What about the Sons and Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage?

If you are like me and have ties to African American and/or Afro Caribbean ancestry — even a smidget — you are likely a candidate for membership in this great organization: Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage.

Take the time to learn more about historical events involving our special category of ancestors. We devote at leat five hours per week to researching and learning more about Black genealogy.

Start right here with this conference. It begins Frday, May 21, 2021 at 5:45 p.m. EDT. Welcome to the annual conference!

For more information about the Friday-Saturday conference, check out its event page. Be sure to register and also consider adding a donation:


Friday, May 21, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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This is an online event. You must register to receive the link to program.  Space is limited.  Register now.


Dr. Evelyn A. McDowell 
Sons & Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage 
email: info@sdusmp.org

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2021 Annual Conference and

Annual Award Ceremony

On Friday, May 21, we will hold our 5th annual awards ceremony. We honor the work of individuals who helped us, through their service and research, remember and commemorate the estimated 10 million people who were enslaved in the United States and colonial Engish America. Our keynote speaker will be Nicka Sewell-Smith, and our networking event will follow the awards ceremony.  

On Saturday, May 22, we hold our 4th annual conference. This year we have over 18 presentations, including “ancestor poster sessions,” a networking/gaming event, and service and book awards. Nicka Swell-Smith will be our plenary speaker before we break into three breakout rooms. In those rooms, we will hear over 10 presentations throughout the day. At lunchtime, we will cook with Chef Keesha O’Galdez and hear a presentation from genealogist Andre Kerns. There will be a business meeting for members of the organization after the conference.  

Other speakers include Bernice Bennett, Ric Murphy, Rahkia Nance, Margo Lee Williams, and Yvette LaGonterie. See our conference website for complete information about events and bios of our speakers.  

More Information

Please visit our conference website for full information about the conference.

Consider a Donation

Please conside a donation to help us fullfil our mssion and to defray the cost of programing.  We are grateful for any amount.  SDUSMP is a 501(3), charitable  organization and all donations are tax-exempt.  We are a 100% volunteer organization and all of your donation goes directly into furthering our mission.  Just go to www.paypal.me/sdusmp and make your contribution.  Thank you in advance.  Register Now!

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#9 Tribute for a new ancestor: Take note on how to write a resolution to honor a loved one

I had the honor of working with a fine man, William Durant, during my tenure as Director, Fulton County (Atlanta, GA) Government’s Information and Public Affairs Department. That was several years ago. From time to time, I wonder what became of Bill and a few other fine co-workers from various career appointments that I was fotunate to hold.

Last year, I “found” Bill. My cousin, Mark Owen, and I noticed his name and image in a newlsetter of a then-new organization we joined, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Metro Atlanta Chapter (AAHGS) We were elated as Mark and I had wonderful memories of working with Bill.

Today, I received a sad notice that his Bill’s mother has passed. I intend to send Bill and his family a bereaement acknowledgement. What I appreiate about the anouncement is that it included a bio of his mother as presented in a proclamation by the South Carolina legislature.

How Roberta Dannelly Durant is still teaching us an important lesson

For budding or longtime genealogists, note the writing capture about the honored life of of Mrs. Durant. The resolution is a textbook example of how to present someone’s life to those who knew her and others of us who did not know this historic lady.

South Carolina General Assembly
122nd Session, 2017-2018

Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

H. 5344


House Resolution
Sponsors: Reps. Alexander and Henegan
Document Path: l:\council\bills\rm\1392cz18.docx

Introduced in the House on May 1, 2018
Adopted by the House on May 1, 2018

Summary: Roberta Dannelly Durant


     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
    5/1/2018  House   Introduced and adopted (House Journal-page 55)

View the latest legislative information at the website


(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)



Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives are pleased to learn that Roberta Dannelly Durant of Florence is marking three quarters of a century as a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), the nation’s first sorority established by African-American women; and

Whereas, born in Bishopville the sixth of seven children, she graduated in 1940 from Mathers Academy in Camden; and

Whereas, in 1943, the young Roberta pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Sigma Chapter, at what was to become South Carolina State College, from which she graduated in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in business education; and

Whereas, as a new teacher, she taught at Carver Elementary School in Florence. During that first year in the classroom, she taught thirty third-grade students, being determined to touch each one every day. She retired after more than thirty years as an educator; and

Whereas, on March 8, 1952, Roberta Durant became one of seventeen charter members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Epsilon Chi Omega Chapter, in Florence. She has been a member of AKA for seventy-five years and is now a Diamond Member of the sorority, which she has served as president, financial secretary, and parliamentarian. In addition, she has served on a number of committees, among them the By-laws, Cotillion, Health, and Family and Friends Day committees, the latter as chair. She also has directed plays presented in the community by the sorority; and

Whereas, a woman of faith, Mrs. Durant serves her God at Cumberland United Methodist Church (UMC). Past and present service for the church includes the following: member and president of the Cumberland Organization of United Methodist Women, district treasurer of the United Methodist Women, chair of both the Cumberland UMC Finance Committee and Stewardship Committee, director of the Methodist Youth Fellowship Program, first den mother for the Cumberland Boy Scouts, Bible study coordinator, Sunday School teacher, and team leader for the Nurture/Class Leader Committee; and

Whereas, Roberta Durant believes strongly in personal involvement with her community, and her convictions have led her to serve that community, as well as the broader community of South Carolina and beyond, in several capacities. These include membership on the Florence County Disabilities & Special Needs Board, in the National Council of Negro Women and Pelican House Board for Light House Ministries, and volunteer service for the Duke Foundation. In the 1980s, she served as a member of the Election Commission for the City of Florence, and in 1981 she was one of the appellants in a court case argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals to place attorney Mordecai Johnson on the city council ballot by petition; and

Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives is grateful for Roberta Durant’s life of service and her remarkable legacy, and the members commend her for seventy-five years of devoted membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:

That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and honor Roberta Dannelly Durant of Florence and congratulate her as she celebrates seventy-five remarkable years as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Roberta Dannelly Durant.—-XX—-

This web page was last updated on May 31, 2018 at 4:51 PM

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