African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Growing Number of Museums Preserving Black History and Culture

Tourists drawn to exhibits on slavery, civil rights movement, achievements Museums that focus on the critical role of African Americans in U.S. history and culture are more popular than ever, and several cities are planning new or expanded facilities to attract tourists and scholars. "There's a new generation of [African-American culture] museums that are competitive in size and budget with most mainstream museums - and that's a very new phenomenon," said John Fleming, president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. "The black community is interested in preserving [its] history and culture on a scale that our patrimony deserves," he said. The African-American experience largely was ignored or misrepresented until recent decades, and even now, most students have a poor understanding of important people and events, Fleming told USINFO. "They know who Martin Luther King is, but they don't really understand his significance in American history." African-American museums attract many visitors, he added. "Cities and states are interested in cultural tourism. You see where they put the Baltimore Afro-American museum [Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture], right on the waterfront, right in the tourist area? And the Birmingham [Alabama] Civil Rights Institute [BCRI] has been a major tourism draw for the city." BCRI Executive Director Lawrence Pijeaux agreed. "We are one of the major destination points for tourism in the state of Alabama," he said. A recent economic impact study found that BCRI visitors spent about $5.7 million in the Birmingham metropolitan area between July 2002 and July 2003, and that 4 percent of the visitors were from foreign countries. Full Story:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Recording history of black churches tells nation's story

They may not have ornate stained-glass windows and seating for a thousand people, yet these small, rural churches that dot the landscape of Rutherford County and America are often the foundation of the black community. Singing, shouting and soul-saving emanate from them on Sundays and some weeknights when church congregations gather to share their problems and accomplishments and lift their spirits together toward heaven. Yet because many of these churches aren't considered architecturally significant, they are often overlooked in historic preservation circles in documenting and maintaining them. Carroll Van West, director of the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, hopes to change that with the African-American Rural Church Project, a chronicling of churches such as Stones River United Methodist on Old Nashville Highway in Rutherford County. Leonora Washington, a Smyrna Primary School teacher, can attest to the impact the church has had on her life. "There's a closeness there. We share our problems together, and we share our faith. It's something that your earn." Full Story:

Chapel Added To State Registry

Society Hopes Chapel Will Serve As Living History By Jenny Jones KEEZELTOWN — Al Jenkins propped a small ladder against the crumbling stone columns that hold up Longs Chapel, stepped carefully up the rungs and climbed into the old wooden structure. Inside, Jenkins’ voice echoed off the stark walls and barren space that once served as a church and a schoolhouse for Zenda, a former community in northern Rockingham County that was established by newly freed slaves in the mid to late 1800s. He pointed out markings on the walls where the original pews once stood, and he explained the dignity of the building and the people who constructed it. "They went from being property to owning property," said Jenkins, talking about the freed slaves who, with the help of the United Brethren Church and a contractor named Jacob Long, built Longs Chapel between 1869 and 1871. "And as soon as they were able to, they built their own church. That was a major accomplishment." Full Story:

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cheaney, respected KSU professor dies

