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

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


The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Familiy 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. The book documents the family saga of Martha’s family of sharecroppers who lived near Williston, South Carolina during the Reconstruction Era and the circumstances that involved her marriages to Dave Seawright, Sr. and Joseph Ellison, Sr. The book documents the saga with contextualized resurrected stories of relatives that were forgotten and fragmented over the years who lived in Aiken, Orangeburg, and Richland counties in South Carolina and New York City.

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 relative to the family saga.

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.


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.
The presentation cost is $100 (5 books, $25.00 each). Groups who schedule an in-person presentation would like to host a book signing event will receive 30% of the sales proceeds.
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, V ol.1, A Narrative History will be used during the presentation.

The presentation cost is $175 (5 books, $35.00 each)  Groups who schedule an in-person presentation would like to host a book signing event will receive 30% of the sales proceeds.

Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

Speaking Engagements

Book Dr. Curry for your next speaking engagement. 



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

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

Graphic Novel

Through the stories of enslaved ancestors and notable relatives, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960) chronicles the rich history of this Aiken County family. Several narratives that include a slave who purchased his freedom, an enslaved relative who served as a cook in the Confederate Army, a young relative who was tragically murdered, and a sharecropper who became a prominent soil conservationist.

This book provides thoughtful insight on how family stories of hard life in servitude as slaves to achieving personal successes, personal/civic responsibility, sacrifice, ultimate freedom, overcoming adversity, and redemption gives us all a greater appreciation of how the past helps shape our narrative today.

The book won the 2019 African American Genealogical and Historical Society Book Award ( Non-Fiction/Genealogy).

” Reviving Authentic Knowledge Through Genealogical Scholarship “

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