Freedom's Child: The Life of a Confederate Generals Black Daughter is the story of Carrie Nickens' mother. Carrie's grandfather was a white confederate general who acknowledged his african american daughter. The book is also a tribute to the author's mother who was a leader in the NAACP and her fight against lynching. It is a wonderful example of what we all wish we could write for our own family history's. However, most of us our not as talented as Carrie who didn't begin writing until her 70's.
My claim to fame with Ms. McCray (she didn't marry Mr. Nickens until last November when she was 83!)started when she came to my book club meeting as a visiting author. As the "resident" librarian it was my job to round up an author to visit once a year and discuss their book. When I picked up Carrie, at her apartment near Harbison, I had the pleasure to meet her sister Rose who had a busy presence in the book. Carrie, however, became very dear to me as role model and life achiever.
Carrie passed away this week and all of her admirers feel the loss. It is the first time someone of some local prominence has died on my watch as the Walker Local History Room Manager. It has been sad but uplifting to pour through the events of her life and decide what to keep in our files. Which brings me, in a long way, to the purpose of this post.
The State newspaper had strong coverage about Carrie's passing, however, some of it was online. The online stuff is what has been worrying me. We are so busy clipping articles for the vertical file that we are forgetting that there are important items on corporate web sites that are not being indexed or fed to online databases. The online obituary Guest List for Carrie had a note from famed poet Nikky Finney. As of August 27th, 2008 that record will completely disappear from the web site. I did print it for our vertical files but what else am I missing? (I put a link to the guest book in the title. Just click Carrie's name)
It is about 9:00 and the library is about to open so I have to end here but I have more to say about this. It is a problem that is popping up more and more.