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“Mission Possible: Help Us Get to Africa

June 20, 2017

“The time has come,’ the Walrus said,

     To talk of many things:…”

 

Akata Family,

For the past two and a half years I have been working on Akata Documentary, a film which traces my journey to uncover my family’s history. Through my journey, you have witnessed me purchasing and taking my DNA test to meeting new relatives. Via social media, you’ve traveled with me to Utah, Atlanta, and South Carolina. I showed you the slave homes were my ancestors where enslaved and we’ve even celebrated together at the #AkataCookout.

I’m excited to report that the Akata Team and I have almost reached the final stage of production. Today, we are asking you to continue your support by helping us complete the film. Up until this point, we have self-funded this project and unfortunately, we have exhausted our resources. We have one final segment left to shoot which requires us to spend one month in West Africa. We want to ensure the authenticity of the film by visiting the exact places where my ancestors originated. Some of these places include Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria. We want to visit every slave port, castle, and museum. While we are there, we hope to interview the locals and get their perspective of their country’s history and how they feel about my project. I am super excited but I am prepared to work as soon as my feet hit African soil.

Our goal is to raise at least $10,000, which will provide 2 international plane tickets to Africa, as well as domestic flights within the continent to 7 different countries. 

To Donate: https://www.gofundme.com/AkataDocu

For the past two and half years, I have dedicated my life to this project. No really… I’ve stopped working a regular 9 to 5 job and I have worked diligently on this project because I see the value and impact this film could have on an entire generation. Not only to inspire the African American community to get interested in their own personally genealogy but to enhance relations within the African diaspora and inspire the youth to appreciate their individual culture and traits that make them unique. This film must get done and it must be put out there for public consumption. I can’t do these things without your help.

 I look forward to whatever support you can provide, and I look forward to sharing my West African experiences with you!

God Bless

Victoria

Together we can make genealogy lit.

www.AkataDocumentary.com

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You’re Invited: #AkataSoiree

June 3, 2017

You are invited! Consider this your personal invitation from us.

On Friday, July 28, 2017, from 7:30 -10 pm, we are hosting a fundraising soiree to get the community excited about our project and excited about donating to our GoFundMe campaign. At the event, our guests will be the FIRST to see the premiere of our official movie trailer! I cannot wait for you guys to see it. We will also have time to for a Q&A session afterward, so don’t be shy.

Our menu will consist of delicious American and African cuisine by our very own chef Loyal “Chip” Henderson III and our sponsor Lady V, from Lady V Bijoux. What else can I say? There will be $5 raffles (we have awesome prizes), giveaways, music, networking and more! Be sure to wear your best African attire. If you don’t have any, cocktail attire is best.

When you arrive, use our Snapchat filter and tell your friends to support our film by donating to our GoFundMe campaign. We are bringing back the Akata Documentary & Up Studios LLC banner, so take as many selfies you want in front of it!

Please RSVP to the event here: https://akatasoiree.eventbrite.com

#AkataSoiree #AkataDocumentary #MoreThanBlack

 

 

*P.S. It is recommended that you show up on time. We will be premiering our video presentation at 8:30 pm sharp!

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Rest in Paradise Uncle Billy

May 3, 2017

Dear Uncle Billy,

Sometimes we forget to live, cherish,  appreciate and love this thing called life. My favorite Uncle, you left us in November. We were supposed to go on a White House Tour on December 5th. I was going to give you an extreme update on my movie, instead of subjecting you to hearing second-hand information from my mother. You were going to say  “Oooo and Ahhhh”, tell me how proud you were of me, and then you were going to give me a list of items to bring back from Africa.

God had different plans… You passed from a heart attack on November 21, 2016. Through these tears I shed, I can rejoice because you lived a great life. My whole family, your students, and your community loves you. I know you are in a better place. I thank you, Uncle, for taking care of my family when times were hard, taking care of my 90-year-old grandmother, for your generous “just because it’s Monday” gifts. I thank you for sharing your artistic talents with my sister and I. You kept us well stocked with all the art supplies we needed to hone our crafts. Even as an adult, Uncle I thank you for falling in love with Akata Documentary, I thank you for sharing my project with one who listened. I miss you soooooo much.

 

Your niece,

Victoria

 

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Florence Has My Name Written All Over It

It all started off with a pin

Early July, around noon time, I invited my genealogy mentor over to my house so she could show me what she had discovered. In that session, she revealed me to me that the slave owner who was responsible for my family’s name, went by the name of Joseph Gregg, born in the 1700s. Trying to keep face, I played it cool and told her to continue, all while my heart was breaking. I mean, I was not naive to think that there wasn’t a possibility of my last name originating from slavery, but putting a face to a name was a hard pill to swallow. In the midst of my world crashing, I heard my mentor say “ I found an image on Pinterest. The gentleman in the photo is one of your ancestors…” I paid her no mind.

 

Fast forward to mid-November, my team and I traveled to Florence, South Carolina to visit The Gregg Plantation. I wanted to drive past the slave mansion Joseph Gregg lived in and most importantly I wanted to see the living conditions my ancestors were subjected to. We visited the slave cabins and the tenant houses my ancestors stayed in. Re-walking the footsteps of my ancestors was devastating yet empowering at the same time. I am touching what they touched, smelling what they smelled, the only difference is I chose to be there.

 

All of a sudden spotted a “familiar picture” that I saw earlier this year, outside of the slave cabin.

 

Afterward, We visited a small resource library where I spotted the original image…

 

Then, I found a book with him on the cover!

I knew I was in Florence, SC but I literally felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Not only did this image keep popping up, but my last name is written all over this city. This trip provided healing I didn’t even know I needed. I also met the people who are in charge of maintaining my family’s history. I had no idea they or this information even existed. I am forever humbled and grateful.

 

Special thanks to everyone who has donated to this project to make this trip possible. Words cannot describe how truly thankful I am!

 

 

Enjoy more images from our trip

 

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