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Family Reunion Forum

Our REUNION Made The NEWS!!!

I am telling this happy news in this forum because I want to encourage others to TELL our history to Everyone! Let's shout it to the rooftops!

The history of African American families is so rich. We started from humble beginnings and yet we STILL were able to build STRONG family units.

African Americans need to be continually reminded of that and WHITE Americans need to UNDERSTAND it!!

I must admit, I was still a little worried that a White Newspaper may not "see fit" to print it. After all, it is a clear reminder of slavery and also, for the slaveowner families still in the area, it could be a bitter pill for some to swallow --- but it needs to be swallowed!!

My CLARK ancestors are from Rappahannock VA and we are having our 1st Reunion the beginning of August.....

I started my story with a history of the CLARK family. I inclued a photo of my gg grandmother, Catherine Clark (said that she was born into slavery in Rappahannock and that her slave marriage to THOMAS CLARK was registered with the County Clerk in 1866) and a photo of my father, James Edward Swan(wish I could scan in the pictures to you - they had the same eyes, same nose, same eyebrows - when I looked into the newly found photo of CATHERINE it was as if I looked into the eyes of my dear departed Father.)

I mentioned that my great grand father JAMES EDWARD CLARK and his father THOMAS and HIS father BENJAMIN were all superb Blacksmiths in their town of Little Washington,VA.

I went on to say that my dad, JAMES EDWARD SWAN, graduated from Virginia State in Richmond VA and Howard University Medical School.

I explained how my father used his hands to perform delicate surgeries thus the qualities that were passed on to him from his ancestors took a different twist but still made a meaningful contribution to our world.

I talked about the skill and attention to detail that it took for all of them to use their hands to bring beauty into the world.

Then I mentioned the dates and events that would take place in August for our Reunion. Because most of my relatives left Lil Washington to work in the steel mills in PA, I also included names of families that surrounded our CLARK and CHINN names in the census records.

Hopefully my words will inspired others to write a human interest story that will make the REUNION hometown NEWS!

Best of luck,

Gail CLARK Swan

ps/special thanks to Mel and others that encouraged me to tell my story to the RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY Newspaper

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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