Yesterday me and the family went to hear Dr. John Hope Franklin talk about his recent autobiography, Mirror to America, at the Levine Museum of the New South here in Charlotte, NC. It was a great experience hearing him share some of the formative stories of his life. It was also amazing to hear him recount his thoughts on history, culture, and politics with such clarity (He is 90 years-old!). As he was re-telling his personal history within the context of a greater historical narrative I found myself reflecting on how I will re-tell my stories to my children and their children. How will I re-tell the stories? What stories will I tell. Of course during the lecture my youngest boy, Abraham, thought the session was over when he ended his talk by saying, “its about time?” “I didn’t understand a word he was saying…what was he talking about dad?” Which led me to talk about the significance of a life like Dr. Franklin. I think I got the point across…for the kids were excited to shake hands with him during the book-signing. I hope I don’t get so enslaved by the ethos of our culture that places very little value on the oral tradition, the legacies, the heritage….that ethos in our culture that simply wants us to move on to the next big thing. I pray I have just an inkling of the story-telling capability of a Dr. Franklin as I age…so that I can tell the younger generation about the struggles of life and the goodness and faithfulness of God. I hope I can be as faithful a griot to my kids as Dr. Franklin has been for many of us.