I love history and I’ve always wanted to learn about my own family history, so why not combine the two? I was told that my history never existed. In 2011 the seed was planted, but I could never get passed my Grandmother.
Fast forward 10 years and a Historian friend offered to help with my tree. Eventually with their help, I not only saw pictures of people that have long passed away, but we saw a slave census with my second great grandfather’s name on it. After that, thanks to the of TikTok, I was able to reach out to a historian from Alabama, Chuck. Chuck is not only a historian but, a descendant from the man who owned my father side of family, Thomas Cassander English. After my discussion with Chuck, I decided to let TikTok come along for the adventure.
The further I went, I made discoveries, met cousins, and sparked conversations with my family we didn’t know we needed to have The more I uploaded on Tiktok, the more people were asking me for help. What started out as just a database of free resources I created to help ADOS connect with their ancestors, has turned into what’s known as, The Brister English Project. Ran mainly off donations, the purpose is to help American Descendants of Slavery, connect with their roots. I know first hand the feeling that one gets when they discover a past they thought never existed.
I have a waiting list where Black people can sign up and with donations I can donate 15-20 hours of my time, with help from the same historian who helped me, and either start a tree or help with an existing one. I think this is a big healing step for the black community and I’m happy to lead this charge.
-Walt Way aka FormerLovePoet
"We believe that our Family Tree is a living testament to the legacy of our ancestors and the stories that have shaped our family's history. By caring for and adding to our Family Tree, we honor their memory and ensure that their legacy continues to live on through future generations. Through our shared history, we also aim to foster a deeper sense of connection and understanding among our family members, regardless of age, location, or background. By preserving our family's stories and traditions, we can pass down valuable lessons, wisdom, and values to our children and grandchildren. Ultimately, our Family Tree represents the enduring bonds of family and the power of shared history to unite us across time and space."