Friday, March 31, 2023

Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon

Courtesy of the Katie Geneva Cannon Papers, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia PA

On this last day of Women’s History Month, I honor my cousin and kindred spirit, the Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, shown in a collage featuring a photo of her from the 1970s and one of her works of art from 2000. 

Cousin Katie was the first African American woman to be ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at Union Theological Seminary, a renowned scholar, and a founder of the Center for Womanist Leadership. Her legacy includes many more honors and thought-provoking lectures, books, and articles. 

I never met Cousin Katie in person, but we corresponded, exchanging articles and sharing our deep admiration for our ancestor, Mary Nance Lytle, a strong-willed courageous woman who reclaimed her children who had been sold away during slavery.

Cousin Katie was born in Kannapolis, N.C., in 1950, and passed away in 2018. I regret I never got the chance to spend time with her and tell her how much I admired her.

The collage above is copyrighted and is used here with permission from the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Southern Tones and Southernaires

Second from left is Cousin James "Tunesy" Fletcher (1935-2012). He was a member of the Southern Tones of Philadelphia. Back in his hometown of Lancaster, S.C., he performed with the local group, Gospel Southernaires, along with his brothers, John Fletcher and Roosevelt Fletcher, who was the lead singer.