Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ms. Charlie Mae Ransom--Community Leader

Charlie Mae Ransom was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. I remember the heavy hearts we all had when we heard the news. The doctor had given her only months to live.

We should've known better.

Ms. Ransom never was one to simply accept news. She was a fighter. She defied the doctors. Up until a few months ago, she might get tired a little quicker, but she never let it show.

She was tough and she spoke her mind. She demanded respect for herself and the community around her. When something wasn't getting taken care of, she made phone calls and went up the chain of command until she found the right person to take care of the issue. Her persistence gained her respect and reverence so that if Ms. Ransom called, you answered and you did whatever she asked...and if something new was going on in the community, you made sure Ms. Ransom knew and approved.

Ms. Ransom didn't believe in holding anything back. She was honest with people. I loved that about her.  "I want to be like you when I grow up," I always told her. Every time I said it, she would break into a slight smile and give a slight laugh.  

The video above shows some of the "Ms. Ransom events" I was able to be a part of over the last few years--her birthday, her family reunion, honoring Charlie Mae Ransom day... Ms. Ransom loved to dance. Every party we had, she was willing to be the center of attention doing her own dance to whatever music was playing. We waited for her to break out into her dances. It made the evening. She would tell me later, "Oh, I can't dance! I just like to so I do." She didn't worry about whether or not people thought she could dance. Ms. Ransom danced to her own song. It was her confidence in her song that won people over.

The video below was captured by our Junior Reporters in the After-School Academy. The kids were instructed to interview community leaders. The sound quality isn't great, but I'm really glad they were able to capture that moment and ask her some of those questions.

Thanks for the memories and the life lessons, Ms. Ransom. Your spirit and influence will always remain in Roseland.

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