If you’re not already following his eponymous blog, David Cecelski’s recent series of posts on the Sons and Daughters of North Carolina is the perfect introduction. The Sons and Daughters, with chapters in at least six cities in in the Northeast, “did … a great deal to foster a sense of community for African Americans making their way in a strange new land for the first time,” serving as mutual aid societies, burial societies, and fund raisers. “At the same … wherever they were, [they] kept a close eye on events back in North Carolina and did what they could to support their kindred that were struggling to overcome Jim Crow, racial violence and oppression.”
In his final post, “All Roads Lead Back to North Carolina,” Cecelski noted that “[b]y 1970 approximately half of black adults born in the state of North Carolina lived in other states, and the largest number resided in or around New York City,” and cited my commentary on the ubiquity of New York cousins for everyone I knew in Wilson. (Surely somebody’s great-uncle was a dues-paying Son.)
Cecelski wraps the series by tracing the arc of life of a Brooklyn Daughter of North Carolina. His final sentences caught my breath. Welcome home, Naomi Hand Tyler.