By Jennifer Hewlett HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER Henry Ellis Cheaney, a respected retired Kentucky State University history professor, died Tuesday at Frankfort Regional Medical Center after an illness. He was 94. Mr. Cheaney wore many other hats, including those of debate team coach, boxing coach, publicity director and chaplain, during his 46-year tenure at KSU. But perhaps it was in the classroom that he made the greatest impact. He was known as a hard-driving, but highly entertaining professor, who expected his students to go beyond attending classes and reading textbooks. William Wilson, former chairman of the KSU board of regents and a former student of Mr. Cheaney, recalled how Mr. Cheaney would assign each student a topic to research and then grill them on it for an entire class period. Wilson's topic for his "day in court" was the Cuban Missile Crisis. Wilson made sure to find out what those missiles looked like and what television program President John F. Kennedy interrupted to tell the public about the crisis, he said. "When you went to Dr. Cheaney's class you'd better be prepared," Wilson said. Not only were students required to know their history, they were required to know how to do historical research and how to talk and write about history, too, he said. "He would flunk you on your grammar. If you did not, in fact, write well, you were in serious trouble," Wilson said. "Our exams for Dr. Cheaney would take hours." Wilson recalled one history lesson that Mr. Cheaney began by writing a long chemical formula on the chalkboard. A student walked in the classroom, then quickly left because he thought he was in a chemistry class. "What Dr. Cheaney frequently lectured on was not always in your textbook, which is why it was always so important to take notes," Wilson said. Sometimes students got so engrossed in Mr. Cheaney's lectures -- his "cowboy lecture" about the westward movement in the United States came complete with sound effects -- that they forgot they were in a classroom. "People have flunked his course because they got so engrossed in his telling of stories that they forgot to take notes," Wilson said. Mr. Cheaney was a "phenomenal teacher" and an "intellectual giant," Wilson said. "Dr. Henry Cheaney is revered as a legend in the history of Kentucky State University," KSU Provost Juanita Fleming said. "Professor Cheaney was the epitome of what one would assume a professor represented. He was articulate. He was kind. He was intellectually superior, and he left a lasting mark on anyone he touched," said Betty Griffin, former chairwoman of the KSU Division of Education and Human Services. Full Story:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Series will retell explorer Sheppard's life

Larry Muhammad - The Courier-Journal Who was the swashbuckling explorer, big-game hunter, missionary in Africa and human rights activist that the Smoketown housing project Sheppard Square was named for? That would be Dr. William H. Sheppard, the self-styled "Black Livingstone." Professor Blaine Hudson, dean of the University of Louisville's College of Arts and Sciences, will tell the story of the Louisville leader in a public presentation Saturday. "Sheppard is a very unusual case," Hudson said, "when you think about a black man being a missionary, an explorer in central Africa in the 1890s and early 1900s, helping expose atrocities in Belgian colonization and then ending up in Smoketown." The son of freed slaves, Sheppard became a celebrated missionary adventurer in Africa for 20 years. He grew up in a well-to-do black Presbyterian household in Virginia and, after his travels, settled in Louisville, becoming a leader of the African-American community in the early 1900s. Sheppard pastored Grace Hope Presbyterian Church from 1912 to 1927, when he died at age 62. "Pioneers in the Congo," his 1917 autobiography, recorded his exploits 230 miles into the African continent, where he administered mission services, learned native tongues and built a rapport with leaders through his hunting skills. Full Story:

BCC course explores slavery in Monmouth

Many escaped and fought with the British army in the Battle of Monmouth BY KAREN E. BOWES, Staff Writer MIDDLETOWN - Slavery in Monmouth County was once the norm, especially in the township, Freehold, Tinton Falls and Shrewsbury, where they worked as iron miners, farmers and domestics up until 1865. An expert on the subject, visiting Professor Graham Russell Hodges of Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y., arrived at Brookdale Community College this week, leading students on historic tours of the area and speaking about slavery's impact on the local economy. The author of the book "Slavery and Freedom in the Rural North: African Americans in Monmouth County, N.J., 1665-1865," Hodges appeared in the 2005 PBS series "Slavery and the Making of America." During the television series, Hodges spoke about an escaped slave from Shrewsbury who fought for the British at the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778. Named Titus by his master, the slave renamed himself Tye after escaping. The British army bestowed the honorary title of Col. Tye for his gallantry in battle, and for becoming "one of the war's most feared Loyalists, white or black," Hodges wrote. A local newspaper ran an ad for the runaway slave on Nov. 8, 1775. The owner offered a 3-pound reward for "Titus," described as "about 21 years of age. Not very black, near 6 feet high, had on a gray homespun coat, brown breeches, blue and white stockings." According to Hodges, many other black men from the county fought at the Battle of Monmouth, including some from Middletown. All fought for the British during the battle. Students in Professor Jess Levine's "History of New Jersey" class at Brookdale are also learning about the role religion played in the institution of slavery, as local Christian denominations differed on the topic of slavery's morality. Interestingly, Quakers, historically abolitionists, were divided on the subject in Monmouth County. Col. Tye's former master, John Corlis, was a Quaker and was said to be quite cruel. Both slavery and indentured servitude were legal in New Jersey prior to 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation ended both forms of human ownership. And while a few slaves were purchased at an auction in Perth Amboy, the vast majority of slaves were born into servitude or traded between friends, Hodges said in an interview on Thursday. "Between 1718 and 1764, 480 slaves from the West Indies were imported into Perth Amboy, located in Middlesex County a few miles from Monmouth," wrote Hodges. "This total averages about 10 per year, and not all went to Monmouth." In 1790, there were 1,596 slaves in Monmouth County. By 1820, about 1,000 slaves lived in the county. Ten years later in 1830, there were 224 slaves, according to census reports. Gradual Emancipation, an 1804 state law that guaranteed slaves their freedom between the ages of 24 and 39, played a large part in the changing numbers. Still, many slave owners found new ways to exploit the recently freed slaves. They waited until the slave's 39th birthday or paid extremely low wages to those former slaves still living in cottages on the slaveholder's property. And by utilizing the recently legalized "cottagers system," a landowner could effectively keep his labor force at a rock bottom price. Hodges has written several books on the topic of slavery, as well as other historical topics, including an account of New York City's very first taxicab drivers.

