Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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Barbara McRae, who is the former editor of The Franklin Press newspaper in Franklin, NC designed the cover for When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African-American People in Far Western North Carolina. She also wrote the following words:

“This monumental work reveals the powerful story of a people who have been largely invisible in their own homeland. With extraordinary images and gripping narratives, Ann Miller Woodford opens a door to the homes, churches, and daily lives of the African-American people of far Western North Carolina. She unflinchingly captures the horrors imposed under Jim Crow, but also the kindness and decency of the mountain people, who offered friendship and a helping hand to their Black neighbors. You can almost hear the music… you can feel the pain, the heartbreak, the striving. Like any great drama, All God’s Children deals with obstacles and tragedy. But, ultimately, obstacles are overcome, and tragic circumstances yield to the indomitable human spirit. Historians and genealogists will treasure this book, but so will all who love humanity, America, the Southern Appalachians… and a great tale, told with grace and total honesty.

“Ann Miller Woodford grew up in the small mountain town of Andrews, North Carolina, during the days of segregation. He seized opportunities available to her for education and work, moved away, and built an exciting career in business and the arts. Eventually, she returned to her hometown and became a proud booster of Andrews and the region. Artist, author, businesswoman, and activist, she became an agent for change as the founder of 1 Dozen Who Care Inc., a nonprofit that works to create leadership capacity and build community unity in far Western North Carolina. ODWC has partnered with Ann to produce When All God’s Children Get Together and other initiatives inspired by the history and heritage of regional African-Americans. Learn more about those projects in this book.”
Thank you all for your patience and kindness as I have worked on this book for over seven years. I am so grateful that God has blessed me and Barbara as we have struggled together to make a dream come true.