Category Archives: “Colored Cemetery”

The Ugly Side Of Doing Genealogy Research as a Person of Color

Disclaimer: It pains me to have to write this blogpost, but it is necessary as I have been stalked by a distant Euro cousin  for the past six years. I wrote about her in my blogpost DNA Doesn’t Lie: The Denial of the Pepper in Salted Histories  a few years ago. She was the one who asked the state archaeologist,who oversaw the documentary study of the Byram Cemetery and Lyon Cemeteries,  if it were at all possible that I could be DNA-related to her. in 2016. I didn’t name her because I was told that she has mental health issues. As someone who suffers from anxiety, depression brought on by being harassed  and intentionally disabled by my landlord, and had a mother who was mentally ill, I am sensitive to those who have mental illnesses. As someone who is now physically disabled, I am also keenly aware that mental illness qualifies as a disability. I really feel for this cousin and hope that one day she truly gets the help she clearly needs. Maybe one day in the future we could have a discussion about how our lives intersect at points. However, this blogpost is less about her and more about my struggle to comprehend her obsessive focus on me, my research and artwork. I hope and pray that those closest to her stage an intervention because her actions are a clear and present danger to others and not just me. Please click on all highlighted red hypertext links for full transparency. 

 

The Ugly Side of Doing Research as a Person of Color

I have been stalked by Laureen Taylor  —a woman who was previously arrested on a harassment charge in 2014 after stalking someone else for 9 years. The victim of her harassment now has a permanent restraining order against her . She was also terminated from a nursing job because of her abuse of a psychiatric patient in 2006. Everyone has a red line in the sand. Her 1st stalking victim’s red line was when she started reaching out to his wife and young daughter and sending them harassing emails. Well, I’ve reached my own red line six years in now. I can’t imagine another 3 years of her behavior. I will be taking out a personal restraining order against her.  Enough is enough! Self-Care for genealogists of color is a must in order to deal with harassment issues like mine as well as historic trauma.

Laureen calls herself “The Ambassador of Byram” and maintains that she is the SOLE owner of the Byram and Lyon Cemeteries which is preposterous since the Town of Greenwich now owns all 3 historic cemeteries and there are hundreds of other lineal Lyon descendants who also have a hereditary claim to these cemeteries. Laureen and her husband have military backgrounds. Given the current political  environment, I fear that she is a loose cannon  who could possibly attract like-minded individuals who could bring harm to me or desecrate our family’s Colored Cemetery. Her behavior has been escalating ever since she read a newspaper account that there would be a public memorial at The Colored Cemetery in Greenwich, CT —- a historic cemetery that has always been physically separate from the Byram and Lyon Cmeteries. Due to her behavior, the Lyon-Green-Merritts have decided to forgo any public memorial in our Color Cemetery this Spring.

My direct Green descent line going back to my 2nd great-grandfather, George E Green, born in Greenwich, CT circa 1844 via my mother Joyce Green Vega, granddfather Richard Greene, Jr., and great-grandfather Richard Green, Sr.

 

CC Today
The Colored Cemetery spatially below both the Byram and Lyon Cemeteries

 

I shouldn’t have to fear for my life, but I do. Though she lives in Kansas, she has already come to Greenwich, CT and tried to crash my talks in the past, contacted institutions where I have given talks to bad mouth me, Zoom-bombed my virtual talks, and has sent 50+ emails to me in the past year despite a Cease and Desist Letter_032217.docx and multiple emails asking her to leave me alone. When I give in-person talks, I now have to have police protection. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to tell people that I have a “cousin stalker,” but I am.

Cease and Desist 2020 warning

Why ME You May Ask????

I have tried to understand why she is so obsessive compulsive about me. The only reason I can think of based on the ONE time I spoke to her BRIEFLY at the September 22, 2016 Greenwich Town Hall Meeting (see video below where I speak 54 minutes in and Laureen speaks after me). She introduced herself by name when she walked in, but did NOT tell me who she was nor did she approach me after the hearing as practically everyone else had.  When I re-watch the video below, I can see how she may have felt slighted. It was clear when she came into the room that she never expected us to be there front row and center  — no less. As someone who has deems herself “The Ambassador of Byram,” it must have been very unnerving to see “Colored” people rightfully claiming their own lineal rights to the  cemetery of their “Colored” ancestors. That we had another Euro Lyon descendant sitting with us  and other Euro Lyon descendants who had written letters of support for us, I believe, made things worse in her mind. She never considered that there were other Lyon descendants who knew the history of slavery personified in the Town of Greenwich and this particular side of Lyon history.

