In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475. In his will, she is described simply as the “negro girl Melvinia.” After his death, she was torn away from the people and places she knew and shipped to Georgia. While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time. Read More … [Read more...]

Slave Cemetery Dating Back to 1898 Discovered

Officials have been working for months to develop the Berry Hill Mega Park in Pittsylvania County. but now, it looks as though they'll have an extra project to work on. A resident has discovered a large slave cemetary on the property. They believe there are thousands of graves there, some dating back to 1898. Read More … [Read more...]

Save Black History from Developers

This is a national appeal for your help in the effort to save one of this country's most important Black History sites -- an effort that has now reached a critical stage. Richmond's Shockoe Bottom was once the site of the second largest slave market in the United States. In the three decades before the Civil War, most of the 300,000 and 350,000 Black people sold from Virginia passed through its auction houses. By 1860, there were 4.5 million people of African descent in the U.S., so just do the math: today, the majority of Black people in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico can probably trace … [Read more...]

Why retracing our African roots is so difficult

Many African Americans have longed to know their African roots, especially because our language and heritage have been destroyed by colonizers. Historians have long documented that large numbers of Blacks were brought from different areas in Africa to what is now the United States. But in genealogy research, researchers have to prove the identity of specific individuals, and then document and prove relationships of them to their ancestors. Read more: CNN Blogs … [Read more...]

Mystery Florida Graveyard May Be Historical Bahamian Cemetery

An unmarked cemetery found in South Florida is believed to be the burial site of over 500 Bahamians, Florida officials say. Florida historian, Larry Wiggins, says he believes the site is of the Lemon City Cemetery, a cemetery for settlers from the Bahamas who went to South Florida in the early 1900s to tend to wealthy whites, and to help build Florida’s most cosmopolitan city. Teresita DeVeaux, a 100-year-old woman who was born in the Bahamas and moved to Miami as a child during the early 1900s, told international media that she remembered that a young man named Theophilus Clark was … [Read more...]