Update on research

Never imagined that my research would result in this, but I realized no researcher does. Classes have just started, yet this semester is almost done. The reason behind my absent, actual I been just reading other people’s blogs.

This semester was my first semester as a history major after biology, sociology and anthropology, and politics…my one true love. I am taking 18 credits and 12 are in history ( Historical Methods, U.S. History, and Civil War America).

I am currently working on three papers:

1. From Slave to Sergeant: The Story of Harry F. Flowers and the Twenty-First Regiment United States Colored Troops

2. Still working on the title,  but I am thinking of something along the lines of The 20th Century African American Woman in the New Promised Land: The Biography of Rachel Helen Flowers (1900-1988). This paper is difficult. I have my sources, all 82 of them, but creating a title and focusing on one aspect of someone’s life is not an easy task if you are writing about the life of someone like Rachel Flowers. I have realized throughout this research that I am giving Rachel a voice for  no one knows her story and she is no longer with us to tell her own story. It is going to be a challenge, but I will try to tell her story in the best way that I can. I find it ironic for me to tell the story of a “voiceless” woman who raised her voice a number of times throughout her life in issues regarding racial injustice, but that is just the way it is.

3. The third paper is a position paper. All I am going to say is Lord help me. I am looking to write on the perception of race and children, but who knows.

I also gave two presentations throughout the semester, one for returning multicultural and international alumni and one for the NCMSLC conference. The first presentation went surprisingly well. I was extremely nervous and did not write the speech until the night before (do not judge me, I had been working on it for weeks). Everyone enjoyed it and asked a few questions. The second presentation was in front of a group of around 10 students, small conference due to Hurricane Sandy. They all enjoyed it and wanted to know how to start the research at their own schools. Presenting is nerve-racking, but secretly I love it.

I also applied for a library grant, I find out if I receive the grant on November 14th. I hope I won, I have to go to Mississippi to read Rachel’s sister, Hilda, personal papers and record. I also want to know who donated her items to the archives. If I do receive the award, I have to do a presentation. I also have to do one for the SGA Grant. This is becoming a little overwhelming, maybe they will not remember that I owe them a presentation.  For my senior year, which is coming up soon, I am hoping to do a research honors project, but this means I have to focus my research on a certain topic which breaks my heart. I want the entire Flowers’ family history to be known, but it might be impossible to do in two semesters.

Topic ideas:

1. Digital family tree: My heart will not be broken because at the end of the day my stubborn self will have her way. This digital family tree will be interactive and each member of the family would be listed and you will be able to click on each person names and be sent to their biography page along with articles referencing their names. By digital, I mean a website.

2. The complete biographies of Rachel and Vincent Flowers. They are both alumni of the college and it would be nice for their stories to be known and remembered.

3. The written biography of the Flowers’ family and how they represent the lives of African Americans from slavery to the Civil Rights Movement.

More ideas will come in the future, but for now I will settle with these three. Too much to do, so little time. I also realized it is impossible for me to finish Rachel’s story. The last census during her lifetime that she will be in will not be released to the public until 2052. My hope is to leave something like time capsules for future students to continue the research where I stop who knows maybe I will be famous historian and can create a scholarship for history students. Sounds like a plan!

As the semester draws to an end, I will be leaving for Lithuania soon. It will be an interesting, unique, and questionable semester abroad. A black woman in Eastern Europe, that is something different to blog about. I hope you all are enjoying the blog, thank you for reading.

Until the next post.

Family tree of the Rachel’s parents and siblings, not included are their spouses and children



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