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 in Aiken County and beyond. The book documents the saga with contextualized resurrected stories of relatives who were contributory figures of African American history in South Carolina and beyond.

2023 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist-African American/Non Fiction

2023 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist-Regional Non-Fiction/Southeast

2022 African American Historical & Genealogical Society Book Award Winner-Non-Fiction/Regional Genealogy

Literary Titan Gold Award 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

2019 African American Genealogical and Historical Society Book Award Winner-Non-Fiction/Genealogy

Literary Titan Gold Award

 Founder

Walter B. Curry, Jr., Ed. D

Dr. Walter B. Curry, Jr., 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 graduate degrees in education, which includes a doctorate degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Argosy University, Sarasota. In 2018, Dr. Curry launched Renaissance Publications, LLC., a self-publishing company that focuses on publishing and producing works in the literary arts, specializing in historical scholarship through ancestry and local history. Dr. Curry has published two award winning books, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960), and The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol.1, A Narrative History. Both books consist of stories that covers the lineage of Dr. Curry ancestry from slavery, The Civil War, The Reconstruction Era, and family life near Salley, South Carolina and beyond. Dr. Curry has done book signings and presentations at local conferences, workshops, bookstores, and schools across the state and nationwide.

Dr. Curry is the Author-In-Residence at the Aiken Center for the Arts. As an Author-In-Residence, Dr. Curry provide learning engagements though exhibits to Aiken County Public Schools that brings the stories from his books to life. Dr. Curry has received numerous accolades for his work and service which includes two African American Historical and Genealogy Society book awards; legislative resolutions from the South Carolina General Assembly for his significant work in service to African American History and Heritage in South Carolina; Literary Titan Gold Awards; a recipient of the Martha Schofield “Work The Legacy” Award; member of the Inaugural South Carolina State University 40 Under 40; and selected as a 2022 Richland Two School District Black History Month honoree. Dr. Curry also serves as member of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum Commission, the South Carolina Arts Directory, and the South Carolina Humanities Speakers Bureau. 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

Writing Your Family History: Getting Started-

Writing your family history may seem like a daunting task, but when relatives are intrigued, you can develop ideas to make your family history project a reality. This presentation will focus on the five steps to help you start writing your family history, including examples and resources. Handouts will be given.

Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

 

Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison

Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison was born enslaved on November 20, 1849, in Aiken County, South Carolina. This presentation tells the contextualized story of her life, featuring local history of the antebellum period and Civil War in South Carolina during Martha’s enslavement; a historical account of Martha’s life during the Reconstruction Era; the circumstances that involved Martha’s marriages to two husbands; and post Reconstruction era through the Gilded Age (1875-1900) during Martha’s life.

Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

 

Lavinia C. Thompson-The Personal Story of Slavery, The Civil War, and Family Life in South Carolina

The presentation will focus on the fascinating story of Lavinia C. Thompson who was born into slavery in South Carolina on June 3, 1844 in Aiken County. She would follow her master into battle in the Civil War, serving the Confederate army as a cook. Six decades later, Lavinia would be among about 100 black South Carolinians who received small pensions for their involuntary service to the Confederate cause.

Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

 

South Carolina African American Confederate Pensioners

Do you know that there were over 100 African American Confederate Pensioners from 42 of the 46 counties across South Carolina?  This presentation will cover the initial usage of enslaved labor to South Carolina military efforts during the Civil War; the diverse roles of African American Confederate Pensioners during the Civil War; South Carolina approval of Confederate pensions for African Americans; notable features of South Carolina African American Pensioner application. The presentation will also offer suggestions for historical and genealogical projects to broaden the stories of South Carolina African Confederate Pensioners.

Presentation mode: Online or In-Person

 

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 a prominent African American family from Salley, South Carolina features stories of individuals who were enslaved, a woman served as an enslaved cook during the Civil War, and agricultural life. 

Presentation: 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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