The Gaines Family Reunion: How To Build A Legacy One Generation At A TimeRead Now
Left to Right: Top: Carole's Immediate Family at the 2014 Banquet/Dance in Philadelphia, Family Picnic at Brandywine Park in Wilmington, Delaware, Bottom Left: Cousin Theresa Johnson atop The Philadelphia Museum of Art after climbing the "Rocky" steps, The 2014 Gaines Family Reunion T-Shirt
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Last week marked the 15th Reunion the Gaines Family has hosted since 1986. The brainchild of my cousins, Theresa Johnson and Lula McKeever, the family roots are deeply intertwined in slavery, suffering and salvation. William and Louisa Gaines were the original slave couple, allowed to stay together as they raised their 14 children in Georgia starting in the late 1700s.
Today’s show will discuss the many ways that your family reunion can serve as the principal method to archive your family history. We’ll also use the Gaines model of knowledge transfer, where one family member passes the family leadership from one generation to the next.
Big or small... family reunions, gatherings and celebrations are excellent ways to provide a long lasting thread of family stability to your immediate and expanded family unit.
About The Gaines Family
Source: 21 Ways To Bring Multiculturalism To Your Job Your Home and Your Community
The Gaines Family In The Shadows Of American History
The pieces started coming together more than 25 years ago when The Gaines Family of Columbus, Georgia began a new tradition of gathering every other summer to connect, reflect and pay tribute to a 200 year African American story. The Gaines Family members are the original descendants of 18th century William and Louisa Gaines, two slaves on a colonial Georgia plantation who fell in love and were allowed to marry. In fact during an era when slave families were routinely broken up and sold to other plantations, this couple was allowed to stay together and raise their 14 children.
One of their 14 children was Gus Gaines, who also had 14 children. From that lineage ultimately came Sarah Gaines Charleston, my maternal great grand mother. Her parents and her relatives ultimately owned 600 acres of sweet Georgia land shortly after the Civil War had ended. When the US Government came knocking on their door, asking to buy great grandmother Sarah’s land by imminent domain at the turn of the 20th Century, her family patriotically sold their precious property so that the now famous military base, Fort Benning, could be built. Her family pocketed the money, moved to nearby Columbus, Georgia and began sending the children to college. As a result, my own children and my brother’s daughter, Lauren Copeland Morgan, make up the fourth generation to attend and complete college.
Build On A Strong Event Platform
It’s quite alright to keep your family reunion event small for several years. Perhaps an evening gathering once every other year is sufficient. Remember you can always supplement your face to face meeting with a social media presence (Facebook), conference calls and newsletters (electronic or print).
When your family is ready expand your annual or biannual gathering to a full day event or a weekend reunion.
To learn more about creating or expanding family reunion activities check out:
21 Ways To Bring Multiculturalism To Your Job
Click Here For Details
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.