African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Grandmothers cousin Africa Igbo Island 1820s carolinas/georgia/mississippi? Oral History

Grandma elder cousin told me that my grandma's father was one of seven very tall brothers who came from a place called Evil island which I feel may be the gullah/geechie mispronunciation for Ibo (Africa). The Family name was Malachi taken from the bible and all first names as well. The Story was that 7 unusually tall male siblings came to the Carolinas and then to Georgia where five settled and raised families. Two other brothers who were close went on to Mississippi, married sisters and raised families of which one was my grandma's father Lot Malachi, (Georgia Fussell), 5 girls 3 boys all with Biblical first name or named for uncles or aunts. One of them was in a book called "The Last Lynching in Mississsippi", Grandma's brother Norman Malachi aka (Rainbow) accused of raping a white woman in Lumberton or Hattisburg area. Grandma Maggie Malachi (deceased) cousin Hannah Knight (deceased) family did have some research done but since we (my mother and I) never knew my grandma's parents who both died when my mother was a still a baby and my grandma was only 16 we have very little info. Hannah has family in Philadelphia and they know more but we don't know how to contact them. I have a family rich in history both on my mom's & father's side. My father's mother Hester Holder 104 now deceased, and my dads grandma Carrie Little 99 now deceased and grandpa John C. Herron deceased all have interesting stories that space does not allow. After seeing the first series, I began to fill in the family tree for my grandchildren, and now after seeing part two, I am even more intrigued about my family's history. Who are we, if we were from Igbo/yoruba/nigeria, where Great grandma Hesters mother Creek/father White, and was granddad Herron Irish name given to him by a white man as he stated in a book he wrote about his life in gullah/geechie which is very hard for us to translate? So many Questions, no answers, but I have this burning desire to know because of the poetry that come to me in my dreams so vividly I have to get up and write them down. I have observed from your research that DNA is so ingrained in our being that nothing in life is accidental, and that we are predestined to be who we are, barring some occasional detours of our own making/and or others interference, as we witnessed in several cases in your research proved what manifest destiny truly is. How ironic that Mr. Joyner family decendants lives parallel his in so many areas. I traveled with his Foundation on the cruise in "07" on a ship called the Freedom of the Seas which he joked about the irony of more than 3000 African /Americans passengers on the largest cruise ship in the world with that name. How else do you explain Mr. Cheadle family of Freedmen in an all Black Town, and his acting role in the movie Rosewood about essentially the exact same senario and the other movie about the hutus, or Oprah's burning desire to teach probably came from her ancestors same DNA desire of the gift of education? Coincidental? I think not. I too want so badly to know more about my family also but like most African Americans don't have a clue where to start. Thank You,

Valerie C. (Herron) Sanders

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