African American Descendant Narratives
the Black Book: projects
Personal African American Genealogy repair
Scale volunteer Genetic Genealogy Repair Services
Immersive African American Descendant Narrative Volumes
The Black Book Genetic Enslaved African American Repository and Index
- Problem Synopsis
- Cause Awarenesses
- Project Phases
- Contributors and Sources
- Frequently Asked
#DNAAncestorVoices through Photography
I was born George Edward Jones in Amarillo, Texas and grew up a Military “Brat” and in 2007, I was told that I had a biological Father, that I did not know.
At 38, driven to know the identity and histories of my Father, I appeared on the “Who am I?” episode of the Dr. Phil Show in 2008, and in 2014, George Edward FREENEY Jr. took a leap of faith by leaving a 13 year, High-Tech Career in Seattle, Washington as a Creative Technologist, to attend the Art Institute of San Antonio, Texas, and return to my childhood passion of Photography.
In 2015, I competed for, and was awarded a work Visa to work abroad in La Tieule, France. During my off time, I spent the majority of 4 years retracing the footsteps and places that mother would share with me and my two siblings after returning from her voyages during our time while stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany.
It wasn’t until 2019, that I return to the United States and not being able to work because of the COVID-19 Pandemic that my girlfriend convinced me to look further into my Genealogy and use home DNA Kits to unlock more information.
December 15, 2019, I took a 23andMe and Ancestry DNA test and my life changed. I confirmed many theories and discovered that I have unique DNA that matches to living Cousins with common ancestry to an 80+ Slave Family that has been historically recognized after arriving in the Republic of Texas in 1841.
I started the Black Book: projects on January 01, 2020. In Phase I, me and my girlfriend focused on donating home DNA Kits, and working with other DNA cousins to volunteer African American genealogy repair services. Phase II “Champion”, started on 14 Jan 2022, and will advocate awareness through the Black Book: “Freeney Town” African American Descendent Narratives based on extant Family Recall Information.
Why do Black lives matter?
Enslaved Ancestors have Untold Stories to Tell.
The 2019 United States Census reports that there are 331,002,651 citizens in the United States, of which 236,500,000 are White Americans, 41,900,000 are Black Americans, but the “true” number of African Americans is unknown because a large majority of Black Americans can not share the identity of their Great-Grandparent.
Family Heritage is a record of a family’s character, ideals, and generational privileges.
African American ancestors freed before the Civil War would have been listed in the census by name, and in other documents, just like any other free person; but Slaves were not, making it extraordinarily difficult to trace them throughout the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Jim Crow eras.
The African immigrant American population is rapidly growing in the United States, thus moving descendants of enslaved African Americans further from their early-settling, historic, enslaved heritages.
DNA testing is not only a starter, it’s essential to the sciences and genetic genealogy practices needed to solve a difficult problem.
The task is getting easier with access to digitized Slave documentation appearing more frequently because of government Granted projects such as the UNC-Greensboro “People, Not Property: Slave Deeds of North Carolina” project managed by Fred Watts. He received a $300,000 Grant to digitize all public records of enslaved people across the state of North Carolina.
Home DNA Test Kits are game-changers, but our data reports that they are too expensive for the general Black American population, something that can start with proven grassroots campaigns and DNA Test Kit Company partnerships, but they too must be aware that Black Americans NEED to know vs. “would like to know” of their African American origins to be recognized as African Americans.
Today, when Black Americans witness Black men, such as George Floyd, murdered, it should be easy to under the emotions of outrage associated with familiar, historical attacks on African American heritage.
The response are cries that Blacks lives matter; and indeed they do, and Black Americans would be better empowered if they were to repair their genealogies and share the message that their Black life matters as an African American.
Avant-garde approaches are needed to raise empathetic awareness are desperately needed for this overlooked civil-right and socio-economic issue. Once Black Americans discover genetic African American heritages, the knowledge gained, history education, and resilient pride will benefit an African American sharing in detail why their Black life does indeed matter.
Assisted African American Genealogy Repair
Inspired by a true Black History story.
The Toledo Museum of Art reports that the average person spends 17 seconds looking at a work of art in a museum. It usually takes much less time than that to identify an image. But understanding it? That requires slowing down and taking the time to see the details.
Wanting to exhibit descendant narratives in an avant-garde, interactive way, George experimented with many new approaches, equipment, and technologies during Phase I “Discovery”.
