African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Sharing Stories: One Family's Story
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mother's father South Carolina 1895 Florida My mother

My grandfather John Durant, told this story many years ago to my mother, who in turn told it to me. It seems many years ago my grandfather's brother got in trouble with the law or "did something to the white man" and had to run for his life. During this run he supposedly jumped/fell into a body of water (lake, pond, not sure) and drowned. My grandfather was very upset about this. Now we are not sure what exactly took place between my grandfather and his family because soon after this he wanted nothing to do with his family. He did not talk much about them, a story here and a story there, but nothing much and only when he wanted to talk they (my mother and her siblings) were not allowed to ask. This had to happed way before any of them were born. Long story short, my grandfather died in 1972 at 91 years of age never knowing that his brother never died. His death was faked to keep him alive. My grandfather's brother changed his surname to Smith and moved away. Some time during his life my grandfather moved here to Florida or as he says was born here and died never knowing that his brother was not only still alive but living in the same state as well. Now their both dead, such a lost.

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Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
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