Woman reclaims neglected slave cemetery from Sanford woods

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A small band of volunteers is working to restore a Lee County cemetery that dates to the early 1800s and contains the graves of hundreds of slaves. The burial ground, near the Buffalo Presbyterian Church on Carthage Street, had fallen into disrepair in recent decades and was gradually overtaken by ivy and a pine forest. "It just hurt my heart," said Lisa Martin Sanders, who stumbled upon the cemetery last April. Sanders and her aunt were looking for the grave of W.B. Wicker, who founded a school in Sanford many years ago. They wandered the area for a couple hours before peering into … [Read more...]

Halifax County woman makes connection to ancestors

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Many African-Americans living in Halifax County today are descendents of slaves, but most have a hard time tracing their family’s history. The institution of slavery disconnected many African-Americans from their heritage leaving descendents to wonder where they came from and who are their ancestors. County resident Margaret Sutphin Waajid, who lives on Sutphin Road in South Boston, doesn’t have to wonder about her lineage any more. After many years of researching her family’s history, Waajid has made a connection to many of her ancestors. Read More … [Read more...]

‘Listen To The Ancestors’ For African-American History Month

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Judith Collins has a secret. She “listens to the ancestors,” an instinct that has helped this African-American woman from San Leandro trace her lineage back eight generations, to before the abolition of slavery. “The ancestors lead you to every avenue because they want to be remembered, they don’t want to be forgotten,” Collins said. As African American History Month gets underway, her experience illustrates how families can unravel the stories of their pasts. Read More … [Read more...]

Slave database coming to Hampton History Museum

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An online database created by the Virginia Historical Society now includes close to 3,500 documents that outline the murky details of thousands of slaves who lived in and around Virginia. Last month, the Richmond-based organization launched the database detailing the biographical data of enslaved Virginians, some of which includes family relationships, occupations and life dates. Lauranett L. Lee, curator of African history for the Virginia Historical Society, will host a workshop on Monday, Feb. 6 at the Hampton History Museum to teach attendees about the database and its uses. Read … [Read more...]