Discovering The Underground Railroad

As the first state to abolish slavery in 1780, Pennsylvania was a key part of the Underground Railroad. The abolitionists and free blacks within the state’s borders acted boldly and inspired others. Today, Pennsylvania is creating new and different ways for visitors to learn more about the risks and sacrifices that helped change society through a series of attractions and special events. One of the main routes of the Underground Railroad was through central Pennsylvania and much of the escape route ran along Route 30, which is also known as the Old Lincoln Highway. Towns along Route 30, like Gettysburg, York, Columbia, Lancaster and Philadelphia, were home to hundreds of abolitionists. Many of them were the first contact that freedom seekers encountered after they left the South. In an effort to revive the legacy of this route, historical societies in central and eastern Pennsylvania have formed Quest for Freedom to tell the story of what was once a major network of flight and survival. Visit for information on attractions, tours and special events and packages throughout the summer. York native William C. Goodridge, one of the most active conductors in the Underground Railroad who helped save thousands of slaves, was also a participant in the Christiana Riots of 1851. Goodridge defied laws and risked imprisonment to house and transport Africans. His home now serves as a museum where tours and a first-hand perspective on people involved in the Underground Railroad can be explored. Visit the Quest for Freedom Web site, or contact the York Convention and Visitors Bureau at 717-852-9675, ext. 110, for hours. Although Route 30 was a hotbed for Underground Railroad activity, significant events took place throughout the state. Stories of rebellion and triumph abound in Cumberland County, where half of all enslaved Africans in Pennsylvania lived. The McClintock riot of 1847, led by Dickinson University professor John McClintock who, with the help of free black men, rushed a carriage returning escaped slaves to Maryland, took place in Cumberland County. Cumberland County was so rebellious that Confederate soldiers attempted to capture civilians in addition to slaves. Richard Woods was one of those civilians and one of the most effective conductors of the Underground Railroad. Looking to share these lesser known stories, the region offers tours of historical Underground Railroad sites. Visit the Educational Programs section of for information on how to book a tour. Fleeing and resisting the confederate south were just part of the struggle to obtain freedom. Newly-freed slaves often struggled to settle and purchase homes. In the northeastern coal region of Lackawanna County, however, Pennsylvanians were viewed as progressive. Participating in notable anti-slavery activities, many of its residents, churches, and institutions worked for the advancement of freed slaves and helped African Americans establish themselves in the community. In A Place I Call Home: Explorations of the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Pennsylvania special tours July 29-30 and Aug. 19-20 will bring these efforts to life. Visit for more information. Other special events planned throughout the summer include: · Davis-Bailey Family: Our Town Our Stories – An ongoing exhibit at the house museum of a former colored troop soldier. Contact the Pike County Historical Society, or visit · Tribute to Freedom’s Crossing Presents African American Heritage in Columbia – An interactive tour highlighting colored troops and abolitionists, running July 15-Aug. 26. Visit for more information. · Passport to Freedom – Tours and ceremonies will highlight the town of Blairsville’s fight to resist slavery, Aug. 18-19. For more information go to · Taking a Stand for Freedom: The Underground Railroad in Philadelphia – Reenactments will take place at Mother Bethel AME Church, the Civil War & Underground Railroad Museum and the Johnson House in Germantown. Meet Harriet Tubman, William Still and other “conductors” Aug. 19, Sept. 16 and Oct. 21. For details visit The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is dedicated to fulfilling the needs and aspirations of travelers by presenting them with the information and resources they need to plan and enjoy the activities, attractions and destinations that are uniquely Pennsylvania. For more information about Pennsylvania’s tourism industry, go to or call (800) VISIT PA POSTED 060720_1400 ET

