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My Alabama Shaw Family on My Father’s Side From 1861-2014

I have talked about some of Great Grandmother Julie’s peers. After their varied life and her improved self-taught understanding about sex, family organization, and family life, she married my great grandfather, Josh Boykin, and conceived my grandfather and birthed him in their married union.

Posted Aug 9, 2016

Annie Shaw-Barnes, Ph.D.
Author and Speaker
Cultural Anthropologist
Family Specialist
Family Education Specialist
Spousal Abuse Specialist
Christian Church Specialist
Racism Specialist

Hi everyone,

Eventually, my great grandmother Julie married a Negro man she loved, the man who was later my great grandfather. He was Mr. Josh Boykin and had a heart full of goodness and love and did not want any life with Great Grandmother Julie, except marriage and a family. By this time, she was tired of spending time with different lovers, and she and Mr. Josh Boykin courted, married, and created their family.

They became parents of my Granddaddy Adam Shaw Sr., Second Generation Shaw member. Great Grand Mother Julie gave Granddaddy Adam Shaw Sr., the last name of her previous lover, Abe Shaw. As a result, Granddaddy raised all his children as Shaw and, thus, Daddy raised me as Shaw. Hence, I write these conversations under the name of Shaw when, in truth, I am a Boykin, but I was never given the opportunity to use the name Boykin. The mix up in my name is another example of the consequence of slave masters not teaching my great grandmother Julie family knowledge and providing her basic education, reading, writing, and arithmetic skills, to handle, even her son’s last name. Since her master freed her without teaching her how family like worked, she self-taught herself how to be a good wife, with a loving heart for the man, Josh Boykin, she truly loved and, vice versa, and how to raise Granddaddy Adam Shaw, Sr. to be an awesome person.

Great Grandmother Julie’s life, in the 1860s, is as useful today, even more so, than it was after slavery. Following what my great grandmother finally learned, we should refuse to birth illegitimate children and argue and fight in our families and our homes should be places of solace, security, and comfort with no one ever hurting another family member’s feelings. Without this, our family life is too imperfect, and we do not enjoy glorious family life. I know all about this. My parents were a sphere of love around me my growing up years, and I didn’t hear them argue, but three times, and that was soon over. As a result, though they divorced, after Mama and I left Daddy on the sharecropping farm for me to get an education, they were always loving and, through the decades, we continue to see and enjoy each other, alone or with the Shaw family, after I asked my stepmother for such opportunities. With joy, the good woman let Daddy, Mama, and I love and enjoy each other forever. On Daddy’s dying bed, with so much love in his heart, he asked me where was Mama. I told him and, slowly, responded, I thought. During the last minutes of his life, he was concerned about Mama, and she was the same way by him.

It takes watching what is spoken out of one’s mouth, actions, and genuine love to create the kind of family that it took Great Grandmother Julie to learn. Now, we know and let us raise a child or children like her son, Granddaddy, Adam Shaw.

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