This site is not an official National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) website, and the content contained herein does not necessarily represent the position of the NSDAR. The President General is the official spokesperson of NSDAR.
The purpose of Daughter Dialogues is to explore the contemporary lives of members with African American lineage in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their patriot ancestors are American Indian, black, and white men and women who participated in the fight for the independence of the United States of America. Many people are not aware of the fact that the DAR has members of color or that men and women of color contributed to the Revolutionary War. The participants are women of color and/or descendants of patriots of color. Examples include black women with patriots of European descent and white women with patriots of African descent.
Outcomes include oral history recordings of participants that will be preserved into perpetuity by their deposit into the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute, arguably the world’s largest archive devoted to the history of both individual women and women’s organizations.
The information on the website is a result of research currently being conducted by Reisha L. Raney:
Non-resident fellow, W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University under the direction of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Past Organizing Secretary, Maryland State Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Honorary Regent, Harmony Hall Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution
Research objectives include:
Documenting narratives of members of color and descendants of patriots of color in the DAR.
Examining the historical context of members of color in the DAR.
Examining the changing perceptions amongst non-DAR members in response to the research.
After watching Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s PBS special “African American Lives”, Reisha began searching for her African roots but instead discovered family ties from her Revolutionary War patriot Thomas Turpin to President Thomas Jefferson’s grandfather through an enslaved woman named Mary, which led her to join the DAR and assume a leadership position within the organization.
The DAR states that it does not officially keep records on the race of its members however, Reisha is the first black state officer in Maryland and only one of four known African American state officers in the history of the 125+ year old, 180,000-member society. It is also estimated that as a former regent (leader) of the Harmony Hall chapter, Reisha was one out of ten African American chapter regents, out of over 3,000 chapters, in the history of the DAR. At 39 years of age, Reisha was the youngest known African American to ever hold the position. Additionally, Reisha has been credited with saving her chapter from having to disband by instituting and leading an intensive revitalization effort which reengaged existing members as well as attracted prospective members.
Reisha has given a number of presentations to historical and genealogical societies; religious, civic, and women’s organizations; and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture with audiences of up to 1,500 about her experience as an African American leader in the DAR and her lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution. Reisha's DAR journey has been featured in The Washington Post, The Japan Times, USA Today, and on NBC News. A full list of media coverage can be seen below.
In 2001, Reisha founded Encyde Corporation, which is currently ranked in the top 4% of all women owned businesses in the United States by the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Survey of Business Owners data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Encyde has also been named a top 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in the Washington Capital Region. Originally operating as a Data Networking sales agent for AT&T, Encyde was named one of AT&T’s top 10 agents in New York City.
Beginning her professional career with AT&T in 1997 as a corporate Data Networking Account Executive, Reisha was the top or second ranked in the nation, amongst over 300 salespersons, for three consecutive years and generated sales revenue double that of the next ranked salesperson. In 2000, Reisha continued her career with Concert, a joint venture of AT&T and British Telecom, where she was Director of Internet Protocol Solutions and worked in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo.
Reisha matriculated in a dual degree program from which she earned both a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Spelman College and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was the president of the Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Council.
Reisha has been honored by Living Classrooms Foundation and Politico as a “Rising Star,” an award recognizing outstanding leaders for their achievements and philanthropic efforts and sits on the board of directors of Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region.
Over the course of her professional career and mostly as part of her personal pursuits, Reisha has traveled to over 45 countries, including Antarctica. She has also lived in Brazil and speaks Portuguese. In her spare time, Reisha enjoys skiing, kayaking, RVing, yoga, exploring less traveled paths and destinations, and occasionally creating artwork. She is a licensed boat captain who can be found on the water taking friends and family out for a cruise on the rivers off of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River or on an annual sailing trip in Greece.
In addition to the media coverage of Daughter Dialogues on television, print and radio on this page, visit the Daughter Dialogues Appearances page to view guest appearances in which founder, Reisha Raney, has discussed Daughter Dialogues as a guest on podcasts, live video streaming interviews, and as the keynote speaker for programs and organizations.
Media and News Coverage:
WGEM -FM 105 FM Quincy, IL "News Talk Live” with host Greg Hurley
KUNM-FM 89.9 Northern and Central New Mexico Public Radio with Carol Boss
A WAR WITHOUT END: THE DAR AND THE 40-YEAR FIGHT TO HONOR LENA FERGUSON
The Washington Post
In 2018, Reisha Raney, a distant relative of Thomas Jefferson’s aunt, became the first Black officer in the DAR’s Maryland branch and one of only four Black people to ever be named a state officer.
A graduate of Spelman College and research fellow at Harvard, Raney is looking into the DAR’s racial history with an emphasis on finding the stories of Black women.
“I think it’s important for me to collect these narratives to educate the public and society in general about how different the Daughters of the American Revolution is today compared to what they have been known for in the past,” Raney told USA Today. “It seems like they can’t shake that reputation no matter how many changes that they make and how many amends they make.”
'THEY'RE UNTOLD STORIES': MARYLAND WOMEN ON THE IMPORTANTANCE OF YOUR ANCESTOR'S PAST
ABC DC7- Washington DC
WASHINGTON (7News) — We all spend a lot of time focused on our future... But what if looking back could be just as enlightening?
As we continue our coverage of Black History Month, 7News spoke to a woman who says learning more about her ancestors led her to surprises and unexpected friendships.
Reisha Raney is an entrepreneur in Ft. Washington, Maryland. Her systems engineering company is in the top four percent of women-owned businesses in the country. Raney has traveled the world, but nothing prepared her for the results of a deep dive into her family history.
