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A mother remembers when her daughter wrote her own bill of rights

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's Friday, and that means it's time for StoryCorps. Growing up, Folashade Alao wanted more than anything to make her mom proud. Now 43 years old, she came to StoryCorps with her mom to talk about their relationship and the bill of rights she drafted as a kid.

MARGARET POWELL: I grew up in a rural community where we had to walk maybe a mile to school. I was the eighth child. I just had to defend me. It developed a toughness in me...

FOLASHADE ALAO: Yeah.

POWELL: ...That I have always had.

ALAO: I was just awestruck, how assertive you were, you being this really bold, bold woman.

POWELL: Looking backward, do you feel like you missed a lot?

ALAO: I think maybe the thing I missed was, like, messing up more (laughter), because I did not want to disappoint you, and I could see how hard you were working. Although, I do remember one moment where I was rebellious.

POWELL: Yes.

ALAO: Was I in the third grade? I drafted out my amendments about what I thought was fair and not fair. Everyone else was getting allowance, and I was like, I want allowance.

POWELL: I did give you some allowance at one point.

ALAO: You did, but it was not for washing dishes. I think you gave me things for excelling in school. What came out of it was you telling me that you're not my friend; you're my mama; and that we each have an important role in supporting our household.

POWELL: I was more charitable than what I thought.

ALAO: One of the things I remember you saying was I have to be in charge of my education, and I need to speak up.

POWELL: I wanted to give you every opportunity as I could as a single person, buying books and putting you in programs.

ALAO: I feel like you poured into me so much.

POWELL: You have been everything that a parent could ask for. You're compassionate, and you're wise beyond your years. We don't have playbooks by - what we do as parents. It's up to you to guide this miracle that you've been entrusted with.

ALAO: Mommy, I love you to the moon and back.

POWELL: And I love you, too, to the moon and all the galaxies beyond.

MARTIN: That was Folashade Alao and Margaret Powell for StoryCorps in Decatur, Ga. Their conversation will be archived at the Library of Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLUE DOT SESSIONS' "VITTORO") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Sophia Lo
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