Carnival of African American Genealogy

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Home & Homegoing: Reflections on the Black Church

Home & Homegoing: Reflections on the Black Church
I got shoes, you got shoes,
All God’s children got shoes.
When I get to Heav’n gonna put on my shoes,
Gonna walk all over God’s Heav’n…
Everybody talkin’ bout Heav’n ain’t going there

Ebony Magazine — Home and Homegoing: Reflections on the Black Church


Call For Submissions: Carnival of African American Genealogy ~ 5th Edition REBIRTH: It’s Time For Revival!

By |October 23rd, 2013|CoAAG, Reflections|0 Comments

What Story Does It Tell? Homecoming First Baptist Church 1935 ~ Cuminsville, Cincinnati OH

First Baptist Church ~ Cinti, OH

I discovered this 1935 Home Coming image of the First Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio among family images I inherited from my Maternal Grandmother, Fannie Louella BARWICK.  I believe this image belonged to my Great Uncle Jake, the Rev. Ronald JACKSON Sr., my Grandmother’s baby brother who died in 1981. There’s a small amount of writing on the front and nothing on the back.

How I’d love to know the story behind the beautiful picture of such a proud congregation! Who among the crowd looking out is connected to me?

Home Coming
First Baptist Church Cuminsville, Cincinnati, OH
Oct 13, 1935
Rev. D.G. SHELTON Pastor

What story does the 1935 Homecoming of the First Baptist Church of Cuminsville tell?

Join us friends for REBIRTH the 5th Edition of the Carnival of African American Genealogy!

It’s time for us to tell our own stories, so no one will EVER have need to ask that question!

It’s time for REVIVAL!:)


REPLAY: 1st Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research {3.18.10}

Hammond-Davies Slave Bible RecordsTimestamp this moment Friends because with the arrival of the 1st Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research, we have made history!

Never before has an open dialogue and mass sharing of historic slave data between the descendants of slaves and slave owners occurred online, and quite honestly, I’d be surprised if exchanges such as this have transpired much offline either!:-)

On February 8, the genea-community began answering my charge to become a Friend of Friends to their fellow African-American researchers, by sharing oft times private slave data encountered through their own personal genealogy research.

Since then, I’ve been alerted daily via emails, blog posts and tweets to online resources that provide invaluable information pertaining to our enslaved Ancestors. Information that otherwise, may never have been discovered.

In addition to the Restore My Name submissions presented below, there have been at least 20-25 individual blog posts citing previously unpublished slave information! Simply AMAZING!:-)

So as the one who first sounded the alarm, let me also be the first to thank the genea-community for proving that we are in fact a true community of supporters to all who choose to join and a shining example that collectively we can rise above history’s most devastating blemish.

We have chosen to heal history, rather than hide from it.

I am proud of you. I am proud of US.

Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research

Alane Roundtree presents CoAAG 1st […]

FLASHBACK: CoAAG 4th Edition: FreedomTweet 2010 ~ What Does FREEDOM Mean To You & Me? {06.19.10}

FREEDOMTWEET 2010Wow! This has been some month, huh?! Did we EVER think that #FreedomTweet 2010 would come to mean so much, to so many, OUTSIDE of our genea-family?

Did the Ancestors EVER think that we — their children — would be living as FREE as we do today? I often wonder if my Ancestors dreamed or imagined a better day. God, in my heart, I hope so.

Today marks the 145th Anniversary of Juneteenth — the nationally observed day commemorating the end of Slavery in the United States. On this day, starting in 1865 Galveston, Texas, Emancipated Slaves celebrated their new-found, but still greatly challenged — freedom.

So today, we speak and stand-up for FREEDOM. What it meant for our Ancestors of yesterday, and what it means to us today, their living legacies…


Luckie Daniels, Our Georgia Roots | CoAAG 4th Edition: FreedomTweet 2010 ~ What Does FREEDOM Mean To Me? ~ Freedom means far more to me today, than it did a month ago when I first thought of #FreedomTweet.

Jacky Gamble, Vermont Genealogy | Juneteenth Events ~ Thank you Jacky for sharing with us the Juneteenth event of Portsmouth, NH & supporting FreedomTweet 2010!

