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Kitchen Table Stories: Graveyards, Genealogies and the Next Generation

February 25, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Please join us for this free program to be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017, 2-4 p.m. at the duPont Library here at Stratford Hall, 483 Great House Road, Stratford, Virginia 22558.  The program is free to the public.  Any donations will be accepted.

What is a Kitchen Table story?

Rooted in the African-American experience are memories of time spent in the kitchen. The“kitchen” in the past can be likened unto the modern day “family room.”  The kitchen was a place where the family gathered around the table to not only eat but also to share the daily news, catch up on the events of the family and connect the traditions of past generations with those of the present. The familial stories shared today stem from the West African tradition of the Mande peoples of keeping the past alive by remembering and articulating it to others by a griot (pronounced gri-ou) through the spoken word. The griot was considered a historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet, interpreter, adviser and more.  Griots have existed since the thirteenth century and can be found in many parts of Africa today, especially in Western African countries such as Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana and the Gambia.


Marian Ashton

Marian Ashton

Marian Ashton, Director of the A. T. Johnson Museum in Montross, Virginia. Marian Ashton will draw from her own past and personal insights gained while working on Discovering our Roots: the Westmoreland County Burial Sites Project.









Dr. Lauranette Lee

Dr. Lauranette Lee


Dr. Lauranett Lee is the former Curator of African American History at the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Lee participated in the development and coordination of the Society’s Unknown No Longer database project. This database is the latest step by the Virginia Historical Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Utilizing various existing sources for genealogical study Dr. Lee seeks to energize interest in the importance of pursuing the genealogy of African Americans.



Schedule of Activities:

 2:00 – 2:45 p.m.   Marian Ashton and the Westmoreland County Burial sites project

2:45-3:00 p.m.      Break, with  light refreshments

3:00 – 3:45 p.m.  Dr. Lauranett Lee on the impact and importance of genealogical endeavors

The event is produced in cooperation with A.T. Johnson Museum.  Kitchen Table Stories will be a yearly offering of oral histories gathered from the African American communities in the Northern Neck.

Contact for more information:

Jon Bachman 804-493-1972 jbachman@stratfordhall.org

Marian Ashton marianashton@outlook.com








February 25, 2017
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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