Our beloved Ashley died peacefully on February 4, 2022, at the home of his niece Vanessa. He had turned 98 on July 13, 2021, and continued to recite poetry from his vast repertoire – especially Shakespeare’s sonnets – up to the very end.
For any of you who have attended a program by Ashley, the opening call and response of Langston Hughes's "My People" remains indelibly etched in your memory. This was his way of unifying the audience of telling each person to confirm a love of who they are. Ashley was passionate about making poetry come alive and educating young and old of every ethnic background about the legacy of African and African American culture. Visitors from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to his magical home on Little Cranberry Island/Islesford off the coast of Maine. They were rewarded with gummy bears and hugs; everyone was "family."
Ashley, artist and storyteller, touched and inspired all who met him of any age. Rest in peace dear Ashley.
Please share your memories of Ashley with family and friends here.
If you'd like to make a donation in memory of Ashley, click here. Gifts will be used for the expansion and upkeep of the Storyteller Pavilion, the centerpiece of Ashley's legacy.