It is not my intent to use this site to talk about current events, but when they keep cropping up with direct connections to African American genealogy; I feel compelled to post.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates (before his unfortunate episode with the police earlier this year) produced a fantastic series called African American Lives. The two part series was devoted to using a variety of genealogical methods to uncovering the ancestral pasts of several well-known blacks. Tom Joyner took part and learned of his family’s anguished encounter with “southern justice”….
Well, today CNN published a story on the follow-up Mr. Joyner has done since learning about these circumstances.
Nearly 100 years had passed since his great-uncles, Thomas Griffin and Meeks Griffin, were wrongfully executed in South Carolina. On Wednesday, a board voted 7-0 to pardon both men, clearing their names in the 1913 killing of a veteran of the Confederate Army.
It marks the first time in history that South Carolina has issued a posthumous pardon in a capital murder case.
I haven’t been doing this research very long, but I get the sense that these recent past meets the present stories are just the start of things to come.