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Sarita Alston: Family, Food, and Fellowship

Sarita Alston and Grandmother Sarah Alston Interview image 2

Sarita Alston interviewing her grandmother, Sarah Alston Maclin. Courtesy Sarita Alston

Sarita Alston's paternal grandmother, Sarah Alston Maclin, and her mother, Mary Moye Alston<br />

Sarita Alston's paternal grandmother, Sarah Alston Maclin (left), and Maclin's mother, Mary Moye Alston (right), on Sarita's parents' wedding day. Courtesy Sarita Alston

Archival Seedling Sarita Alston's family is from Jamestown, Tennessee. Her family members trace their roots back to enslavement in the Tipton County area. She has started a family history collection kicked off by an oral history interview with her grandmother, Sarah Alston Maclin.

As part of her interview with her 78-year-old grandmother, Alston learns a family recipe that is only shared orally in her family, and about how the recipe has been passed down through the generations. 

To find more family stories and artifacts and to connect Alstons across the country, she started a Facebook group that has grown to over 400 members, including a large branch of Alstons from North Carolina. The group aims to trace Alston family history back to the Alston Plantation in Tennessee and to enslaved people at North Carolina plantations.

Though her primary audience is her family, Alston will also partner with the Tipton County Museum to preserve digital copies of her collection. 

Listen to Sarita Alston reflect on her use of social media to recruit family participants in her project.

"These items, along with a recorded oral history saga, will help navigate the discovery of who the Alstons are and how we came to be. As we can easily account for eight generations, we look for this project to become a foundation for our family history that can be built upon by future generations." 

- Sarita Alston