The children of Floyd and Essie Brown gathered in Trenton, North Carolina for the 2015 family reunion keeping the memory and legacy alive of what their parents accomplished under difficult times. Because there are so many who have paved the way for the entire family, the reunion opened Friday evening with a meet and greet. Under the leadership of youngest sibling Vanester White, we looked at the family’s history, present status of family members and what family members are doing going forward.
We not only taught the young the contributions of their grandparents but added a family tree presentation that connected the family back to slavery and its impact on us today including the offspring by White slave owners with their Black slaves. Many were surprised of this news provided by Dr. Paulette Brown- Hinds and now we will have to add the White cemetery of places to visit when retracing the family history. Our Black families are buried in a separate cemetery because of past segregation, Jim Crow laws, and current resistance from some people today.
We also taught about our faith in God and the relationship our great grandparents had with our family church, St. Matthew AME Zion Church on Lower Street in Trenton. The church was founded in 1887 and the pastor John Morris married our grandparents Jonas and Mary Brown in 1895. Years later, Pastor L. G. Green, of St. Matthew AME Zion Church, married our other grand parents, Ed and Della Brown in 1907.
Since we all grew up in that church you cannot have a reunion without attending church on Sunday morning, especially since our dad was an associate pastor before he died. The Tucker girls, grand daughters of Floyd and Essie even treated the congregation with their special arrangement of Amazing Grace that brought the people to their feet.
One of the hit sessions for the young people was led by Wayne Brown, which dealt with career preparation by paring them up with the older generation.
As usual some of the young people did not want it to be over.