Propelled by generations of these sayings, also common in other families and often passed down as a part of African American family tradition, the Ford – Deas family, hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Blackstone, Virginia believe strongly in preserving the legacy and decided to share and loan their personal items to the museum, along with a book written by three generations of the family; grandmother Celia Ford, daughter Terri Allen and granddaughter Pamela Simonson. Allen, the family’s archivist and genealogist has also traced their roots back to Sierra Leone, Huntingdonshire, England and Nigeria making their family story a poignant one especially since the research is accompanied with hundreds of items.
Housed at Abraham Hall, the 1889 restored benevolent society lodge is owned and operated by Maryland National Capital Park and Planning (MNCPPC) and is located at 7612 Old Muirkirk Road, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. The exhibit is open daily M-F, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm through the end of July where individual or group tours may also be scheduled by appointment by calling 240-264-3415. A special reception is scheduled for Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am and will feature the trio as guest speakers.