s White House... 
    ...Sarah Margru (an Amistad captive), denied the rite of passage into adulthood. Experience her life as one of four children aboard the Amistad.

     ....and Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman – one minute a free woman. She had the determination to be a free person and fought for the right to be so.
         You can read a little bit more about each person by clicking HERE.
    Tammy does her performances in several different forums, including inter-district school assemblies.
In these settings she vividly tells folktales where she takes her audience into a world in which animals set the scene for life lessons. The oral tradition workshops and presentations engage her audience through folk tales coupled with hands on activities that leave her audience educated and eager to learn more.

    Can't you just see the kids getting involved with these?! :-)
    She's also a member of quite a few organizations. If you're interested in having her do a performance or you just want to know, you can check them out on her website, Historical Firsts.
    She's recently gotten a blog. But she hasn't gotten it fully operational yet. She will soon though. {This is the link in case any of you want to keep an eye on what she's up to.--> HERE.}
    Now, as a special treat, you can actually see a 3 minute youtube video of her performing and talking HERE! You won't be disappointed. I love the attentiveness of the kids.
    A little promotional piece was done featuring her on a T.V. show called Better Connecticut. It shows the Webb Deane Stevens Museum homes she works at --> HERE. {A little bit of banter between the show hosts comes first.}; Also a friend did a story on her. You can find it HERE.
    I am very honored to introduce you to my good friend. She is a very talented storyteller and a very good talker myself! Imagine the conversations between the two of us!! ^_^
   I'll be introducing you to another good friend in a few days. I hope you enjoy visiting with me and my friends. Let me know what you think please! Bye, Bye! Have a good day!

History Told In A Story

A history of life
held in the mind and heart,
released for all to see
through storytelling's captured art.

Some things pulled from the past
will make you shake your head;
But revelations told
will bring new life from the dead.

Children Ooo and Awww!
Adults think hard and deep.
Oh! The knowledge now performed,
and the lessons we will keep!


  1. That's a really interesting job she has! :D

  2. I think that sounds like an AMAZING job! And she gets to dress up!!! :)
    Thanks for sharing her story. Now I'm curious and have to go and read yesterday's post. :)

  3. I loved this! Thanks for letting us meet Tammy! I'll have to watch the video a bit later. Don't have time right now. Her job DOES seem very interesting for sure! Thanks!

  4. Mariann, Thanks! It sure is!

  5. Diane, I Know, huh?!!! I'd love to read my poetry...with feeling...for children or something. And be dressed up in an old granny outfit or something! Ha! Ha! But I don't know if I'd like HAVING to do it! I want to do it when I feel like it. Know anybody that would hire me to do that?! Maybe reading them over the phone from home, dressed up in my jammies?! ^_^

  6. CinLynn, It was my pleasure to share Tammy with all of you! You'll really get to know her better in the short video. Let me know what you think when you see it!

  7. Wow first of all 125 years old what a fascinating lady i bet she was i would have loved to have sat down and listened with her, And what an honour for your friend that she can carry on with the story telling she sounds inspirational and fascinating to. I will pop over to her blog. A great post i really ejoyed it. Have a lovely day. dee ;-) x

  8. delia, I agree with you! She comes from good stock, huh?! Just goes to show that what doesn't kill you really can make you stronger!! :-)

  9. To inspire a child to use their imagination, learn about someone in the past, and feel like they actually have met them must be a wonderful feeling. The children get a captivating experience that is 3D without the glasses! Story telling is such a wonderful talent to share. I enjoyed the video. Her voice is so pleasant!

  10. Yaya, That's exactly why she inspires me too! I think that with kids getting things blinked, binged and pinged at them in flashes all day it's a wonderful thing to give their little minds an opportunity to slow down and think about someone other than themselves. And they obviously appreciate it too. What a great "job", huh?! :-) Thanks for your very nice comment.

  11. this sounds fascinating!I will have to go now at take a look at that video.

    I read your hubby's post. I agree, watching tv in a public toilet, not a good idea!

  12. Croatian_Latina, I'd love to know what you think after you see it.....And you're right about hubby's guest post subject. There are much better places to watch T.V.!!! LOL


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