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ex-slaves' land heirs feel island shift

Coastal S. Carolina's Gullah-Geechees find ancestral plots are vulnerable to grabsBy Dahleen GlantonTribune national correspondentPublished July 11, 2006 WARSAW ISLAND, S.C. -- No one in Sargent Parker's family ever gave much thought to the 26 acres of marshland he bought in 1869, six years after becoming a free man. But everyone knew it was there, sheltered behind rows of palmetto trees, as a reminder of the family's rich heritage.The story of how Parker, who died in 1915 at age 85, purchased the land has been passed down through generations. It was four years after Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15, ordering every freed slave to be given 40 acres. But after the directive was rescinded, blacks were forced to return the land. Emancipated slaves such as Parker then worked hard as sharecroppers to raise the $1.25 an acre needed to buy soggy marshland deemed undesirable by whites. By 1869, former slaves whose descendants are known as Gullah-Geechees owned half of Beaufort County.So everyone was shocked last October when Richardean Aiken, the widow of Parker's great-great-grandson, was browsing the newspaper and saw a legal notice that a portion of the land had been sold and that the new owner was attempting to acquire clear title. No one in the family had agreed to sell it, and all insisted they never would.`This can't be happening'"I said, `Oh hell no, this can't be happening,'" Aiken said before getting on the phone and calling her relatives. "When I saw Sargent Parker's name, I knew something was wrong."Throughout coastal South Carolina, Gullah-Geechee people have been fighting for decades to hold onto property left to them by their ancestors. But often there is no will, making it difficult to prove ownership, even when taxes have been paid on the land for generations. Many of the problems are due to infighting among family members. It takes only one heir to agree to sell the property for a dispute to be settled by a judge and the land to end up being auctioned. Full Story:,1,7098536.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Land of Racial Harmony?

New Philadelphia, Ill., settled by a freed slave, was seen as a colorblind utopia. Amid doubts, town descendants want the truth unearthed. By P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff WriterJuly 14, 2006

HADLEY TOWNSHIP, Ill. — Sandra McWorter knelt on the soil and gingerly swept through the dirt with a tiny brush to find hints of her heritage.The clues hidden beneath the wild grasses and rolling hills could give McWorter insight into what life was like for her pioneer ancestors in the Land of Lincoln. "Free Frank" McWorter bought his freedom from slavery and came here in 1831 to build New Philadelphia — the first town in the U.S. legally settled, platted and surveyed by an African American.

Regional lore hails the town as a haven of racial harmony: a place where whites and blacks lived side by side, farmed the land, sold their goods, married one another and worshiped together — more than two decades before the Civil War. But there's no evidence — no recorded memories, no journals, no newspaper accounts — that proves or dismisses such camaraderie.Today, New Philadelphia is a lily-covered pasture, and its Main Street a gravel path to a farmhouse. What remains is a puzzle that has teased scholars, history buffs and New Philadelphia descendants for years: Was this actually an island of racial tranquillity in west-central Illinois, when abolitionists were shot on their doorsteps and bounty hunters roamed the countryside kidnapping freed slaves?Or is this a case of historical revisionism?It's a question that has provoked a debate among the McWorter clan and other descendants of the 120 families that settled in New Philadelphia between the 1830s (when Free Frank bought the land and sold off the first parcel) and the 1860s (when the town population reached its peak).Now, with a grant from the National Science Foundation, archeologists, anthropologists and students from more than a dozen universities are working to settle the matter and preserve the area as a national historic landmark. Full Story:,1,6149288.story?coll=la-headlines-nation&track=crosspromo

