An Immersive Ai smARTwork African American Genetic Genealogy Project
“I am BLACK History”
Slave | Scott DEVEREAUX
Using Ai, Extant documentation, photography to Bring Enslaved Ancestors to life
The Devereux Papers, stored at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History in Austin, Texas, offer more than an academic glimpse into Antebellum America; they serve as a direct link to my personal lineage. Samuel Devereux and his wife Anna were proprietors of a 700-acre plantation in a village named after them—Devereux, situated roughly 12 miles from Sparta, Georgia. In the same year that he married Anna Lloyd, Samuel discovered a wild grapevine near Sparta. Utilizing the labor of enslaved individuals, he cultivated this grapevine into a flourishing vineyard. The wine produced from these grapes found markets as distant as New Orleans.
In a similar vein, another Devereux, Julien Sidney, owned a sizable plantation called Monte Verdi in Texas. By the year 1850, he was among the 92 slaveholders in Texas who owned 50 or more enslaved individuals—specifically, he owned 75.
Contained within the Devereux Papers are a wealth of critical documents. From plantation records to personal correspondence, these papers offer an unparalleled look into the lives and conditions of enslaved individuals owned by the Devereux family, my direct ancestors.
Taking this exploration a step further, I employed AI technology to recreate lifelike images of my enslaved ancestors. This endeavor involved layering data from the Devereux Papers with my personal genetic information gathered from 23andMe and MyHeritage DNA tests. After rendering these images, I used AI once again to animate them, imbuing them with the semblance of life and making their stories more tangible.
Additionally, I was interviewed for the second edition of the book ‘Claiming Sunday: The Story of a Texas Slave Community’ by Joleen Maddox Snider. This work investigates the enslaved community on the Devereux Plantation and includes first-hand accounts from their modern-day descendants, further deepening our collective understanding of this convoluted and painful chapter in American history.
All Genealogy information is gained using extant documentation, public records, or Family Recall Information. The identities of living individuals is not shared publicly and are displayed as private in any public online service.