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“I Saw an Article in the Paper and Called StoryCorps Griot”

Posted on Saturday, December 1st, 2007.

Theresa Franklin (L) and Maggie Conway (R)

Theresa Franklin (L) and Maggie Conway (R)

When Maggie Conway read in a local Memphis newspaper that StoryCorps Griot was in town, she was ecstatic. Immediately she began to make arrangements to bring StoryCorps Griot to her church so that her friends and fellow parishioners could share their stories. Mrs. Conway is a member of Saint Therese-Little Flower Catholic Church. The church is located roughly between downtown and north Memphis, in a neighborhood referred to as the Vollintine Evergreen community.

Maggie took the opportunity to interview Theresa Franklin. When Memphis schools were forced to integrate Mrs. Franklin was among the first African American teachers assigned to previously all “white” schools. Exceedingly humble and shy at first glance, she was incredibly nervous about the placement. Mrs. Franklin quickly won the adulation of her students and the respect of the administration. The school principal commended her work in the classroom declaring that she was the best teacher he had ever had. Later Mrs. Franklin would become the first women to serve as principal of Southwest Career and Technology Center at a time when there were few, if any, women principals in the Memphis City Schools.

Thank you Maggie Conway for inviting StoryCorps Griot to your church community.

St Theresa Little Flower Catholic Church

Pictured L to R: Facilitator Steven Thrasher, participants Lynn Reed, Ella Annette Owens, and community partner Maggie Conway

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