Free Persons of Color

To Be Free, Discovering FPOC in My Family Tree

Image of Vintage American Flag

  I never considered that there might be free persons of color (FPOC) in my family’s history. I assumed that they were all  enslaved. After all, my family is African American, from the deep south, Louisiana, and there was no oral or written history to make me believe otherwise. My father’s people were able to tell me some things about my paternal line – that  Isadore McKee was my grandfather and that Charley McKee my great grandfather. But no one could tell me who Charley’s father was! It seemed as though any recollection of him, his generation, and preceding generations had already been lost. So it all began back in 2011 with question – Who was Charley Mckee’s father? A death certificate ordered from the Louisiana State Archive would yield  the name of his father James Mckee and his mother Virgina. Birth place of father was listed as Louisiana and birth…

Their Labor

Their Labor Revealed

While on my journey of ancestral research and discovery, I have been intrigued by the many occupations in which my ancestors, relatives, and their neighbors  labored in order to earn a living or satisfy their enslavers.  There were those who rotated between several jobs and those changed careers though out the course of their lives. Here are just a few of the occupations in which they worked: Dietitian/Nutritionist, Military Police, Teacher, Principal, Preacher, Homemaker, Seamstress, Food Service Worker, Domestic, Servant, Rice Farmer, Sugar Farmer, Soldier, Mechanic, Technician, Dock Worker, Barber, Carpenter, Laundress, Laborer, and Slave. Here is a sampling of my predecessors and their peers listed along with mention of their primary occupations. More than likely they had legitimate side hustles in order to make ends meets. 1910 Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana , United States Federal Census Oscar St. Louis a rice farmer Auguste Nelson a sugar farmer   1930 New…