March 2015

SELMA: Bloody Sunday 50th Anniversary

By |March 8th, 2015

Bloody Sunday - 50th Anniversary

“The single-most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘we.’ We the People. We shall overcome. Yes we can. That word is owned by no one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.” — President Obama ‪#‎Selma50‬ ‪#‎MarchOn‬


December 2014

Happy 95th Birthday Aunt Hannah!

By |December 28th, 2014

Aunt Hannah - Christmas 2014

Today is our Great Aunt Hannah’s 95th Birthday and all I can say is, I want to be just like her when I grow up!:)

She was tickled to hear I’d have her on blast via OAR today and enjoying having Gina and the girls visiting from Washington, DC. How blessed are we to have her in our lives?!

Hannah Barwick

Happy Birthday Aunt Hannah! We love you dearly!


pictured: Aunt Hannah with Gina, Jasmine and Jade MARR ~ Christmas 2014 &

Happy Birthday Anbownes!

By |December 7th, 2014

If you missed knowing this REMARKABLE woman, you missed somebody mighty special! God broke the mold with this one! Happy Birthday Fannie Louella JACKSON BARWICK, our Anbownes!:)

Fannie Louella Jackson Barwick

December 7, 1920 – March 5, 1992

November 2014

Spelman University: Where My Family Genealogy & Images Will Call Home

By |November 23rd, 2014

At the turn of the 20th century my Great Grandmother Annie CARTER JACKSON lived on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, GA with my GG Grandmother Marrie, and attended Spelman Seminary with her 2 sisters Fannie and Mattie Wee. As a little girl, I was blessed to hear of their antics at Spelman on many occasions!:)

Grandma JACKSON’s gift for delivering our oral history in the most hysterical fashion, was the catalyst for me. Her memories were where my love of family history took root and her devotion to family, is what anchors my commitment to preserving it.

Annie CARTER JACKSONAs the family historian, I’ve spent 15 years unearthing our Georgia and Alabama heritage. I’ve inherited bibles, historic documents and rare family images from my maternal Grandparents and Mom, and through divine intervention, “acquired” the family bible of my paternal Great Grandmother COBB.

Over the past few years I’ve given MUCH thought to how my personal genealogy archive will be managed in the event of my passing. I’ve been trying to answer one simple but difficult question — what’s the BEST way to ensure my heritage is preserved and our data made accessible to other researchers?

As an advocate for digital preservation I’d considered both and LDS owned Family Search, but in truth neither entity has earned my trust as a researcher of Slave Ancestry. I’m not convinced the digitization of African American history is a ‘true’ priority of either org and I know from personal […]

January 2014

River Rise: Our Ancestors Are Calling…

By |January 3rd, 2014

Gogo & the AncestorsOn many levels I’ve always had a close connection to India.Arie. Our Atlanta roots. Our Oshun nature. My love and respect for her family – Mother, Simpson and Big Bro J’on. Though I didn’t have opportunity to fulfill my promise, in 2009 I was offered a gift to design her brand, Soul Bird. And Lord, the music…

India’s music ALWAYS seems to flow in parallel with my life journey. I often find sanctuary in her melodies.

This morning I take refuge in River Rise from her Testimony: Vol 2, Love & Politics album. By far one of my favorite tracks, River Rise is a beautiful, sincere petition to the Ancestors for guidance. A call to return to all things familiar and soul-fortifying.

As we make final preparations for our first AAGSAR BLOGFEST2014 on Sunday, Jan 5th and set our feet for a New Year overflowing with Ancestor discoveries, this is my wish for myself and all those seeking to connect with their lost lineage.

Not to fly blind. Be my eyes. I surrender. Show me the way…

There was always a power I could feel
It was guidance to tell me the way to go
But nowadays I feel like I can’t hear that voice
I’ve been flying blind
I need You to come and be my eyes

River rise, carry me back home
I cannot remember the way
River rise, carry […]

December 2013

Great Aunt Hannah BARWICK SLAUGHTER ~ Happy 94th Birthday!

By |December 28th, 2013

Hannah BarwickWe are blessed to celebrate the 94th Birthday of Great Aunt Hannah BARWICK SLAUGHTER, daughter of Raymond BARWICK and Lena Mae McKENZIE BARWICK and the baby sister of my Maternal Grandfather Willie Charles BARWICK.

Born in Dothan, Alabama and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Aunt Hannah has two sons (both living) — cousins Ralph BYRD and Greg SLAUGHTER. Greg’s a frequent visitor and commenter to both family blogs!:)

At 94 years young Aunt Hannah still keeps house, maintains her regular salon appointments, attends Sunday church service and rises with the Sun to water her flowers!:)

We still chuckle about the panic she sent me into a few months ago when after calling Aunt Hannah over the course of several days — with NO RESPONSE, I called my sister Gina in a panic, telling her we needed to call the police immediately!

Shortly after getting me off the phone, Gina called back AFTER speaking with Aunt Hannah, who told her she didn’t recognize my NEW NUMBER so she didn’t answer the phone!:)

When I called back I told Aunt Hannah she was 1 niece away from having Mr. Charlie at her door! Boy did we laugh!:)

I’m planning a family trip in February to Nashville to see the Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation Exhibit. I’m looking forward to driving a bit farther to visit Aunt Hannah and sister Aunt Lena (93 years young) in Cincinnati. And yes, I’ll have my handy-dandy portable scanner with me too!:)

Happy Birthday Aunt Hannah! You’re our living family legacy of God’s grace!:)


HISTORIC MOMENT: President Obama Delivers A Eulogy For Nelson Mandela (Transcript)

By |December 10th, 2013

Nelson MANDELA ~ Memorial 12.10.13

Wow! I’ve lived to witness yet another historic moment in time — South Africa’s first Black President, Nelson MANDELA being eulogized by America’s first Black President, Barack OBAMA.

I never want to forget whose shoulders I stand on. How many of my Ancestors never lived to experience true freedom — how many died for just a taste of it. I never want to take for granted what went into making me a person who loves and embraces who I AM. And may I never forget my accountability to my family and community — they are one in the same.

A historic day that reminds me to be diligent and conscious of the legacy I’m creating. And hopeful of the day many years removed, to have grands and great grands to share all of the things I’ve been blessed to witness in my lifetime.

As I tell my Daughter each morning as she heads into her school…


Hamba Kahle Nelson MANDELA. Your work on Mother Earth is complete.

Full transcript

President Obama Delivers A Eulogy For Nelson Mandela

To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests – it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other. To the people of South Africa – people of every race and walk of life – the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with […]

William C. BARWICK ~ The Superintendent: Don’t Nothing Come To A Sleeper

By |December 9th, 2013

William Charles BarwickBut a DREAM!

The older I get, the more I realize how much of my approach to life and determination is inherited from my Maternal Grandfather, William Charles BARWICK!:)

We grew up calling Willie C. “E”. He was a man’s man — muscular, strong, naturally athletic! He had muscles long before we had gyms and to this day is still the most impeccably dressed man I’ve ever known.

E believed in defining his own destiny, which given his VERY humble upbringing and the challenging social climate he was born into is a feat in itself! He wrote his own rules; an entrepreneur is EVERY sense of the word. Charming as all get out, loyal to family and possessing a heart of gold.

Willie C. rose with the Sun — nobody lingered in the bed in my Grandparents house!:)

I can still see him now in the kitchen — pot of oatmeal on the stove and toast with tiny slivers of butter in the oven , coffee cup in one hand, Cincinnati Inquirer newspaper in the other, cigarette dangling from his lip.

E never stopped pushing. Never stopped believing. Never stopped working to make life better for himself and those he loved.

Life loving and adventure seeking, my Grandfather never allowed ANYTHING to determine what he was capable of accomplishing, and expected his children and grands to follow suit.

As I sit here this morning taking in the Angels whose strength I still call on to keep me going, I realize now, my Granddaddy was remarkable!

My guy… The Superintendent. Thank you!:)

Don’t nothing come to a sleeper […]

58th Anniversary Montgomery Bus Boycott ~ December 5th 1955

By |December 6th, 2013


Holt Street Baptist Church during the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. (From Montgomery Advertiser files)

November 2013

THANKFUL: Little Gerrie BARWICK 1941-2013

By |November 27th, 2013

“We don’t see the same history….Our history is not dead facts in a book. Our history is alive and still going on. It’s in our songs and stories and the roots of every tree.” ~ Grampa Sky

Little Gerrie BARWICK

Last night my sister Gina sent me a welcomed surprise, little Gerrie BARWICK (Mama – front row; 3rd from left).

Mama’s expression reminded me of the days before Jaiya became “Ms. Glam” and had yet to realize you smile on pics! That’s the EXACT same expression I have on dozens of her pictures!:)

My first Thanksgiving on this planet without my Mom, I’d be lying to say my heart isn’t a little heavy.

But I’m oh so thankful to have such an amazing Mother, who made me the uncompromising, warrior spirit I am. Thankful for the Mother she taught me to be. Thankful for the blessings her MULTITUDE of prayers have afforded me.

Thankful this Thanksgiving, my Mama’s at peace and surrounded by love.

Peace and ease Mama… don’t worry about me.

All is well with my soul!:)


{Quote Source: thanks to AAGSAR Member LaKesha of Honoring Our History}