May 2016

With three semesters of graduate school under my belt,  I finished with a 4.0 GPA (look at God!). Honestly, this past school year was full of many challenges whether it was lack of motivation, regret, family, or extreme exhaustion. Nonetheless, I made it and I also passed my thesis proposal defense.

I neglected this blog due to lack in time management (if I can be honest). Despite the multiple “I am back!”posts, I decided to return to blogging when I finished this semester. After a summer vacation and birthday trip to Panama City, Panama, I will spend the majority of my summer in Harlem at the Schomburg Center and at my alma mater, Messiah College, to conduct research on the Sawyer-Flowers family. If you are new to this blog, please check out my previous posts and ‘About’ page for more information on my research. If you are familiar with my blog, you will notice the new addition to the Flowers research–the Sawyers–which is Rachel’s maternal family line.

In March, I presented on “What Shall I Teach My Children Who Are Black?”: The Intellectual Biography of Geraldine Louise Wilson. The moderator of my section happened to be my adviser. She enjoyed my research and presentation; therefore we both decided to focus on the theme of educational activism in the Sawyers-Flowers family.  It was a huge stress relief because it was difficult to organize a thesis on the entire family’s history. This research begins with the biography of Joseph Sawyer, Rachel’s grandfather, and concludes with the biography of Geraldine Wilson, his great-granddaughter. In between the first and third chapter, Chapter Two focuses on the life of Rachel Flowers, Sawyer’s granddaughter. In this multi-generational family biography, I investigate their work in terms of education activism in the cities of Jacksonville, Florida, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Jackson, Mississippi.

I plan to start this research from scratch. I worked on the Flowers biography since 2012; therefore, I want to approach this research with a fresh set of eyes. My posts will reflect my work, whether it is bibliographies, archival research findings, and posts regarding African American biography, religion, education, and race relations in America. In order to prepare myself for the writing of this thesis, I will utilize Zotero to organize my sources and notes. I also enjoy writing the research on large easel pads, specifically the adhesive ones that sticks onto my walls. I recommend this for anyone conducting genealogy research and who tends to be a visual person.

If you have any tips or insight along the way, please do not hesitate to leave a message below:) Outside of my research, I am simply drawings, reading Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, and Alice Walker, and researching future PhD programs in history and law. All that to say it is good to be back…for the hundredth time!

Until the next post,




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