- Paperback: 177 pages
- Publisher: The Write Image (2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0989372855
- ISBN-13: 978-0989372855
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,046,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Our Ancestors, Our Stories Paperback – 2014
"Our Ancestors, Our Stories" offers insights into the African American experience in Edgefield County, South Carolina through the eyes of five very different authors.These family historians and storytellers have come together to share their family stories to inspire and encourage others, and to keep alive the memories of their ancestors.
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Top Customer Reviews
The foreword was written by Clemson University professor Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, emeritus professor of history, African American studies, and Sociology at the University of Illinois. Dr. Burton wrote his Ph.D. dissertation at Princeton University on Reconstruction Era Edgefield and is the author of In My Father's House are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (1985). The Memory Keepers and their research, Dr. Burton says, "...contradicts the notion that black Southerners kept few records, or that there is no way to trace the family histories of African Americans....Following clues and oral history, each of these researchers has created fascinating narratives that will prove invaluable to future researchers...about how to put together African American family histories and genealogies."
The first chapter in Our Ancestors, Our Stories was written by Harris Bailey, Jr., who situates Edgefield County in both history and geography. He shows how the county's development parallels that of the rest of South Carolina. He traces the causes and effects of the Civil War within the context of Edgefield, and shows the impact of Reconstruction, and its aftermath, "Redemption," as the planter elite regained political and economic control, leading to the out-migration of many of the formerly enslaved people. Bailey sets the stage for understanding the pressures that caused the ancestors of the four other Memory Keepers to make the decisions they did, "to survive and thrive," and to meet their adversities with "resilience and hope." (In the interest of full disclosure, Harris Bailey is my son, and I couldn't be more proud of him.)
The Memory Keepers will be on a panel discussion at the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, September 25, 2014.
Each story pulls you into the author's journey and compels you forward in the book. I couldn't put it down and ended up reading it in one sitting.
Each author is in a different place in the research journey. Every author's story is fascinating, together their stories are simply compelling. There is wisdom here for every researcher of African American genealogy. Absolutely loved this book!
Impressed was I with the various research processes that each author used to access their specific historical information. The authors managed to break through "The Proverbial Wall" that is the 1870 Census. Those of us African Americans that have attempted genealogical research know how difficult it is to access specific family names prior to 1870.
Thanks so much for sharing your family history which is also our American History. Great job!