YES, THERE ARE WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE DAR
Reisha Raney had never listened to a podcast when she decided to start one last year. A mathematician who runs a systems-engineering company in Fort Washington, Raney has, as a side project, spent years researching women of color who have joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was drawn to this topic for one obvious reason: Raney herself is a Black member of the DAR.
To Raney, the backgrounds of people like her—which often involve disturbing relationships between enslavers and the enslaved—represent an important aspect of our past. So after a two-week crash course in podcasting, she launched Daughter Dialogues, which features her interviews with current DAR members...
'DAUGHTER DIALOGUES' PODCAST: SHARING STORIES OF BLACK WOMEN WITH COLONIAL DESCENDANTS
ABC WJLA- Washington DC
WASHINGTON (ABC7) — As we honor Black History Month, a new podcast is highlighting the fascinating stories of Black women who have traced their roots back to colonial descendants. It’s called “Daughter Dialogues,” hosted by Reisha Raney, who herself discovered she is directly related to Thomas Jefferson. She discussed this extremely unique project.
'DAUGHTER DIALOGUES' PODCAST HIGHLIGHTS BLACK STORIES DATING BACK TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Cheddar TV News features the return of the Daughter Dialogues podcast, for season two, on Opening Bell.
Reisha Raney discusses the episode of Karen Batchelor, the first black member of the Daughters of the American Revolution with Kristen Scholer.
Cheddar is the leading post-cable news, media, and entertainment company, watched live by more than 6.5M people each month.
Cheddar broadcasts live on cheddar.com and on SlingTV, Hulu Live, YouTube TV, Philo, Twitter, Facebook Watch, Pluto, Xumo and more.
JOAN ESPOSITO LIVE LOCAL AND PROGRESSIVE
WCPT 820 Chicago, IL radio
Reisha Raney discusses the inauguration of Kamala Harris as the first female, and woman of color, vice president of the United States of America, with Joan Esposito. Reisha answers, "Can we heal as a nation going forward?"
In doing so, she recounts the Daughter Dialogues stories of healing from Nikki William Sebastian about her Mormon cousin whose family enslaved her ancestor, and Michelle Campbell's grandmother being the oldest known living black member at 100 years old despite being shot in the head by white men in a racist attack.
Reisha also talks about Joyce Mosely and Bianca Alexander having ancestors of color who were made to be the richest women in their state by the men who enslaved and had children with them.
Reisha's interview begins at 1 hour 56 minutes and 18 seconds in the recording (1:56:18 - 2:08:47).
Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine
REISHA RANEY ME 96, was elected first Black officer of the Maryland State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Maureen (Dougherty) Tipton, MgtSci 73, was elected the leader for the state. The pair are in their second year of their three-year term.
Raney also serves on the national level as the membership committee division vice chair, overseeing chapters in the eastern United States and units overseas. On July 1, Raney launched the Daughter Dialogues podcast...
SHE'S BLACK AND A DIRECT DESCENDANT OF THOMAS JEFFERSON'S GRANDFATHER...OH, AND THERE'S MORE.
WTOP- Washington D.C.'s top news radio
Raney shared how in her Daughter Dialogues investigation, black women whose ancestors helped the United States earn its independence talk about patriotism and their stake in the founding of this nation. Raney talks about how these women tell untold histories of race in America and the importance of updating the narrative to tell a more honest truth about the founding of this country. These discussions are acutely relevant during the current national conversation on racial injustice.
'CEREMONY' IN ANNAPOLIS HIGHLIGHTS CHANGING DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Typically the Maryland State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution would hold a tea to celebrate the group’s newest officers.
Reisha Raney, a Prince George’s County resident and the first black officer for the state society, put a spin on the event by holding it at Ceremony Coffee Roasters near the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center in Annapolis Saturday afternoon. The women — all descendants of people who helped win America’s independence — sampled coffee, drank coffee cocktails selected by the officers, and learned about the coffee family tree.
MARYLAND DAR INDUCTS FIRST BLACK OFFICER
WBAL TV 11, NBC Baltimore
Maryland's first black officer of the Daughters of the American Revolution was inducted Tuesday in Baltimore.
Reisha L. Raney, a direct descendent of Thomas Jefferson's grandfather, was installed as an officer in the Daughters of the American Revolution, the first-elected black officer in the history of the DAR's Maryland State Society.
MARYLAND DAR NAMES FIRST BLACK OFFICER
The Maryland State Society Daughters of the American Revolution elected its first black officer on Tuesday, the predominantly white organization announced.
Reisha Raney, a distant relative of Thomas Jefferson's aunt, is the first black officer in the DAR's Maryland branch and one of only four black people to ever be named a state officer in the organization, according to Raney and Bren Landon, DAR public relations director.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN TRACES ANCESTRY TO FAMILY OF THOMAS JEFFERSON
The Japan Times
WASHINGTON – Reisha Raney’s role in Friday night’s Daughters of the American Revolution ceremony for the military was minor. She carried Virginia’s flag in a procession that walked down a carpeted aisle at Constitution Hall.
But for Raney, an African-American raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and a descendant of Thomas Jefferson’s nephew, it was one of the most pivotal moments in her life.
DAUGHTER'S FAMILY PRIDE
The Washington Post
Reisha Raney’s role in Friday night’s Daughters of the American Revolution ceremony for the military was minor. She carried Virginia’s flag in a procession that walked a few steps down a carpeted aisle at Constitution Hall and then stood perfectly still.
But for Raney, an African American raised in Prince George’s County, it was one of the most pivotal moments in her life.