This post was inspired through current re-dedication efforts to Blog more about my Ancestors and research findings along the way. There is a plethora of field research findings, testimony and historical capers that transcend lifetimes for which I’ve been exposed. Yet Elders say, “bit-by-bit” as ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER and so I press forward into this Harvest Season, bearing the fruits of my genealogical research, findings and illuminating historical facts and stories of African Ancestored folk. #RiteOn
Below is a post update to my #Dancestory2015 project, its theme: Whose Do You Belong to?! I share a glimpse about my unforgettable visit to the incomparable “Purchased Lives” Exhibit at the Historic New Orleans Collection March. 7th – July 18th, 2015, documenting the United States Domestic Slave Trade. It took me about 3-4 days to digest the enormity of information, tangible artifacts on view and rare testimonies of African-Ancestored Ancestral voices on display. Couldn’t help but think about the gross void of information concerning African American contributions in my High school’s American History class – yet my blessing and deepest gratitude is for the Berkeley High School African American Studies Department, the only of its kind in California of its time — where a cadre of professorship serving as our Mentors and Teachers fostered the daily nourishment of OURstory, giving us wings to catapult through the ignorance of systematic racism, bred through American Public Education. Thus the historical component of my genealogical field research is vital to conceptualizing the wholistic story of African Ancestored people.
A Special thank you to Berkeley High School Teachers then, Mr. McKnight, Professor Austin, my Dancestor, Paula Mc Cullum of African/Jazz/Dunham Dance, and Communal Ancestor, Mr Richard Navies, a conscious raising warrior of brilliant leadership.
Interview theme “Whose Do You Belong to?!” conceived by Regina Califa, #Dancestory Project Curator, hosted by Wanda Sabir New Orleans native and celebrated International Journalist/Activist of Wanda’s Picks.com [originally recorded 08.07.15]
“Dancestory” is a guided movement source of embodied knowledge – UNEARTHED. It incites exploration of cultural pathways and Ancestral histories, bridged with field-research and Technology.
Southern California-– I am a double Family descendant belonging to the Coleman and the Culversons on my maternal side and at the helm hails my 90 year old Grandmother Elsie Waters, daughter of Mabel Coleman and Cleveland Culverson of West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. My Grandmother along with my Grandfather married as “Waters” although they had known each other since my Grandmother was 13 years old. They moved to West Oakland, California at the end of WWII and bought their 1st piece of property on Campbell Street.
Our Southern California Colemans and Culversons were the host for this year’s Family Reunion. I was absolutely thrilled to be in attendance, to share my love for Family History at the same time to speak with Elders who would know the story beneath the story of the many living Elders and their descendants and of our celebrated Patriarch, Perry Coleman. Tis a major feat to bridge the convening of these double cousins, yet Coleman and Culverson Families have organized reunion for nearly 17 years. I am fortunate to have been a part of the Northern California branch to launch its first Family History pamphlets and books in 1993, inspired by my Grandfather Claude Waters Jr, these efforts forwarded to this day by my Grandmother Elsie Waters – Today there are 5 pieces of self-produced booklets, with another project underway.
Coleman & Culverson Family Reunion pix
[upper lft] Family Matriarchs
[upper rt] Taking notes in consultation with Family Elders at the table.
[btm left] Bakersfield 2017 Family Reunion Announcement by Cousins O.C. and Odella Johnson
[btm right] In the grand scheme of things, nothing else matters but the love and compassion that we show to one another. ~Pastor J. R. Coleman The Word Community Church, Fresno, CA
“Don’t ever think or allow anyone to tell you that the deities and ancestors don’t walk with you in America as they do elsewhere. Remember, wherever you are thus goes the Spirits.” ~Mami Wata Healers Society