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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Report on the Southern Sources Symposium

David (and Vnyormoi),

I honor and commend you! My little brain would have exploded after two days of scholarly wanderings. LOL

I get what Edward E. Baptist is saying and I agree; the voices in the archives can and do say surprising things. We just need to be honest in our listening.

Steven Stowe echoed and articulated a worry that I have. ".. How does my sense of who will read what I write shape what I write?" Recently I've felt paralyzed by this notion. It is not enough to craft literate or clever sentences. And it goes back to what Mr. Baptist intimated; did I interpreted that obituary, census record, or oral history correctly and honestly?

I don't quite share the sentiments of Bertram Wyatt-Brown. Unless you write for the Enquirer or absolutely don't care how a story impacts the living, it shouldn't be a historian's dilemma at all. If you can't tell the whole story truthfully, wait until you can!

I can't ethically go along with Wyatt-Brown's concerns for what seems to be an exercise in being coy, manipulative, and possibly deceitful- to get the story before we 'publish'. Is it a sin to respect the wishes of our families, in this context?

I go back to Mr. Stowe; "… When we think we are in tune with the meaning… when the fact[s] seem to be speaking for themselves, we have found the best story we can tell."

Oh my, this weighs heavily on my thinking and my writing.
Help us Write Away!

Peace,
"Guided by the Ancestors"


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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