 

Unlike other people who automatically delete her emails, or ignore her — which I also did for a time and found it to be pointless — I actually read all of them even the ones that come in the middle of the night. I feel pity for her and her writings also bring up memories of the letters my mother used to write to others. Her letters are filled with grievences that have NOTHING to do with me.  I am not responsible if people don’t respond to her emails. It’s not my fault that she has a track record with many people and institutions throughout the State of  Connecticut, But, as I said, I do read her emails and I see the inner demons she battles that flow through them.

It has also left me to read between the lines to figure out what she is trying to convey. Since October 2016, Laureen seems to be someone who desperately wanted my attention and my acknowledgement that she was also a defender of all three cemeteries. For the record,  I have always acknowledged that she told me about and showed me the photos of the desecration that occured at the Byram and Lyon Cemeteries at the hearing. She also wanted me to  help her research HER  direct ancestors. Had Laureen behaved in a non-stalking manner with me, I would have gladly helped her despite admonishments not to do so. She didn’t though. I am now copied on emails like the one below where she adamantly asks people to publicaly repudiate me.

Reflections Page 1 by Laureen Taylor

 

Reflections Page 2 by Laureen Taylor

Or, the email below where she labels me a “social justice  actor” who has “smolletesqueways” and that I am now disrespecting and telling new stories over the graves of HER ancestors. Someone clearly needs to take the TV remote from her and change the Fox New Channel. Seriously — as it is detrimental to her mental health.

Laureen T

 

Laureen Taylor’s 3/21/2022 Email

 

Laureen Taylor’s 3/21/22 Email

l
Laureeen Taylor’s 3/21/22 Email

I have received hundreds of emails over the years from Laureen —emails with other forwarded emails. It’s very chilling to read emails that clearly show, while she denigrates my research, she also tries to mimic what I have been doing for years. So much so that I often wonder if she watched the movie Single White Female and had taken notes. For example, no one discussed NAGPRO in regards the Colored Cemetery  until I wrote a letter that was published in the Greenwich Free Press in March of 2018. Since then, Laureen has sent emails to Greenwich Town officials demanding that they tell her about other Native American cemeteries in Greenwich , CT.  There are no other cemeteries. She has also sought to establish her own “credentials” as someone who knows a lot about Native American culture because she attended a Zoom call about Native American Boarding Schools and works with Native Americans in the state of Kansas. Meanwhile back at the ranch that extends from NJ, NY over to CT, my ancestors are where they have been for the millennia. This is a historic fact that she continues to deny though we have the DNA and paper trail of Afro-Indigenous descent to prove it.

In addition, the fact that she  never refers to our Colored Cemetery says a lot to me. The fact that she has never acknowledged our family’s lineal ties to The Colored Cemetery is also telling.  Her ignorance of how the institution of slavery operated and was manifested in our DNA speaks volumes As I see it, her reaction to my research and artwork is nothing but pure, unadulterated racial jealousy. There I said it.

While Native- and African Americans have seen their cemeteries disappeared, destroyed, built over, and desecrated for centuries, Laureen ‘s “white fragility” over our ancestors’ Colored Cemetery proves she can’t handle the simple truth that our ancestors were complicit in the Transatlantic Slave Trade AND fathered childen with enslaved women. The photo below are the BCM & NCM T-shirts I used to sell in my RRBB Shop.  I took down my shop 2 years ago, but will be resurrecting them in an different place along with other items, including my artwork.  These are the same T-shirts that she is offended by. Needless to say,  I will not be silenced by Laureen.

Because African and Antive Cemeteries Matter

On Critical Race Theory: Whose Canceling Who?

Laureen calls me an “activist” like it’s a slur to me. If telling the stories of my ancestors, whom someone else doesn’t want to hear about, qualifies as being an activist, then I will wear that badge with honor. I will NEVER apologize for finding, writing about, celebrating  and honoring my ancestors! It took me way too long to find my people for me to leave them behind ever again. I will keep saying their names until the day I die because that’s what “ancestor activists” like me do. We create an instant bond with our ancestors that unites us down through the generations. There is no separation between those who walk on this land and those who transitioned beyond. As descendant of Afro-Indigenous enslaved, formerly enslaved people and Free people, I will continue to tell the good, bad, and utterly ugly stories that impacted their lives in the socio-historical time period in which they lived.

