Friday Memory:

Women of Distinction

Friday's Memory, November 16, 2018

 

Last week we were blessed with the presence of many notables who braved their way through a crippling traffic jam to join us at our official book launch at the Grounds For Sculpture. It was quite humbling, to say the least, to look out into the audience to see James McPherson, Emma Lapsansky-Werner and Peter Moock, to name a few. It was overwhelming to share our evening with people of this stature who came to show their support for our project! But at this time we would like to devote this Friday memory to two outstanding women who also came out that evening to help us celebrate; Dr. Marion T. Lane and Joyce Mosely both who we have also featured in our book, “If These Stones Could Talk.”

 

Dr. Lane has served as the Commander in Chief of the Society of Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge from 2010 to 2014. Considering how difficult it has been historically for African Americans to verify their qualifications for membership in the D.A.R., it was remarkable that Marion through her persistence was able to prove her ancestors’ service in not only the Civil War but the Revolutionary War. Dr. Lane was determined that her ancestors’ service in forming this nation was to be validated and recognized as their White counterparts. We initially met Dr. Lane when we attended her lecture at the David Library in Yardley, PA. and were stunned to learn about the vast number of men of color who served during the Revolutionary War and were instrumental in affecting the outcome of key battles – a verifiable fact that none of us have learned in school.

 

Dr. Lane was determined to educate children over the age of eight so she wrote a picture book entitled “Patriots of African Descent in the Revolutionary War” so children could learn about America’s forgotten patriots. Part two of the this book is, “Who Are We” where Dr. Lane opens the door to encourage children to know their family history and to inspire them to delve into genealogy.

 

Joyce Mosely, considered to be her family’s historian, is a direct descendant of Paul Robeson and Cyrus Bustill who was a bread maker in Burlington, New Jersey for the Continental Army. Bustill’s role was so significant there was “A Proclamation by the Valley Forge Historical Commission” commending Bustill for feeding the Continental Army. In spite of Bustill’s aid to the Patriots, which was considered a treasonable offense, Joyce’s application for membership in the D.A.R. has been rebuffed for years because of the DA.R.’s assertion of lack of documentation.

 

We would like to dedicate this Friday Memory to these two women because of their unwavering work in changing the single narrative of American History and how it’s been taught. We consider Marion Lane and Joyce Mosely fellow soldiers in our field of connecting African American history to the local and national history books; that their work goes far beyond “mere genealogy” as they continue telling the African American story truthfully and boldly. And although our work on the book is finished, the contacts we made have been priceless.

 

For this reason today we devote this Friday Memory to Marion and Joyce as we salute them and for their dedication to “untrapping” history. We are so pleased to be able to call you our friends.

{Please join us this Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Hopewell Bistro for a book signing of “If These Stones Could Talk” from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM}