One of my passions is research that illuminates perspectives that are not widely appreciated in African American history and genealogy. I leaned about antebellum free Black people when I learned about my own maternal family. My mother's ancestors settled in New Jersey as early as 1815 and in Pennsylvania as early as 1792. On the left, I am holding a moonshine jug found while digging for landscaping on the land purchased by my 4th great grandfather in Timbuctoo in 1829. A neighbor told me it may have belonged to my Aunt Rosie, and/or one of her close friends who lived there two generations later. I "feel" this jug as a tangible connection to my lineage.
The fact that substantial numbers of free Black people were enumerated in every US Census between 1800 and 1860 is not something we typically learn in US History in high school. Who were these people? Where did they live? What did their “freedom” look like? I address those questions from various perspectives in the articles below:
“Rewriting Black History, Timbuctoo, New Jersey,” Beautiful Sunbird: An Africana Magazine for Young People, forthcoming in Summer 2023 (with Brenda Randolph)
“Expanding the Dialogue: A Conversation Between Descendent and Archaeologist about Community, Collaboration, and Archaeology at Timbuctoo, NJ.” Society for Historical Archaeology, 2017 (with Christopher Barton and Patricia Markert)
OTHER HISTORY AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION TOPICS