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AALBC.com's Thumper's Corner Discussion Board » Culture, Race & Economy - Archive 2008 » Preserving an Antebellum African American Town « Previous Next »

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Yvettep
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Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 2570
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 09:19 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great page w/full audio program, photos, and other links: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18233281&ft=1&f=1015

While many African-American communities in the South dissolved after the Civil War, the residents of Flat Rock, Ga., clung to the land of their ancestors. Today, the town is working to preserve its history as a rare, surviving example of the black experience.

Flat Rock, just east of Atlanta, was established in antebellum times. It appeared on maps in the early 1800s but was removed after the Civil War. Still, it survived.

Activists recently dedicated an archives center and they're working to clean up and restore a slave cemetery, where many of the community's first residents are buried.

The oldest map that documents the community of Flat Rock dates back to 1822. Inside the Flat Rock archive, maps and other faded historic records are spread out over wooden tables, and old photos hang on the walls.

Johnny Waits began the effort to collect the items in the late 1970s, and proudly shows them off.

"The last time we appeared on any map was 1865," he says. "After that, we wasn't on any maps anymore"...


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Canary
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Username: Canary

Post Number: 27
Registered: 07-2007

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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 06:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for this info and link.
NPR is good and a few other stations found way up on am dial.

When I can go back to my ol' home area in Tennessee, I'm going to try again along with family to find my little brothers grave that is amongst other family going way back.
Couldn't find the graves at all. It's all overgrown and no stones either last time we looked.
(The family found more in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi,...)
There's a lot of graves that are unmarked now or small stones moved around or burrowed down.
It might have become a subdivision for all we know.
Our family and others in that once country sold out to developers a long time ago.
They had plans and the pressure was on.

We've been doing a lot of ancestor work and have gotten back to the late 1700's but lots of missing pieces.
Lots of poor to no record keeping..and when it comes to slaves many are listed with no names....we got excited when we found a real possibility with a slave that was directly from Africa...tribe unknown although some family that took those dna tests came up with Yoruba..and the Native American side is difficult too due to numbers that did not enroll when that began.
There's a Mormon church here that has days you can come in to do research. That's been of great help but it's a lot of work when just getting some instructions, a bit of help here and there. Lots of records to go through and Mormons sure like to keep records.
Thanks again, Yvettep !

And Snopes.com certainly does come in handy, doesn't it?
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Yvettep
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Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 2587
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 11:40 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Canary: :-)!
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Cynique
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Cynique

Post Number: 11288
Registered: 01-2004

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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 12:16 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interesting. My mother's roots were in Tennessee, Canary. She was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee. Although her father looked like a white man, he was a freed slave and had some interesting tales to tell about his childhood, which are recorded in a slave narrative taken back in the 1930s. After he was freed, he later became a deputy sheriff and helped organize a posse who ran off the KuKluxKlan when they threatened black families in his town.
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Yvettep
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Username: Yvettep

Post Number: 2588
Registered: 01-2005

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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 01:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique.
Write.
An.
Autobiography.
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Canary
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Username: Canary

Post Number: 29
Registered: 07-2007

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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 03:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique..was that you in that photo you posted...the one with the xmas ornament?
I didn't comment..was skimming through...but thought..She sure looks like kinfolk to me.
We probably have white in the ancestry somewhere but haven't found proof of that nor anyone looking like it although hazel yellow green eyes show up here and there.
And one of my cousins who had the dna test showed some Asian dna. Maybe from the railroad track workers? Or the stories that Asians, Africans, others sailed over here thousands of years ago?

My great Grandpa, Grandma and others were freed slaves. 'Indian' slaves too. And Indigenous and black mixes as well. My great Grandpa on my Papa's side is written up in one of those records that tell of hate crimes. Grandma's father.
He was beat and 'scratched' up by some whitemen.
This was in Oconee, Seneca county, South Carolina.
Some of my people were up in Tennessee including in and all around the Nashville area..Franklin is nearby...Memphis, around and in Knoxville, up in the Smokies.
That's how and why my grandparents ended up going to Tennessee.
My Grandpa way way later got a job on the trains...easier and better pay than field work...crop sharer..although he is described as a farmer...farming land that was supposed to belong to he and Grandma after' sharing' most of the crops for years and years.....
And thank you Cynique's GGGrandpa! Went after the klu klux !

Yvettep has good advice there for you.
I may have read about your Grandpa as I have read all the slave narratives I can find.
One big one is in book form and the one who compiled it may be a distant relative from on my Grandma's side. Just going on the name. We're waiting for a reply.
I'm going to look and see if I can find if any books I have contain that narrative.
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Cynique
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Username: Cynique

Post Number: 11294
Registered: 01-2004

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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 06:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Canary.
Yes, "cousin" that was me on that Christmas card. :-)

The slave narrative was sent to me by my cousins who live in Nashville. My grandfather's name was Elijah Donaldson Merrill and the date of his narrative was August 31, 1932.

My father's people were from around Kansas and Missouri, and I know his mother was half-Indian and I seemed to have remembered him saying she was from the Black Foot tribe, but when I did a little research, this tribe was not indigenous to Missouri and Kansas.

My son visited Nigeria about 10 years ago and it seems like the national pass-time there is looking at African-Americans tourists, telling them what tribe they look like they might be from. He told me what they guessed his blood lines to be but I can't remember what he said. I'll have to ask him.

Yes, Yvette, I have been a spectator to many interesting and historical events in my lifetime and as a black person a lot about the environment I grew up in was the exception, not the rule. I'll probably leave a personal history for my grandchildren. Maybe they can publish it posthumously.

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