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Flora Henderson

Mrs. Henderson, a middle aged African American, shared her story, "Family Legacy of Educators", focusing on how literacy has impacted her adult life stemming from her childhood. Mrs. Henderson has a rich family history pertaining to literacy. She shared that she is a third generation educator. "My mother is an educator, and her mother was a teacher. My father also was educated beyond high school." Like most narratives we have recorded, essential parts of her upbringing with literature included her mother reading to her and Sunday school. While learning to read and becoming familiar with literacy, Mrs. Henderson always had a support system in a group of educators, her family in particular. "I wasn't too pleased with the fact that my mother was checking my sentences and spelling, but as I grew older I learned to appreciate the fact that she took that time and taught me at home." As an adult, Mrs. Henderson took these strong family values in literure and passed them on to her son. She stated, "I'm the third generation of teachers in my family, and we were able to pass this on to my son who is also a college graduate and has a MBA. And, I look forward to seeing him instill the same values in my grandchildren." This procession of education throughout each generation has allowed literacy to continue to be apart her family legacy.

Compared to the other narratives shared, Mrs. Henderson had a written summary of what she wanted to cover in the interview. The class text by Hammersly and Atkinson (1983) states, "by summarizing, one can cover much more material in the same time." Additionally, it says, "on the other hand summarization involves some loss of information and introduces interpretation." Her summarization may have affected the flow of the interview because we felt limited in our ability to ask questions, it was clear she had her own list of topics to cover. Her organization emphasized how education had been instilled in her daily life through her preparedness, articulate words and confidence in her story. Being a part of a family of teachers has allowed her to share the gift of literacy through education to countless students and her son. Education through her ability to teach then proves important in the maintenance and inheritance of literacy.

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