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'Stooping To Stand' collaboration at Maymont is labor of love for storyteller

Posted at 9:49 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-06 09:19:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Morgan Avery McCoy is a storyteller and actress who is using her skills to tell the stories of the African American staff who worked at the Dooley mansion at Maymont.

The project titled “Stooping to Stand” was a labor of love for McCoy and a collaboration with Maymont.

"So 'Stooping to Stand' is the focus is paying homage and tribute to those who stooped, so their children could stand, who bowed so their children could conquer," McCoy explained. "And so what we’re doing is capturing these stories. And Maymont is the first of the series."

McCoy collected interviews from descendants of mansion's staff, along with her research and historical facts from Maymont, to help the actors recreate a historical account of the staff and their 12-hour shifts of cooking, cleaning and serving to provide for their families.

"You’re going to hear stories of Georgia Anderson, who was a personal maid for Ms. Dooley," McCoy said. "In addition to working her 12-hour shifts during the week, she would work on the weekends at a shirt manufacturing company in order to pay for her daughter to go to Virginia Union."

McCoy is passionate about telling the stories because of her family’s humble beginning.

Her great aunts, ages 100 and 103, cleaned houses for a living.

"As a granddaughter of a sharecropper and knowing what my grandfather did [with] no education, but he paid for all his kids to go to college. Those types of stories, they need to be told," she said.

The virtual screening of "Stooping to Stand" is Tuesday, Feb. It can be viewed at https://maymont.org/, McCoy's Facebook page and will be available online later for viewing.