Through Augmented Reality and a business development partnership with his Print Lab, the descendant images are encoded with narrative videos which are played back in realtime when the image is scanned with a unique mobile App.
The Black Book Projects Enslaved African American Descendant Narratives can be deployed on any medium, of any size, at a venue, and will provide an immersive, interactive, Public Art experience. Installation design is the only limitation.
A familiar, long-term, scoped, phased approach.
George maintains a pioneering reputation as a Creative Technologist from 13 years pioneering e-commerce, streaming technologies and user experiences in the early hi-teach industry where he started as a Technical Program Manager in 2000 in Seattle, Washington. He uses the same skill to manage and deliver his Photography and Art projects.
Phase I: “Discovery”
Started: 01 Jan 2020 Ended: 14 Jan 2022
- Verified relation to Biological father
- Discovered Enslaved Ancestors in Rusk, Texas
- Built a comprehensive Genetic Family Tree on Ancestry.com
- Identified the each location Enslaved Ancestors lived prior
- Donated and managing home DNA Test Kits. (Need Partner)
- Discovered DNA relatives to other enslaved African Americans
- Discovered and met many unique gifted Cousins.
- Built a family project and research team DNA Cousins.
- Wrote multiple Genetic Citations.
- Repaired over 379 African American Genealogies.
- Support of Texas State Representative, Four Price.
- Partnership with the University of Texas, Briscoe Center
Phase II: “Champion”
Started: 14 Jan 2022 Ended: Active
- Increase following of new Instagram account
- Rework Facebook Page
- Rusk, Texas Narrative Photography Shoot
- The Black Book: “Freeney Town” Descendant Narratives Installation
- The Black Book: “Freeney Town” Descendant Narratives Book
- Enslaved African American Descendant Narratives volume one Book
- “Am I your Cousin?” YouTube Channel Season 1
- Continued support of Texas State Representative, Four Price.
- Peter Fitzpatrick, Professor Columbia College, School of Photography
- Expand partnership with the University of Texas, Briscoe Center
- Re-introduce Dr. Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas, Liberal Arts
- Author Enslaved African American Genetic Genealogy Repository Functional Specification
- Author Enslaved African American Genetic Genealogy Index Functional Specification
- Grow and organize family research team of DNA Cousins.
- Get partner for donated and managed home DNA Test Kits for Wythe and Montgomery County, Virginia
- Get partner for donated and managed home DNA Test Kits for Washington County and Hancock County, Devereux, Georgia.
- Get partner for donated and managed home DNA Test Kits for Covington County and McGowan’s Bridge Area of, Alabama.
- Get partner for donated and managed home DNA Test Kits for Rusk County, Texas.
- Continue to Repair African American Genealogies.
- Write more Genetic Citations.
Phase III: “Origins”
Phase IV: “Horizon”
Black Book Projects Phase I "Discovery" by George Freeney Jr.
The Black Book Enslaved African American Descendant Narratives volume I
George Edward FREENEY Jr.
Columbia College Professor
Chicago School of Photography
Barbara SPENCER Dunn (Cousin)
Vice President, Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Texas State University
African American History
Julien Sidney Devereux Family Papers, 1766-1908, 1931, 1941, University of Texas, Briscoe Center, Austin, Texas
Dorothy J. FRANKS, “UNKNOWN no LONGER! Monte Verdi Plantation FAMILY SLAVES” (Memory Book), 2021
Joleene M. Snider, “Claiming Sunday”, 978-0-692-04425-4, 2018
23andMe Dataset version 5.1
Ancestry DNA Dataset
Working together to solve a hard problem.
The Black Book: projects would not be possible without the genuine inclusion for cause and support from individuals, organizations, educational institutions, and Art non-profits.
Susan and I would like to recognize the hard work of the people and organizations that have been integral to our ongoing efforts to repair as many African American genealogies as we can. We thank you for your valuable contributions and insights.
In 2019, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Fred Watts while attending the 2019 Black History Month Genealogy Conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Fred detailed the UNC-Greensboro “People, Not Property: Slave Deeds of North Carolina“. I volunteered to join their digitizing efforts, and have many of their deeds in my The Black Book: projects Ancestry.com Family Tree today.
Texas State Representative, Four Price, Austin Texas
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Eyes on Main Street, Inc., Wilson, North Carolina
Bay Photo Print Lab
fj Westcott Lighting
Nestus Freeman RoundHouse African American History Museum