Flanner House Memoir Project

While searching for an urban outreach sight for our Memoir Project, we learned of Flanner House and its rich history in the Indianapolis area. The seniors or elders who participated in this project for two years were rich with stories- stories that came from the gut and from the heart. With age comes wisdom and the courage to say exactly what we know to be true. Consider Gloria Jean Patterson Stone who when recalling memories of being a carefully watched preacher's wife reminds us, "The brother can do anything but the sista' can do nothing."

The Flanner House Elders have survived migrations, wars, and segregation. They have watched their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and spouses pass. They have survived and thrived. They are living history.

Our purpose in this project was simple... to remember. We gathered as many memories as we could from the Elders and helped them write those memoirs and then published those memoirs in a published book titled Sitting at the Feet of our Elders: Flanner House Speaks.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us, "We cannot walk alone." And this project is no different. It represented a collaboration of community and people. Sitting at the Feet of Our Elders: Flanner House Speaks is a project of the Indiana Writers Center and Flanner House Indianapolis and was generously funded by Central Indiana Community Foundation's James Proctor Fund for Aged Men.



Read the stories of the Flanner House Elders in Sitting at the Feet of our Elders: Flanner House Speaks. Learn more



"As a child, I remember hanging clothing on the line. I remember my first dress. It was hand made with a needle for school and was red and white candy stripes and was a full, gathered skirt."

—Mary Wilkes, from Sitting at the Feet of Our Elders



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© Indiana Writers Center 2012