Regina Mason to Speak at AAGSNC November Meeting

AAGSNC’s November 2012 meeting will feature genealogist Regina Mason who will speak about her experiences researching the life of her great great great grandfather, William Grimes, a former slave, and author of the first fugitive slave narrative in American history.

REGINA E. MASON, a native of Oakland, is the great-great-great granddaughter of pioneering autobiographer William Grimes who wrote the first fugitive slave narrative in America. She has spent fifteen years authenticating his story that would one day culminate with a new, authoritative, edition of her ancestor’s book Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave.

Regina Mason and a photo of the William Grimes’ slave narrative. Photos courtesy of Regina Mason.

She has shared her amazing search for William Grimes and the historical significance of his narrative with students on a host of college campuses throughout the U.S., such as The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, Stanford, Colorado State, Cal State Eastbay, the University of the Pacific and to students at middle and High Schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

She has presented to Bay Area educational organizations, such as, Words That Made America, and has appeared on C-Span’s Book TV along with her acclaimed co-editor William L. Andrews; RTE Radio of Ireland; CrossCurrents KALW radio of San Francisco and KQED Television. Regina is currently working on the documentary Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes with independent filmmaker Sean Durant.

Her quest for roots was sparked by a 5th grade class assignment on origins where she thought she hadn’t a history worth trumpeting. Now she encourages students of all ages and backgrounds— with a particular fondness for 5th graders— to explore their own histories to discover how seemingly ordinary citizens who, in their own circumstances and surroundings, have contributed richly to the fabric of their communities and ultimately America.

How to register for this event: No registration is necessary to attend an AAGSNC meeting.  Meetings are open to the general public.

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2012, 1:30pm to 4:00pm

Location: Oakland Public Library, Dimond Branch, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602-2398

Website: http://www.reginamason.com/

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