Long Memories in Land of the Freed

Begun by Ex-Slaves, a Prince George's Community Values Its Past By Tony Glaros -- Special to The Washington Post, Saturday, July 15, 2006; Page G01

Squeezed by the thickening sweep of suburbia, Muirkirk remains a slower spot. Residents of the northeastern Prince George's County community still find time to spin stories, keep the nearby graveyard tidy and set the table at church suppers. Old Muirkirk Road remains the neighborhood's focal point, a slice of relative calm between Beltsville and Laurel. The 15 houses on the shady, winding street vary in age and style, from 100 years old to a contemporary rancher.

Growing up, Marsha Brown referred to the neighborhood as Rossville, a name that dates back to when it was settled by freed slaves. She still does. But Rossville, she explained, was always considered a subdivision of Muirkirk. "It was never something that was official. I guess you could say Old Muirkirk Road has become the central area of the community. The church is there. The schools used to be there." The American Legion hall is around the corner on Muirkirk Road, she pointed out. At one time, she said, Muirkirk even had its own post office down by the railroad tracks. The signs of the older community are still there in the form of the historic graveyard and the church across the street, Queen's Chapel United Methodist. The congregation traces its roots to 1870, when the first structure went up where the cemetery is today, said Brown, who wrote a book about the history of the church. Full Story:

Black scholar joins Sons of the American Revolution

10:40 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 By JEROME WEEKS / The Dallas Morning News ADDISON – Groucho Marx would have approved.

On Monday, Henry Louis Gates Jr. – noted black scholar (The Signifying Monkey), Harvard professor and TV host (America Beyond the Color Line) – joined an organization that wouldn't have had him as a member not too long ago. Dr. Gates was inducted into the Sons of the American Revolution at the lineage society's 116th annual convention, which is being held through Wednesday at Addison's Hotel Intercontinental. He joins only a few dozen black Americans among the 26,000 members. The event was taped for the second season of African-American Lives, Dr. Gates' PBS series on black genealogy. "You could have knocked me over with a feather," Dr. Gates recalled Monday of the moment he learned he had an ancestor who served in the Continental Army. It happened in February during a taping for African-American Lives. Dr. Gates was shown evidence of an ancestor, seven generations in the past, but not the white slaveholder he'd expected. Rather, it was a free mulatto, John Redman, who enlisted in a Virginia regiment in 1778. About 5,000 black Americans served during the Revolutionary War, but that is only a guess, said Joseph Dooley, head of the membership committee. "Perhaps as much as 10 percent of the Continental Army was black." Dr. Gates' fascination with family history inspired his PBS series as well as his hiring genealogist Jane Ailes to research his family. Although white, Ms. Ailes, it turns out, is also a distant relative. The Sons of the American Revolution and its sibling organization, the Daughters of the American Revolution, have had a history of segregation, Dr. Gates pointed out to the several hundred assembled members. He cited the DAR's infamous 1939 ban on the black contralto Marian Anderson from singing at Washington, D.C.'s Constitution Hall as well as black educator W.E.B. DuBois' rejected attempt to join the SAR in 1908. There have been black members for decades now, however, and last year, current SAR president general Roland Downing reported, the DuBois decision was overturned. Black or white, not many new members get to address the annual meeting. "Oh, they do this for everybody," Dr. Gates joked. "Everybody who comes with a PBS film crew." But Dr. Gates also spoke to the SAR to announce a project with Mr. Dooley that may lead to many more black Americans joining. Supported by Harvard's W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Ms. Ailes will compare 80,000 pension requests from Revolutionary veterans with census records to determine which vets were black. She's already found six. "Just think," Dr. Gates said looking out over the hotel ballroom. "Pretty soon, this place gonna look like Harlem." E-mail

