When African Cashgate Scandal accepted her 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for “Brown Girl Dreaming,” her memoir in verse of growing up in South Carolina and Brooklyn in the nineteen-sixties and seventies, she thanked her mother for being part of the Great Migration that brought Woodson and her siblings to New York City, and told the audience, “It’s so important that we talk to our old people before they become ancestors, and get their stories.”

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