Archives for February 2008

Descendants of slaveholder join to note history

Deborah Bartley said her family always wondered why she liked sugar so much. Or why she always wanted to spend time near the water. Or even why she decorated her home with palm trees and vines. Walking through Jacksonville's historic Kingsley Plantation, she believes she knows why. Years ago, the 58-year-old Atlanta resident said she learned her great-great-great-great-great aunt, Easter Bartley, was a slave at the sugar plantation on Fort George Island. Read More … [Read more...]

Congresswoman takes heroic freedmen stance

Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith and his supporters denounced HR 2824 by U.S. Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif. The bill is designed to strip federal funding from the tribe if it denationalizes Cherokee freedmen citizens. Read More … [Read more...]

African refugees in 1860 burial site remembered in Key West

A recent Black History Month event in Key West honored victims at an oceanfront burial site believed to be the only African refugee cemetery in the United States. The 1860 African burial ground, located on the island's Atlantic Ocean shore beside a Civil War-era fort, was virtually forgotten until historical research and a 2002 ground-penetrating radar analysis revealed the presence of graves. Read More … [Read more...]

Many Resources Available For Tracking Slave Ancestors

African-Americans have been celebrating their heritage throughout February as a part of Black History Month. For those who have shied away from searching for their slave ancestors because they've heard how difficult it is, this month of celebration is a good time to meet the challenge. Read More … [Read more...]

Canada still a land of hope & freedom

I COULD feel ghosts swirling through the cold December air. In front of me was the modest grave of John Freeman Walls, a former slave who had escaped to Canada. Almost two centuries later, his great-great-grandson, Bryan Walls, a retired dentist, was standing next to me telling a story far too incredible to be fiction. Read More … [Read more...]

Former student shares story of royal ancestry

Artemus Gaye knew he descended from slaves, but it took a civil war in his native Liberia, eight trips to Mississippi and years of research to discover he is also descended from royalty. Read More … [Read more...]

Southern Indiana woman is on a mission to identify unmarked African-American cemeteries

In her hands are dowsing rods; in her coat pocket are a screwdriver, wooden craft sticks and a red and a blue pen. The red pen is to mark female graves, the blue is for male graves. The sticks are to mark the graves, the screwdriver is used to dig the holes to put the sticks in. The dowsing rods, two L-shaped metal rods, are the tools used to find the graves. Read More … [Read more...]