A Generation Found: Precious Pearls of Wisdom by Roohee Marshall
Ann Arbor, Michigan — “A Generation Found: Precious Pearls of Wisdom” is a beautifully photographed coffee table book by writer-photographer Roohee Marshall that’s dedicated to the wit and achievements of Black seniors.
Forty African American elders from rural towns to urban cities welcome Marshall into their homes during 2018. These vibrant Black seniors from ages 80 to 108 fondly share their life lessons, legacies and memories of family, community and culture.
“There are amazing Black elders who are sung and the unsung heroes. They have made great contributions and the light needs to shine on them,” said Marshall. “Each senior that I interviewed had the same thing in common. They had this enormous sense of commitment, devotion and love for the world and the community.”
Through intimate photographs and interviews with Black seniors ranging from scholars to entrepreneurs to social workers to nurses to actors to activists, Marshall connects to some of the last of the “greatest generation.” The interviews took place between 2018 and 2020. Some of the seniors include physician Dr. Melissa Freeman, 92, who is still in practice. Clara Villarosa, 87, renowned for establishing major Black-owned bookstores. Actress and composer Emmelyne “Emme” Kemp, 84, is a Broadway composer and actor for “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and a protégé of Eubie Blake. Acclaimed actress Vinie Burrows,94, is a social justice advocate and a Broadway star. Woodie King, Jr., 81, founder-director of famed New Federal Theatre. Educator Timuel Black, 100, is a community and political activist. Journalist and author A. Peter Bailey, 81, who was an aide to Malcolm X. Naomi Long Maggett, 95, English professor, friend of Langston Hughes and Poet Laureate of Detroit. Nobie Mae Hill, 106, is a beauty shop owner. Former factory worker, Leola Washington, 100, is a travel agent for group tours. Emeritus professor Dr. Acklyn Lynch, 88, continues to be an activist and expert on international economics.