Vicky Daviss-Mitchell, Mariah’s Zepher | Texas Tradition Arizona Style: Honoring Juneteenth ~ Thank you Ms. V for showing us how to celebrate Juneteenth, Arizona style!:-)

Angela Walton-Raji, My Ancestor’s Name […]

FLASHBACK: Reflections From The Accidental Buddhist ~ The Road To Freedom… {5.30..2010}

Road To FreedomMany years ago, I coined myself the Accidental Buddhist because at the time, I considered my finding the spiritual path to Buddhism an “accident”, a “fluke”.

Of course once I began to follow the Path, I realized that my spiritual journey was no fluke at all — it was my destiny. Today, I see it as my rock.

Buddhism did for me what all spiritual paths are intended to do — it saved me from myself. Does it make me perfect? No. Does it make life trouble-free? No. However it does make me forever conscious of my impact to those around me and aware of my accountability to mankind in both large and small ways.

I am thankful. The Path is the only source capable of calming the fire of rage I’ve often felt in respect oppression, racism and suffering. The Path is the only comfort allowing me to rise each day as my heart is challenged with watching more and more of Mom transition away due to Alzheimer’s Disease.

After all these years, I am still working on accepting that I am, right now FREE. I am happy. There is much good in this season because Mom is still here, right now and there are lessons for me to learn in the present. I am working on accepting reality (or the illusion that looks like it) with grace, peace and ease.

So you should know, following the June 19th FreedomTweet event, I will be taking an indefinite hiatus from the genea-space to just… well, be.

There are other needs calling my name. I […]

FLASHBACK: CoAAG 4th Edition: FreedomTweet 2010 ~ What Does FREEDOM Mean To Me? {5.24.10}

FREEDOMTWEET 2010Oral history says that when Grandpa Phil thought to question his owner’s actions, he received a stern warning to “let things be”, being told he could choose another wife and make more babies.

Grandpa Phil did just that — “let things be” and in 1869 married my 4th Grandmother Annie FAVER CARTER and yes, they had many babies.

Fast-forward 20 years. In 1885 in Washington-Wilkes, my other 4th Grandfather, James WINGFIELD, an emancipated slave, returns from harvesting his land and heads to town to cash in his crops. Family history says that he purchased a pair of “brogans” and pick-up needed supplies for his pregnant Wife, Grandma Catie DICKEY WINGFIELD and their children, before heading to church to pray.

At some point between Downtown Washington-Wilkes, church and home something happened.

The details are unclear but it has been said my Grandpa James was accused of “talking back” to a white man. As a penalty, he was removed from his home on Whitehall Street, never to be seen again.

Grandma Catie was 7 months pregnant, with 4 small children at home at the time James disappeared. A year or so later, relatives found my Grandfather’s brogans and boots in the woods, at the bottom of a hanging tree.

Two Grandfathers and two instances that totally shifted my Family’s destiny. Both men defenseless; one a slave who dare not speak-up; one a free man, murdered because he dared to speak-up.

What Does FREEDOM Mean To Me?

Freedom means that not only do I have the RIGHT to advocate for fairness and justice ~ I have a RESPONSIBILITY to do so!

When I speak-up, my Grandfathers […]

FLASHBACK: They Served With Honor: Tuskegee Airman LeRoy Eley Sr. Offers Lessons For A Lifetime! {5.15.10}

LeRoy EleyOriginal Tuskegee Airman, Mr. LeRoy E. Eley Sr., is nothing short of amazing!

Born May 30, 1927 and the baby of the bunch at almost 83 years young, Mr. Eley is EVERYTHING you would expect a Tuskegee Airman to be — distinguished, proud and fast on his feet!:-) He is disarmingly charming and witty, and easily captivated the attention of some 60+ 4th grade students, teachers, parents and genea-guests.

For every 1 question answered — 10 more hands flew up! I was floored by Mr. Eley’s ability to recount even the most minute historical detail and surprised that right along with the students, I too received an history lesson! I’d never heard of the Red Tail Pilots!

Those blessed to be in the room were provided an insiders view of history, complete with stories and memories that only he and his elite Fraternity of Tuskegee Airmen Brothers can truly recount.

To Justis’ question of which was more challenging — fighting in the war or enduring racism in the military, he responded honestly — BOTH. Mr. Eley shared how when the servicemen traveled abroad to fight, they remained segregated — unable to fight together even in the face of a common enemy!

