Denise Crowder

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Growing up I learned about African-American accomplishments from my parents. My mother was the “gatekeeper” of all things pertaining to our family history/heritage. Over 20 years ago she’d gathered lots of information about our family history and one of the things she passed on was a copy of the 1870 U.S. Census verifying that my 5th great-grand father was from Africa. My great grand parents were slaves in Caswell County, North Carolina, who worked to make sure our family grew richly through hard work and education. As a graduate of a North Carolina Historically Black College/University (HBCU) I was educated extensively about our culture/heritage which further verified my pride and love of our ancestors who endured so much. They prayed for us and now we are the recipients’ of that blessing. We should continue to pass along our rich culture to future generations by every available source; word-of-mouth, books/e-books, television/movies, radio, churches, colleges/universities, museums, trips to the Africa continent, family reunions and take advantage of social media. Family reunions are unique to our culture and here is where we can gather a lot of information, combine and disseminate (via electronically) a lot of family history. Word of mouth was how our history was told by our ancestors (because they were beaten/killed if they attempted to read/write) so maybe the family reunion is the starting place to share and document our historical culture/family.

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