By Walter B. Curry, Jr., Ed. D

The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History

 

The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History, is the first volume in a narrative history about the descendants of two families that share a common ancestor, Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison, born into slavery, in 1849, in Aiken County, South Carolina. The book documents the beginnings of the family saga through Martha’s life during slavery, The Civil War, The Reconstruction Era and family life. The book documents the saga with contextualized resurrected stories of relatives who were forgotten over the years who were contributory figures of African American history in South Carolina, and beyond.

The book includes the famed stories of Floster L. Ellison, Jr., during the Civil Rights Movement, who became the co-founder of the Palmetto State Barbers Association and the first African American Barber Inspector In the State of South Carolina; and Tommy Ellison, whose experiences as a youth singing on the children choir, inspired him to pursue a legendary career in gospel music, affectionately known by many of his fans as “Mr. Superstar of Gospel”.

The book includes an appendix section which consists of individual pictures, documented history of places and events, and primary sources.

Literary Titan Gold Award Winner

 

By Walter B. Curry, Jr., Ed. D

The Thompson Family: Untold Stories From The Past (1830-1960)

 

Through the stories of enslaved ancestors and notable relatives, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960) chronicles the rich history of an prominent African American family from the Wagener and Salley communities of Aiken County, South Carolina that features stories of individuals who were enslaved, served in the Civil War, achieved entrepreneurial success during the Jim Crow era, and much more. The book includes an appendix section which consists of individual pictures, documented history of places and events, and primary sources.

The book is the 2019 African American Genealogical and Historical Society Book Award Winner (Non-Fiction/Genealogy) and Literary Titan Gold Award Winner.

Award winning Author

Walter B. Curry, Jr., Ed. D

Walter B. Curry, Jr., Ed. D is a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dr. Curry received a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Carolina State University, and has earned several graduate degrees in education, which includes a doctorate degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Argosy University,

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Sarasota. Dr. Curry has taught middle school social studies for five years and currently is an adjunct professor of education at Claflin University.

 

In 2018, Dr. Curry launched Renaissance Publications, LLC. On September 1, 2018, he published his first genealogy book, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960). The book chronicles the reflections and experiences of his relatives that shed new light on African American History in Aiken County and South Carolina.  In October 2019, Dr. Curry received the 2019 African American Historical and Genealogy Society Book Award in the Non-Fiction Category-Genealogy for his book. On February 12, 2020, the South Carolina Legislature recognized Dr. Curry for his significant work in service to African American History and Heritage in South Carolina and congratulate him on his book award.

 

Dr. Curry is a member of several civic, historical, and professional organizations which includes: South Carolina Genealogical Society, South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce, Aiken-Barnwell Genealogical Society,  Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum, Aiken County Historical Society, Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society, African American Historical and Genealogical Society.  He is also a volunteer for the International African American Museum. As a volunteer, he coordinates outreach efforts to local stakeholders to solicit memberships and partnerships.

 

In addition, Dr. Curry has done several book signings and presentations at local conferences, workshops, bookstores, and schools across the state and nationwide. His most recent project is “Salley and The Thompson Family” an exhibit in the Aiken County Historical Museum that featured the founding of Salley, South Carolina and the illumination of his ancestors and relative stories through artifacts and primary sources.

 

Dr. Curry currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Takiyah S. Curry, who is a registered nurse and graduate of the University of South Carolina. They have two sons, Braxton & Braylon.

 

Schedule an Event

Below are some of the ways you can engage Renaissance Publications for presentations and speaking engagements.

Presentations

The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History (Groups Only)

The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History, is the first volume in a narrative history about the descendants of two families that share a common ancestor, Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison, born into slavery, in 1849, in Aiken County, South Carolina. The book documents the beginnings of the family saga through Martha’s life during slavery, The Civil War, The Reconstruction Era, and family life. The book documents the saga with contextualized resurrected stories of relatives who were forgotten over the years who contributed to African American history in South Carolina, and beyond.

The history includes the famed stories of Floster L. Ellison, Jr., during the Civil Rights Movement, who became the co-founder of the Palmetto State Barbers Association and the first African American Barber Inspector In the State of South Carolina; and Tommy Ellison, whose experiences as a youth singing on the children choir, inspired him to pursue a legendary career in gospel music, affectionately known by many of his fans as “Mr. Superstar of Gospel”.

 

The Thompson Family: Untold Stories From the Past (1830-1960) (Groups Only)
Through the stories of enslaved ancestors and notable relatives, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960) chronicles the rich history of an prominent African American family from the Wagener and Salley communities of Aiken County, South Carolina that features stories of individuals who were enslaved, served in the Civil War, achieved entrepreneurial success during the Jim Crow era, and much more.
Writing Family History Book Series: The Narrative Inquiry Approach (Groups Only)
A narrative is a story or an account. While there is no mainstream research design in family history, narrative inquiry is a research method that uses narratives as units of analysis to contextualize and interpret to create meaning. Learn about how to incorporate narrative inquiry to research and write your family history book.
Examples from the award winning book, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories From the Past (1830-1960) will be used during the presentation.                                                Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

 

 

 

Writing Family History Book Series: The Narrative History Approach (Groups Only)

Narrative history is the practice of writing history in a story-based form. It tends to entail writing based on reconstructing a series of short-term events about individuals or specific events in a broader context.  Learn about how to write a narrative history about your relatives and the process in writing your family history book using the narrative history approach.

Examples from the acclaim book, The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History will be used during the presentation.

 

Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

Speaking Engagements

Book Dr. Curry for your next speaking engagement. 

“Reviving historical scholarship through ancestry”

Upcoming Events

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2019 African American Historical and Genealogical Society Book Award (Non-Fiction Category-Genealogy)

The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960)

Dr. Walter B. Curry, Jr. selected to the Inaugural 40 under 40 Class

"Dr. Walter B. Curry, Jr. selected to the Inaugural 40 under 40 Class. The purpose of the 40 under 40 Class is to honor and engage 40 South Carolina State University young alumni who are making strides in their careers, contributions to their communities, or impressions on the SCSU campus and beyond".

Richland 2 School District Black History Month Honoree

Dr. Curry was selected as one of the 2022 Richland 2 School District Black History Month Honorees for contributions to Black history and culture through the establishment of Renaissance Publications, LLC/

South Carolina House of Representatives & Senate Resolutions

From left to right:

Rep. Jerry N. Govan, Jr. (D-Orangeburg)., Chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, Rep. Bill Taylor (R-Aiken), Dr. Walter B. Curry, Jr., and Rep. Ivory Thigpen (D-Richland).

A House Resolution to honor and recognize Dr. Walter B. Curry, Jr., for his significant contributions to African American History and Heritage in South Carolina and to congratulate him on receiving the 2019 International African American Historical and Genealogical Society Book Award.

Martha Schofield "Working The Legacy" Award

Dr. Curry was selected as one of the 2022 Martha Schofield "Working The Legacy" Award". This award is given to individuals who have contributed their talents and work that mirror the educational legacy of Martha Schofield, who founded Schofield Normal & Industrial Institute, an school for African American children located in Aiken, South Carolina in 1871.

2021 Literary Titan Book Gold Awards

The Thompson Family: Untold Stories From The Past (1830-1960) & The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History. For more information about Literary Titan, go to www.literarytitan.com.