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Breona Cunningham

Juda Judy Brawner (1845-1925)

I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. From the pyramids to the United States…my people built it all. I have listened to stories from my mother, my father and my great- grandmother. My mother and father always told me that it was important for me to be proud of who I am. Because of my parents and grandmothers words of wisdom I was the first person in my family to attend college. I am a 22-year-old young woman. I attend an historical black college and I am proud of who I am. The stories that I have read in books, the stories I have heard by ear, and the stories of shows I have watched on television give me hope. Sometimes I wonder how it would have felt to be in my ancestors’ shoes. Whenever I feel like giving up it almost feels as if my ancestors are right by my side pushing me and guiding me. I am the great, great, great, great granddaughter of the woman in the photograph that is shown above; she goes by the name of Juda Brawner. She was born in 1845. I wish I knew more about her and her journey.

“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.” – Maya Angelou

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Inkwell Films, in assocation with Ark Media.