Baby Boomer (born 1943 to 1963)
Marcia Lamar was born in Mobile, Alabama. Her father, from Africatown, Mobile, Alabama was a high school teacher, head basketball coach, and athletic director. Her mother, also from Mobile, was a homemaker and then worked as a licensed practical nurse until, while raising her children, she completed her college degree and then became a high school teacher and coach.
Growing up with four siblings, Marcia lived in Plateau and Toulminville, Mobile. During the school year in 1st and 2nd grade, they lived with her father's parents in Africatown, a community established by captives from the Clotilda, the last ship that transported slaves after their trade from Africa was abolished, where she attended Mother of Mercy Catholic School while her mother attended Montgomery - Alabama State, unable to attend college locally in Mobile due to segregation. Her father came by every morning for breakfast and every evening for dinner with them. When Marcia was in the 5th and 10th grades, they stayed with her father while her mother continued to complete her degree. In Marcia’s senior year of high school in 1971, she was a part of forced integration, during which National Guard troops shut down her high school early each day due to fights stemming from racial attacks. In school, Marcia participated in cheerleading, sang in the choir, worked with intellectually disabled individuals, was in the National Honor Society and Spanish club and was Secretary of the Red Cross.
Marcia changed course from her plans to attend Spelman College, to become a home economics teacher, but instead went to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend the Atlantic Airlines Personnel School, with aspirations of having the opportunity to travel. Once she completed her studies she was hired by Eastern Airline where she worked seventeen years in reservations and as a lead agent until 1989 when they went on strike. Then, Marcia was hired by Travel Incorporated and has been employed with them for over thirty-one years, where she currently works as an operations manager.
Marcia has been honored as Employee of the Year by Travel Incorporated and as the Crowned Jewels Volunteer of the Year at New Mercies Christian church.
Marcia describes her most significant life accomplishments as raising her children, being a part of the development, establishment, and implementation of two different women mentoring programs, and her family history discoveries.
Marcia is active in her church where she has taught Sunday school and is active with the women’s, missionary, and deacons ministries. She enjoys genealogy, traveling, gardening, sewing, family time, and reading. She is a member of the National Society Daughters of the Union, Colonial Dames 17th Century, Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, the Jamestowne Society, and Sons and Daughters of Middle Passage.
Married at age eighteen in Africatown, Marcia has been with her husband for nearly fifty years. Together, they have four adult children- two sons and twin daughters, and grandchildren.
Oral History Summary
Travel Manager. Yank, white Frank’s black nickname troubles.
Marcia talks about how the Clotilda, the last ship that transported slaves after their trade from Africa was abolished, carried the captives who bought land to create Africatown in Alabama, where her father lived; disheartened learning her ancestors did not come from the Clotilda; her pipe smoking maternal great grandmother, Deland, chopping off a white man's foot after being called a name while enslaved; the death certificate of her absent white maternal grandfather Moses Wilson's enslaved mulatto mother, Lillian James, listing Lillian’s father as "Yank", his black family’s nickname, instead of his real name Frances or Frank, causing three years of being denied for application to the Daughters of the American Revolution; Yank having children with another mulatto woman who lived with him, willed to him by his father with instructions to allow them to live as free and white as possible, but children not liking the way whites were treating people so marrying black, Yank listed as Frank on their death certificates, meeting their descendants; Moses having two children with her black grandmother, but also a white family with six children; Lillian, descendant of Revolutionary War patriot John James, having ten children with European James (Jimmy) Wilson who had a white wife and children who likely wrote him off as dead; connecting with present-day white families of Moses and Jimmy but Yank’s white family disconnecting once they discovered she was black. She shares oral history about growing up in Mobile, Alabama; several years during her childhood, her mother being away at college in Montgomery, unable to attend locally due to segregation; the National Guard at her high school during desegregation, clearing campus early each day after breaking up fights, her brother standing in the corner of the cafeteria eating gumbo amidst fighting; working for Eastern Airlines in Atlanta, Georgia for 17 years, now an operations manager; interested in genealogy in 1976 when pregnant with first child, born on the last day of "Roots"; Deland enslaved by Robert Moffett, sold to Mississippi, daughter Delphine marrying John Beard, descendant of 2nd great grandfather William Beard who was formerly enslaved having 200+ acres of land, a logging company, 22 kids, four wives including a Moffett, starting a church in a community called Moffettville; visiting present-day town; mother's birth certificate not listing Moses as the father, never married grandmother; white descendants of Jimmy's father, Albert Jackson, who owned over 500 acres and slaves, thinking Jimmy died in 1891 as written in their family Bible and "Your Inheritance" book by a cousin which documented family to Charlemagne and Revolutionary War patriot Joshua Wilson, under which she joined DAR, who became a Methodist minister and built a school; their family taking her to cemeteries and churches; finding a 1900 death record for Jimmy, so alive when grandfather born in 1896; white cousins affirming great aunt had stories she wouldn't share; paternal great grandfather Emp Green, U.S. Colored Troop in AL; patriots Mark Harwell and Joel Rivers of Virginia; becoming close to white state officer from AL in GA DAR also descending from patriot Joshua Wilson; reaching out to chapters in Decatur, GA; "I cannot change the past. Without it, I wouldn't be here, I am embracing the good and focused on bettering the future"; connection with black Daughters important since doing similar research; joining DAR to prevent research from being lost; being uncomfortable with some chapter programs about the Confederacy; “some individual women have more learning to do about people of color but the organization stands for all people”; "I am an American".
Marcia Lamar's oral history was recorded on November 22, 2020
Membership State: Georgia
DAR Patriot Ancestor(s)
Harwell, Mark: Virginia
European Descent Male
Rivers, Joel: Virginia
European Descent Male
Wilson, Joshua: North Carolina
European Descent Male