Real Experiences for BHM 2016: Slave Ancestry

The last day of Black History Month, on this special leap day.😃 If you know me well, you know I'm kinda obsessed with back tracing my family history. Its not very hard to see the tree branching out, but getting back beyond the great-great grandparents is difficult; not just for me, but for Black families in general. I mean, when your ancestors were denied birth certificates, counted as property instead of people, and denied education, it's kinda hard to piece together who's who. Aparently, my dad tried this as well and since he was around when the people who would know something were still young enough to know they knew something; he got pretty far. He found ancestor named Sarah Kocumba (the name Sarah making it's way down to my aunt, and the name Kocumba—nah I have no idea how it's supposed to be spelled—making its way to my pen name) way way back. He also found my great x 3-grandfather: Suffrin—as in "suffering," as in life was so bad there was suffering and my great x 4-grandmother forsaw more suffering and named her son as such. #SlaveNames I guess it's good that we've come so far from that type of atrocity, otherwise I'd have to name my child...I don't know...Breathless.[1] #BlackHistoryMonth2016 #MakeItCount #SayTheirNames #Suffrin

Photocredit: ShutterStock/JAWIJAY


  1. Terry Gross. "'I Can't Breathe' Examines Modern Policing And The Life And Death Of Eric Garner". NPR. October 23, 2017

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