Black astronaut helps to erase myth of race limitations

I am really ashamed to admit it, but shuttle launches have become so routine I seldom pay them close attention. After the loss of seven astronauts aboard the shuttle Columbia in 2003, I've been forcing myself to read a little background on the astronauts who risk their lives to explore space, those who have "slipped the surly bonds of Earth." I'm always glad I did, but especially this time. On board right now, serving as a mission specialist, is Stephanie D. Wilson, the second black woman to fly in space. I was determined to bring this to your attention because all kids, but especially black kids, should know that African-Americans are smart enough to do whatever they set their minds to. We tend to hear the opposite, tend to limit our own potential, severely cramping any possibility of living up to the greatness of our ancestors. When we turn deaf ears to the talk and open our own minds to new things, our children, black or white, rich or poor, can be like Wilson. Wilson said her growing up in a small town with few distractions allowed the stars to catch her imagination. She became interested in astronomy first and later gravitated to engineering. In a preflight interview with NASA, Wilson said she thought "that aerospace engineering would be a good combination of my interest in space and my interest in engineering." That's a mind that has not given any credence to those who might say being smart is "acting white." After high school, she majored in engineering science at Harvard University and earned her masters in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked for two companies, specializing in robotic spacecraft and launch vehicles, before being accepted by NASA into its two-year astronaut program in April 1996. If you have a dream, achieving it takes more than rolling over and waking up. Full Story:

Slavery reparations effort continues to gain ground

By Erin Texeira Associated Press Originally published July 10, 2006 Advocates who say black Americans should be compensated for slavery and its Jim Crow aftermath are quietly chalking up victories and gaining momentum. Fueled by the work of scholars and lawyers, their campaign has evolved in recent years from a fringe group's rallying cry into sophisticated mainstream movement. Most recently, a pair of churches apologized for their part in the slave trade, and one is studying ways to repay black church members. The overall issue is hardly settled, even among black Americans: Some say that focusing on slavery shouldn't be a top priority or that it doesn't make sense to compensate people generations after a historical wrong. Yet reparations efforts have led many cities and states to approve measures that force businesses to publicize their historical ties to slavery. Several reparations court cases are in progress, and international human rights officials are increasingly spotlighting the issue. "This matter is growing in significance rather than declining," said Charles Ogletree, a Harvard law professor and a leading reparations activist. "It has more vigor and vitality in the 21st century than it's had in the history of the reparations movement." The most recent victories for reparations advocates came last month, when the Moravian Church and the Episcopal Church apologized for owning slaves and promised to battle racism. The Episcopalians also launched a national probe into the church's slavery links and into whether the church should compensate black members. A white church member, Katrina Browne, also screened a documentary focusing on white culpability at the denomination's national assembly. The Episcopalians debated slavery and reparations for years before reaching an agreement, said Jayne Oasin, social justice officer for the denomination, who will oversee its work on the issue. Historically, slavery was an uncomfortable topic for the church. Some Episcopal bishops owned slaves - and the Bible was used to justify the practice, Oasin said. Also last month, a North Carolina commission urged the state to repay the descendants of victims of a violent 1898 campaign by white supremacists to strip blacks of power in Wilmington, N.C. The commission also recommended state-funded programs to support local black businesses and home ownership. The report came weeks after the Organization of American States requested information from the U.S. government about a 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Okla., in which 1,200 homes were burned and as many as 300 blacks killed. An OAS official said the group might pursue the issue as a violation of international human rights. Full Story:,0,6627506.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Students unearth history, inspiration

July 11, 2006 BY ESTHER J. CEPEDA Staff Reporter Twenty miles east of Kankakee, on the side of a dusty one-lane gravel road, lay the abandoned scraps of one family's story, gutted years ago by a fire. There, in Hopkins Park, the cinder block skeleton of a garage and the outer walls of what was once a small home still stand. Those remnants are breathing new life as 22 students and two Field Museum archeologists sift through its weedy terrain hoping to unearth clues about the people who once lived there, and that of the Native Americans who had settled there before them. The Field Museum has brought the Budding Archeologist Field School to the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students of Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School in Hopkins Park as part of an educational outreach program designed so kids can investigate the lives of early settlers through hands-on mapping, surveying and excavating an African-American settlement dating back to the Reconstruction era. Full Story: