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The Importance of Oral History
Perishing Without Vision: Work

Written By Melissa Enoch

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Growing up in Alamance County, most Sundays were spent traveling to various family members' homes, visiting graveyards and interacting with individuals that we would not ordinarily see during the week. My mother would take me as far as Efland and Hillsborough to visit my grandmother’s brother, Ruffin to visit my uncle, Snow Camp to visit my aunt and around to family members’ homes. I would much rather [have been] at home taking a nap, watching television or anything but listening to the conversations of the old people talking about people I didn’t know and things that I didn’t understand. I dare not interrupt as I didn’t want to be chastised nor embarrass her for being disrespectful.

On holidays, she would take me to Snow Hill cemetery to put a flower on her mother’s grave and tell me stories about those people and how they were connected to her somehow.

Every September, the Hightower/Love/Covington/Wade (shortened to Hightower) descendants would meet [on] the second Sunday to celebrate their reunion.  It was here that I began to realize the importance [that] family [held for] my mother and she no longer had to beg me to attend. I wanted to go to learn more.

The excerpt above is from Melissa's latest work, “Moore than Enough Alamance County Through the Lens of an African American Woman: The Story of Vivian Moore Jeffries" (pages 16 - 17). Additional information about this book is available by emailing Melissa at:

Learn more about Melissa's community work and her outreach program, Women of Strength, by visiting: or

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