Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meeting Dr. Littlefield, Reuben Noah, Mary Robinson & Ron Graham...

I don't know many people who can say a book changed their life but I can honestly say that about "The Chickasaw Freedmen a People Without a Country" written by Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr. So you can imagine what a thrill it was for me to meet him for the first time and be able to express my gratitude for the work he has done.
Terry LIGON & Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr.

Dr. Littlefield was so accommodating I "almost" felt guilty for taking up his time. The highlight for me was the morning I was coming back from the hotel gym, I happen to glance over at the little breakfast room and found him sitting alone enjoy his meal. I was hesitant at first not wanting to disturb his solitude or meal but how many chances was I going to get to sit down and talk with the man that brought my great grandmother's story to me and begin this journey that is now twenty years long?

Over the years friends and colleagues told me how generous Dr. Littlefield was with his time but he was more gracious than I ever thought, AND he autographed my copy of his book!

Director-Five Civilized Tribes Museum Muskogee, OK

The day before my meeting Dr. Littlefield I had the pleasure of meeting with Mary Robinson the Director of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee. The museum along with several organization responsible for the conference gave an opening night reception for the conference participants. 

I had a wonderful time meeting Mary and several board members Dr. Georgia Leeds, Carole Cole and Shirley James; clearly these women understand the importance of preserving history and as President of Indian Territory & Oklahoma Freedmen Historical Association I can't thank them enough for providing us space and opportunity to contribute information about Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Co-Founders & members of ITOFHA

Members of the Indian Territory & Oklahoma Freedmen Historical Association traveled vast distances to meet in Muskogee for an opportunity to view the exhibit that will remain on display for several months so we encourage all to visit the museum and take advantage of the hospitality of the staff.

The board of directors of ITOFHA would personally like to thank the Manager of Collections, Reuben NOAH for his hard work and dedication in putting the exhibit together. Over the past month Reuben has been traveling back and forth to Oklahoma City and was able to put the display together and we are eternally grateful for his tireless work ethic.

In fact Reuben was so busy during the event we didn't think we were going to meet him in person. For the past month or more most of our communications have been over the phone. Reuben was still in Oklahoma City performing task for the museum and attending a conference on museum preservation and we kept hoping we would meet him before the conference in Muskogee was over. It was with great delight to finally meet Reuben when we broke for lunch on Saturday and I found him warm and personal as I expected from our conversations over the phone.

Thanx again Reuben for everything!

Cof Founder of ITOFHA Carlotta KEMP-WHEELER, Terry LIGON, Dir. Museum Collections Reuben NOAH, Co-Founder of ITOFHA Joyce SHELTON-SETTLES

I can't tell you what a delight it was to finally meet Mr. Ron GRAHAM! I've only known Ron by the work he has been doing on behalf of Creek Muskogee Freedmen and I've watched him grow into a leader in his community over the years. He and Rhonda GRAYSON along with other hard working and skillful Creek Freedmen Descendants have really bursted on the scene with some dynamic thinking and programs to benefit freedmen descendants today and in the future they are to truly be commended on the work they do. All of us at ITOFHA applaud them and look forward to working together in the future!

Ron and his organization did something that truly warmed my heart by presenting me and Angela WALTON-RAJI with awards for our contributions to Freedmen preservation and I must say it is something that will keep me going in the years to come. For the most part I have worked in isolation and this is the first time anyone thought enough of what I do to just say thank you, and that means a lot to me, Ron you and everyone in the Muskogee Creek Freedmen Band will always be a part of me for this gesture thank you so much!

Don't forget to holla at a brotha!

1 comment:

  1. Terry, your remarks are on timely and on target! I agree with you about the generosity of Dr. Daniel Littlefield.

    Also it was indeed a surprise to have received the beautiful award from the Muscogee Creek Freedmen Band. We both work on our projects not for recognition, but because it must be done, but it is indeed a humbling experience when someone from the "family " takes time to say thank you for what you do.

    Finally---this past weekend was remarkable on so many levels---and thanks to the vision, and foresight of FCT Museum staff director Mary Robinson, and Reuben Noah the Manager of Collections, the Freedmen were represented in a unique and special way.

    Telling our stories is what we do, and the need to tell more of our stories, to capture the ones that are still there---is an essential task. But this weekend has been inspirational on so many levels, and it is possible that a "crack" has been made in the ice, as the historical landscape has been changed.

    We were there, and some of our stories are certain to be told.