Growing up in a small rural town, Margaret Powell developed a toughness and learned how to stand up for herself. Her daughter, Folashade Alao, remembers admiring her boldness as a child, and she saw how hard her mother worked as a single mother to give her as many opportunities as possible.

Folashade never wanted to disappoint her mother, but this didn’t mean she never asserted her own views. In elementary school, Folashade wrote and presented her own Bill of Rights with amendments stating what she thought was fair and unfair. 

Margaret Powell and Folashade Alao at Sea World around the time she drafted her Bill of Rights.

“What came out of it was you telling me you’re not my friend, you’re my mama and that we each have an important role in supporting our household,” Folashade remembers.

Folashade and Margaret came to StoryCorps to reflect on how they shaped their relationship and what it takes to raise a child.

Top Photo: Margaret Powell and Folashade Alao at their StoryCorps interview in Decatur, GA  on January 31, 2023. By Kevin Alarcon for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired April 14, 2023 on NPR’s Morning Edition.