Featuring: Arthuretta Holmes Martin
Heart-Felt Activist, Singer of Life & Beyond, Storyteller
I barely got to know Arthuretta Holmes Martin. I heard one story, and I wanted to hear them all. Due to events being virtual, the blessing came to enjoy her wisdom. And, oh what wisdom and insights! From the Maryland Humanities and onward to the Women’s Storytelling Festival, I soaked it in. I felt like I had a hint of what so many people already knew about her.
Every story revealed more of her history and view of life. True, the story could be about a great-great niece or other fascinating and important pieces of history. Then, she could surprise you with a personal workplace experience and end with a challenge to the audience.
When she passed away on July 3, 2021 due to complications of COVID, my heart reached out to the community and global audiences and especially for her family. She was only 63 years old.
Sometimes we learn more about people after they pass on than during this lifetime. I discovered that Arthuretta had a long-time fasciation with being a leader and studied Public Administration being inspired by Shirley Chisholm. Arthuretta served over 30 years for the federal government. Arthuretta noticed causes that needed to be seen. She had the skill of acting as well as speech. She participated in Toastmasters International.
She delved into history and enjoyed finding out the meaning behind words and phrases. In one of her stories, she featured a song by John Jacob Niles called “The Lass from the Low Countree.” While “lass” usually means “girl” from Irish backgrounds, in the 1700s and 1800s, “lass” meant someone of mixed race. Arthuretta then told the story of her great-great niece named Alma.
But are these facts or observations really enough to know Arthuretta? No.
I cannot do justice to her memory. I was inspired by the odes and memorials that Jessica Robinson from Better Said Than Done did on behalf of Arthuretta, and that included compiling a playlist on YouTube. Experience her stories – they can tell more than the short space in an obituary.
Including and going beyond that compiled playlist, here are some sites and videos featuring Arthuretta Holmes Martin:
Playlist compiled by Jessica Robinson/Better Said Than Done – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzBjLilCk9wJGGggAmR4X-Btid4slC6E1
Blowing the Whistle while Black | Arthuretta Holmes Martin | TEDxWilmingtonSalon – https://youtu.be/J-30hHT6Xrw
Chautauqua 2020: Q&A with Arthuretta Holmes Martin – https://youtu.be/7SXwWS41Y9I
Arthuretta Holmes Martin’s website – https://www.arthurettaspeaks.com/
Integration’s Unintended Legacy | Arthuretta Holmes Martin at CURE’s 400 Years of Storytelling Event – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWAnwJS6QeU
Jubilee Voices: Stories of the Underground Railroad (Sandy Spring Slave Museum) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUQKtyv48Mw
Do you know a Story Artist who has passed on and want others to remember them? Memories? Pictures? You can submit names and memories of Story Artists who have passed on through our online form.
I appreciate Arthuretta Holmes Martin for her constant searching for knowledge and then sharing with others. She always gives out a challenge – and this is the time to respond if you have not done so already by the wisdom she has shared.
Arthuretta still has a story. You have a story. We all have stories.