The Slave Narrative that Freed Me: How I found William Grimes

January Meeting

The Slave Narrative that Freed Me: How I Found William Grimes 
Speaker: Regina Mason

Saturday, January 27, 10:30am - 12:00 pm
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

In 5th grade, Regina Mason was told that her grandfather was a former slave. For years she felt that she did not have a family history worth sharing, but she finally dove head first into exploring her family history through genealogy, and, after a few years of searching, she discovered her third great grandfather who had written the precedent-setting memoir, Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave, which he published himself in 1825.By recovering the lives through genealogical research of relatives deemed marginal and insignificant, Regina gave voice and honor to her ancestors and by extension fortified herself and helped make her whole. 

Regina’s talk will address her journey to find her ancestors and reclaim her heritage, and the importance of William Grimes’s memoir.

Regina Mason is an international speaker, author, executive producer and storyteller. She has spent 15 years researching the life and times of her third great grandfather, pioneering fugitive slave autobiographer William Grimes. Her essays have appeared in The Race Card Project, various blogs, and The Root. She, along with literary critic and expert, William L. Andrews, is co-editor of the authoritative 2008 Oxford University Press edition of Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave. She has spoken to or appeared at many organizations including Yale University, UC Berkeley, Mansfield College, NPR, C-Span’s Book TV, KQED, and others. She currently serves as Executive Producer of the award-wining feature documentary film Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes.