2022 Gamble Family Reunion in South Carolina

At the beginning of August, my biological uncle Robert and I attended the 2022 Gamble family reunion, held in Charleston, South Carolina. Black Gamble descendants have been meeting annually since the 1970s, in different places around the country. 

Slavery History in the South Carolina Low Country

In this audio newsletter I start by giving some brief updates about my project and talking about my recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina – a place that I will definitely return to in upcoming months. I also share an informal, yet extremely informative interview...

Honoring the U.S. Colored Troops

This Memorial Day I'm thinking about a group of heroic soldiers from deep in our country's history. Nearly 180,000 free Black men and escaped slaves served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They joined what was officially called the United States Colored Troops,...
2022 Gamble Family Reunion in South Carolina

2022 Gamble Family Reunion in South Carolina

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end of this post.... At the beginning of August, my biological uncle Robert and I attended the 2022 Gamble family reunion, held in Charleston, South Carolina. Black Gamble descendants have been meeting annually since the...

Slavery History in the South Carolina Low Country

Slavery History in the South Carolina Low Country

In this audio newsletter I start by giving some brief updates about my project and talking about my recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina – a place that I will definitely return to in upcoming months. I also share an informal, yet extremely informative interview...

Honoring the U.S. Colored Troops

Honoring the U.S. Colored Troops

This Memorial Day I'm thinking about a group of heroic soldiers from deep in our country's history. Nearly 180,000 free Black men and escaped slaves served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They joined what was officially called the United States Colored Troops,...

The White Spot

The White Spot

When my adoptive father attended UVA's medical school from 1957-1961, Charlottesville was segregated. He wasn't allowed to eat in restaurants or go to movie theaters. He wasn't allowed to visit Monticello, US President (and UVA founder) Thomas Jefferson's home....

Teresa Walker Price

Teresa Walker Price

One of the highlights of my time in Charlottesville, VA was spending a few hours with Teresa Walker Price. ⠀ When my adoptive dad talked about his time at UVA, Teresa usually came up. She was one of a few allies the Black medical students had at a time when Blacks...

University of Virginia Medical School

University of Virginia Medical School

One of the main reasons we went to Virginia last month was to attend University of Virginia’s inaugural Black Medical Alumni Weekend. It originally had been scheduled for June 2020, and my adoptive father, Bill Womack, had been invited as alumni. But it was postponed...

Visiting my dad’s childhood home

Visiting my dad’s childhood home

I'm sharing my first true “sound bite from the road" - originally published in my audio newsletter.  I recorded it on the first morning of my first Traveling My Roots trip last month. I think it captures the flavor of what this project is about. What you’ll hear is...

Paying my Respects to the Smiths

Paying my Respects to the Smiths

During our last morning in Lynchburg we stopped by the Old City Cemetery on a mission to find the resting place of my adoptive great-grandfather William R. Smith (1852-1928) and his wife, Rosa Crawford Smith (1865-1945). ⠀ Established in 1806, Old City Cemetery is the...

Exploring Pamplin VA

Exploring Pamplin VA

Two of my Womack cousins came to meet us in Virginia. My dad didn't talk much about his childhood, but he did tell me about the Branfords. He loved going to NYC in the summers to visit cousins Walter (Sonny) Branford and his brother George (Smitty). That’s when my dad...

Court Street Baptist Church

Court Street Baptist Church

My adopted grandmother, Fannie Smith Womack (1900-1988) and her mother Rosa Crawford Smith (1865-1945) were both members of Lynchburg's historic Court Street Baptist Church for their entire lives. My dad grew up singing in the church choir. ⠀ The congregation...

Dunbar High School

Dunbar High School

Dunbar High School was an African-American school in Lynchburg, VA from 1923-1970. My adoptive father, Bill Womack, attended Dunbar, and his mother Fannie S. Womack taught there for 40 years. ⠀ Sadly, the original building was torn down in 1979. I went to the site...

301 Federal Street

301 Federal Street

I didn't know how I felt standing in front of my adoptive dad's childhood home on the corner of 3rd & Federal St., Lynchburg, VA. It was strange to be here without him, visiting a place he didn't feel inclined to take me to or spend time talking about. I think we...

Stay in the loop.

My audio newsletter delivers occasional sound bites from road, sharing some of what I'm experiencing and learning along the way. It's like an informal mini-podcast sent directly to you.