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ASU to Host Descendants of Founding Fathers

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Author: Hazel Scott

Release Date: Nov 08, 2017

Several descendants of the University's founders will participate in a genealogical presentation at the National Center.


The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University continues the University’s 150th celebration by hosting several descendants of its founding fathers, the Marion Nine.

The event, which is titled “The Marion Nine and Their Descendants: A Genealogical Presentation,” is Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in ASU’s Ralph D. Abernathy College of Education Auditorium.

ASU President Quinton T. Ross will bring greetings.

​“As Alabama State University celebrates its sesquicentennial, we want to thank Dean Janice Franklin and the staff of the National Center for providing us with a program that brings to life the period surrounding the founding of Alabama State University and to describe how nine ex-slaves fought against incredible odds to establish a school that still stands 150 years later, Alabama State University,” Ross said.

Dr. Janice Franklin, director of ASU’s National Center, said speakers will recount the daunting conditions that confronted these heroic figures.

“The Marion Nine were courageous leaders of Marion, Alabama, who understood the importance of education at a time when former slaves had been persecuted for learning to read and write,” Franklin said. “Their brave, outstanding contributions, as founders of the Marion Institute, laid the foundation for the evolution of our prestigious institution of higher learning that we honor today as Alabama State University.  ASU's National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture is proud to present an opportunity to learn more about these great men of Marion through the genealogical research of one of their descendants, Mr. Gary Franklin.”

Franklin, one of the descendants and a genealogist/family researcher, traced his ancestry back to three of the Marion Nine.  As guest speaker, he will share the most exciting features of his extensive research and will attempt to put a human face on these pioneers.  He will provide a genealogical presentation showing how he traced his family ancestry and identifying three of the University's founders in his tree. Some family members are also in possession of some artifacts from the founders.

The Marion Nine
The Marion Nine were nine ex-slaves who emerged out of the post-Civil War Alabama Black Belt who provided educational opportunities for a newly freed black population.  The former slaves founded the Lincoln Normal School in Marion, Alabama, with $500 in 1867, the parent institute to Alabama State University. Today, Alabama State University, one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education founded for black Americans, is a widely respected institution of higher learning that welcomes students of all races.

For more information, call 334-229-4824 or 334-229-4106.

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