It seems to me that Laureen currently lives in a bubble of misinformation that is Fox News-generated. From the emails she sends me, that seems to be the only news channel she listens to all the time.  Since last December, she has been injecting racialized buzzwords like ‘critical race theory,” “activist,” and others into all of her emails. Since no one takes her seriously, with a few minor exceptions like myself, it appears that she is attempting to rally other people to her “cause.”  She has seen that this tactic has worked successfuly in many places like Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, the Virginia Governor’s race,  local school board races across this country, and now the SCOTUS confirmation hearing of the very qualified Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson . It’s a rallying call that is as absurb as those who  rallied against  former NFL football player turned Civil Rights activist Colin Kaepernick  for kneeling and  expressing his First Amendment Rights as an American citizen.

Laureen wants to, but can’t erase the history inherent in the Transatlantic Slave Trade map below that shows the items that were exchanged for people, the fact that our ancestor James Lyon played an active role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and was an enslaver, or the history of how Ali African (aka “Ally Mink”) was captured in West Africa and brought to Greenwich, CT on James Lyon’s vessel in the mid-1790s. As I have written elsewhere,  my own ancestors’  history should not be erased or denied because a descendant of a family who enslaved people wants to close her eyes twinkle her nose, nod her head, and shout “History be gone.” My ancestors’ lives were valid, as were the lives of each and every other Native- and African-descended person who lived in the Hangroot community of Greenwich, CT between  the 17th-19th centuries and beyond.

https://new.artsmia.org/period-rooms/just-imported
James Lyon pioneered the voyage were  Ali African aka Ally Mink was captured in the mid 1790’s in West Africa. Ali was a mink fur trapper and had 5 acres wolf-pitt swamp in Greenwich, CT.  #FactsMatter
James Lyom, brother f Daniel Lyon, was a Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. Several of his enslaved people escaped to Nova Scotia by becoming Black Loyaists.

The real problem that this country is facing is the canceling of the truth about this country’s original sins— genocide, dispossession and slavery. The historical narrative that people like Laureen hold dear —- that her Revolutionary War and Loyalist ancestors would never have fathered children with enslaved women or engaged in the Transatlantic Slave Trade is wrong. The Lyon-Greens-Merritts don’t range in skin color  from Black to White on their own and neither do most Native- and African-Americans. Once this fact is accepted then maybe, just maybe, a real conversation on “race” can take place. I will never cosign onto a white-washed version of history that denies the existence of my ancestors’ lives. Not today. Not tomororw. Not ever!

Silent No More: Just  Sharpening My Oyster Knife

The past four years have been hard for me. In July of 2018, I experienced a massive mice and roach infestation after the installation of a new boiler in my NYC rent-stabilized apartment in 2016. Whoever installed my kitchen cabinets put fake backs that hid large holes in my wall. I immediately experienced pulmonary and neurological issues that have left me disabled.  In June of 2019, the management company, in full violation of NY State Pesticide Notification  Law , sent an exterminator to my apartment who ignored my admonishment not to spray any chemicals as I had an appointment with a neurologist in a few days.  What he didn’t  know is that I was born with autoimmune illnesses and suffered from allergies. As a result, I suffered additonal personal injuries that have made it difficult for me to walk, breather, and see at times.  That being said, if you see typos on things I write it’s due to these issues.

I am writing this not to solicit any pity. Life happens and I have been adjusting to my “new normal.” Despite everything, Andrea and I have never stopped researching during these pandemic years and I have continued to give Zoom Talks and a few talks in person when I am able.  But, I did stop writing blogposts because of the havoc Laureen has caused in my life.

Laureen noticed my disability in her May 28,2021 email below as there was media coverage of  The Witness Stones Project Ceremony that honored the enslaved people who labored for generations at the Bush-Holly House in Greenwich, CT.  As you can see in her email, she mentions having a disability. Again, I am sensitive towards her condition. But, there is something to be said about how her White privilege blinds her to the fact that I was raised by a single, mentally ill mother who couldn’t care for me and my siblings. Two of us were sent to live with our grandparents and two lived with a foster family for a time.  That I have been as successful as I am comes from the foundation that my grandparents gave me at a young age. It was a solid foundation that was further strengthened by my attendance at Messiah Baptist Church — a church that actively embraced libertion theology and had a pastor who was a graduate of Bowdoin College, my alma mater. In the words of Langston Hughes, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”  I wish I had some of that Greenwich hedge fund money that Laureen always refers to or had been raised in a two-parent home like she was.

 

May 28,2021 Laureen Taylor Email

As Genealogists of Color, the racist behavior of Laureen and Jennifer (see email below) is something many White genealogist, historians, archivists, etc. don’t have to deal with on a regular basis. Laureen didn’t strategically target most of  those who were responsible for the events that occurred the day of The Witness Stones Project Ceremony though she copied them on emails that went either to spam or were politely answered because it’s part of someone’s job description. Likewise, these same people don’t have to deal with the very real threat of violence she is directing towards me  — a threat some of us know all too well because it was directed at our ancestors time and time again. White privilege comes in many forms. Yes, it does and it needs to be called out by everyone who rejects this type of behavior 100%.  When descendants of the enslaved/formerly enslaved and Free People of Color are silenced, while other White genealogists, historians, archivists, etc. are allowed to speak about our very ancestors in public, that’s a problem. Period!

Jennifer’s December 2016 email
Jennifer’s December 2016 email
Jennifer’s December 2016 email
Jennifer’s December 2016 email

These Hands and My Artwork

 

Teresa Vega 2022

During the pandemic, I have been keeping busy doing a lot of things to maintain my sanity in these insane times. For example, I’ve taken online Early American History classes and am now considering pursuing a PhD in History. I’ve also expanded my art skills and have taken up the craft of weaving. Weaving is something my ancestors certainly did. I often wonder what my 4th great-grandmother, Peg Lyon Merritt Green, thought about when my 4th great-grandather, Anthony Green,  ran away in 1811 wearing homespun trousers she had woven for him. Did she find her peace among the weft and warp? Did her weaving promote mindfulness to allay the anxiety she must have  had and probably passed down to her descendants like me? These are just some of things I have been exploring in my new found craft.

My art may not be for everyone. I make art for me, my people, and those who want to learn and understand the symbolism that inspires my art. What I don’t do is create art that Laureen feels should fit her agenda— whatever that is. If she, or anyone else, doesn’t like my art, they don’t have to look at it. That is their choice. Haters will always hate so I will continue to carry on creating mixed-media artwork that show my ancestors survival and resistance to genocide, slavery, and dispossession like the ones below.

 

Blessed Be, Byram! Artwork by Teresa Vega, 2020

 

And Then They Came, Mixed-Media Artwork by Teresa Vega, 2021
Freedom was Always Ours/ Wawaxi’nei Koba Tokabu Wakiya’no Tapestry in Progress by Teresa Vega 2022

In Conclusion:

My blogpost is a call to those closest to Laureen to get her the professional help she needs ASAP! She is time-bomb waiting to explode and I may not be her only target. I have emails in my possession where she rants against “The Greenwich Irishmen” which include State Rep. Steven Meekers (D) and Greenwich Police Chief James J. Heavey and ends with “Laureen m (Tracey) Taylor, daughter of James and Maureen  s. tracey will have the last word on all of this.” I also have in my possession emails of Laureen trying to get information on Alex Popp and his daughter after they were featured on the front page of The Greenwich Time newspaper. Furthermore, let us not forget all the virtiol she has directed towards my mentor and friend, Jeffrey Bingham Mead. I will be obtaining a permanent restraining order that will lead to her arrest if she continues to harass me. This blogpost also serves as a public warning that she is a clear and present danger to others….And just like that darkness comes to light.

Please feel free to make this post go viral by sharing it. If any Geneaologist of Color has a similar experience, please share it in the comment section and I will do my best to coordinate a Zoom call where we can discuss these issues further. I also welcome other allies to share this blogpost as well and add their thoughts and feelings on the issues I raised. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off the Battlefield, But Still Suffering from PTSD

This blog is dedicated to our cousins Helen Hamilton, Keith Lyon, and Raymond Armour who were on this jouney with us from the start and whom all joined our pantheon of ancestros within the past 8 months. They are now our newly-appointed Ancestor Angels and biggest cheerleaders. We will keep saying their names so that they will always be remembered.
L Cousins Helen Hamilton, Keith Lyon, and Raymond Armour

On behalf of the extended Lyon-Green-Merritt family, we would like to thank the Town of Greenwich Board of Selectmen, State Representative Michael Bocchino, the Conservation Commission, Nancy Dickinson, Christopher Shields, and the rest of the Cemetery Committee of the Town of Greenwich, The Office of the Town Clerk, the Greenwich Preservation Trust, CeCe Saunders, Brian Jones, and the staff of Historical Perspectives, Inc., the Greenwich Historical Society, and the Rye Historical Society for their help over the past four years. A special thank you goes to Josephine Conboy and the Greenwich Preservation Trust who worked hand in hand with State Rep. Michael Bocchino to advocate for a new CT cemetery law that will protect other ancient burial grounds from the descecration our family experienced. Another thank you goes to Jeffrey Bingham Mead who challenged me years ago to research and preserve not only the history of Greenwich, but also to write about a history he knew was important for people to read. Finally, I owe a big thank you, to Eric Fowler, Anne Young, and the Law Department of the Town of Greenwich for dealing with me directly these last two years as it was not an easy thing to do and I admit it.