When asked by a young lady to describe the feeling of flying a plane, Mr. Eley just smiled, responding there was nothing in the world like it!

Indeed, aviation is Mr. Eley’s passion. Since volunteering for the USAAF at the age of 17 (assigned to Class 46-D at […]

FLASHBACK: 2nd Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Grandma’s Hand ~ A Bridge Over Troubled Water, Memories of Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICK {4.13.10}

Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICKInteresting that as I began to pen my memories of Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICK {1920 – 1992}, my beloved Maternal Grandmother, Stevie Wonder’s rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water began to play.

My Lord, without a doubt there is no single person who had a greater impact on my life than Anbownes. There is no person’s absence, that I miss more.

She was a firm, honest, no-nonsense straight-shooter. She was everything you dislike as a child and everything you come to respect and admire as an adult.

She was the personification of honor. People spoke of her with reverence.

My Grandmother was regal in appearance, always impeccably dressed, with the most beautiful, pecan hued hands and fingernails I’ve ever seen. There are moments when I seem to catch a hint of her gardenia scent. There are MANY days when I miss the sound of her deep, husky voice singed from many years of smoking.

Her love and loyalty were the rock we all –especially my Mom– held on to and truth be told, Mom started leaving us the day Anbownes transitioned.

I know now, what I didn’t quite understand then… watching a good Mother leave you is the hardest life challenge any child will face. It is impossible to sustain this kind of separation (not loss) and not be permanently changed.

By example, Anbownes and Mom taught a scared (and clueless) child how to Mother her Son. And though hurt by my circumstance, she never faltered in support. Because she stood by me, I am the woman I am today.

Once during her daily bath, she told me […]

FLASHBACK: Better Days. {4.6.10}

I have much on my mind these days, but at the top of my list, summoning the strength to walk with my Mom through her journey of living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

I have to believe my Grandmothers — Allie, Catie, Marrie, Annie F., Annie C., Fannie, Lena, Ella, Laura, Hastey, Ann and Jane are looking over us… holding us up… praying us forward.

I have to believe we have our own Heavenly Cheering Squad that knows, better than I, that it will all be okay.

I can hear them saying, Geraldine will be alright… God has a plan!

So I turn often to Dianne Reeves, Grandma Tribute — Better Days for comfort. It gives me hope and makes me remember how sweet life was when I had the presence of my Grandmothers. There is nothing like a good one.

I share Better Days with you my friends today. Enjoy.


FLASHBACK: 2nd Edition ~ Carnival of African-American Genealogy: Grandma’s Hand ~ Memories of Lena Mae McKENZIE BARWICK {4.4.10}

Lena McKENZIE BARIWCKTo this day, My Great Grandmother, Lena Mae McKENZIE BARWICK is the gentlest, sweetest woman I’ve ever known.

Born 9 March 1902 in Lewisville, Alabama to Ella Mae MARTIN and Joseph James McKENZIE, I remember most her deep faith in God and her ability to quote biblical scripture at will.

I still chuckle at the thought of returning to Cincinnati in 1995 with a severe Caesar cut (yes — I’d shaved all the curls down to a barely visible shadow), and being informed by my Grandma that there was no shame in a wig — God would respect my crown anyway he could get it!:-)

I still marvel at the strength both of my Great Grandmothers possessed. Both survived poverty and less than easy Husbands, yet remained steadfast in God and Family. Never appearing to waiver.

Like most of the Barwick/McKenzie women, Grandma was blessed with long-life, transitioning on 11 March 2002, at the age of 100 years old.

The poem below, was written by my older Brother, William, for her 100th Birthday and was read at her Home Going Service.

How timely that it would be presented here today on this Sentimental Easter Sunday 2010, as my Barwick timestamp for Grandma’s Hand…

I think about my Grandma
and I think of loving hands,
Two hands that do their best
to carry out the Lord’s commands…
Two hands that clap in joy fullness
while she joins in a song,
Two hands that hug and comfort,
as she passes love along…
Two hands that are my Grandma’s
that have always done their part
To spread the love of Jesus,
so abiding in her heart.
I think about you. Grandma,
and I see a gentle model of the kind
of […]