The Black Syracuse Project

Brenda Muhammad

In Oral History Interviews on April 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

Brenda Muhammad  was born and raised in Central New York but her parents are both from Arkansas.  Every other year, Brenda and her extended family participate in a family reunion.  There, they compare their new genealogical research and flesh out their heritage.  Brenda is being interviewed here by Joan Bryant and Claire Enkosky.

Every time I would go to Arkansas, if I was in Little Rock, I would go to vital records or the court house and I would take a little bit of money that I have an buy someone’s birth certificate or someone’s death certificate or a marriage license.

And I’ve been compiling them so I have my grandfather’s father’s death certificate, my great-grandmother’s death certificate, I have marriage licenses. I have all sorts of these documents.

And it’s just great. And then I find that I have cousins who are genealogists who have their line and you know, so when we come together, it’s a wonderful thing. And we’re trying to keep it going so that the younger children will remember going to family reunions and having fun and having this heritage and you know.

Because in Arkansas we have a family church, and family cemetery, you know. It’s pretty cool. And the part they live in is right outside of a city. It’s actually only 40 minutes from Memphis. But once you go into Forest City, Arkansas, and you go up the road a little bit, then it becomes dirt roads and it’s almost like Little House on the Prairie and we have relatives on their own land.

And I actually have ten acres there that was passed down from my great-grandmother to my grandmother. And it would have went to my father but he died before his mother. And so when my grandmother passed, my brothers and sister signed it over to me because they didn’t, they’re not interested in Arkansas. They didn’t care anything about that. So I have the ten acres there. One day, hopefully I’ll do something with it.


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