When the Battle Is Over, I’m going to SING and SHOUT!: We Claim Victory!

They got to keep their driveway. It was never about their driveway or their property for us! NEVER!

We GOT EVERYTHING WE WANTED!!!!

It was all about preserving OUR cemeteries, especially the “Colored Cemetery” section of Byram Cemetery, and making sure all our ancestors would be remembered and properly memorialized. It was about making sure that our ancestors in the “Colored Cemetery” would be able to rest in peace, alongside their kin, after having their section of Byram Cemetery made into someone’s front lawn. It was about making sure our Lyon ancestors’ original intention for the “Colored Cemetery” to exist where it always has been was RESPECTED and given the historic, accurate name it always had. It was about making sure OUR LINEAL RIGHTS as descendants were finally acknowledged. Most importantly, it was about paying tribute to the Native-African presence that has always been in Greenwich and which has always been reflected in the Lyon-Green-Merritts of Color who have the DNA, oral, and written history to back up their Native-African heritage — no one ever had the right to tell us what we always have been. Finally, it was about paying tribute to the history of slavery that was personified in the North which led to our ancestors working together on the Underground Railroad and engaging in the social justice/resistance acts of abolition.

We Were NEVER the PROBLEM/http://www.timidmc.com/shop/

After almost a year of being on the Cemetery battlefield, on August 6th, my 5 cousins and I learned that the judge DENIED The Stewarts their 2nd Motion to Strike us from The Jeffrey M. Stewart et. al. v. The Town of Greenwich et. al. lawsuit. We had been waiting for the day for a judge to read all our documented evidence. Then, on Wednesday, August 8th, we were asked to send a letter indicating our support for the Town of Greenwich’s Stipulation of Settlement as the Now Named 6 defendants. The next day, on August 9th, the Town of Greenwich Board of Selectmen approved the Stipulation of Settlement at 10.42 am. I was at the funeral of my Uncle/Cousin Raymond Armour where I had the honor of announcing the Settlement to my family and to him directly. It will now be sent to the judge. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of this case.

The “Colored Cemetery” is where our Native-African ancestors were buried. Make no mistake, our ancestors ARE BURIED there and have been for centuries. The Stewarts’ constant and continued denial of our ancestors physical presence in the “Colored Cemetery,” speaks volumes about THEM more than it does our ancestors. In my blogposts on my Green-Merritt ancestors and on the now resurrected, hidden historic community of HangrootI documented our ancestors lives in Greenwich, CT and noted how they were the ONLY family of Native-African descent to live next to their former slave owners and slave owner descendants for over a century. In fact, they made up the majority of People of Color in Greenwich in the mid-1800s. DNA also links us to the Lyon, Merritt, and Green families. But, The Stewarts want others to believe that not one of our ancestors were ever buried there??? Please…

The “Colored Cemetery” at Byram Cemetery

In my many blogposts on the “Byram African-American Cemetery,” I documented how our extended family felt upon learning about the desecration of our “Colored Cemetery.” We have been waiting for justice to be served for four years. We always KNEW The Stewarts didn’t have a case. I mean how do you abide by a Cease and Desist Order in 2014 after you desecrate the “Colored Cemetery,” then invite the descendants of people buried there into your home to discuss putting a plaque on tree in honor of the “Colored Cemetery,” and then wait over a year to file a lawsuit that denies the existence of the same cemetery? We won’t even discuss my epic 277-page response, three 1890 contemporary newspaper articles mentioning the first desecration of the “Colored Cemetery,” the 1901 dated, time-stamped, and accepted copy by the Town of Greenwich Clerk map, Historical Perspectives, Inc.’s documentary study, or all the letters written by my cousins which were submitted to the court as proof. If you are interested, you can read all the evidence here  (Docket#: FST-CV-17-6033549-S).

The Privileged Don’t Pay the Price, But Others Have to…

A lawyer friend asked me recently how I felt about the process that led to the settlement and what were the things that troubled or concerned me about the settlement? I told him that I did what I had to do to protect the rights of my ancestors to rest in peace and not be erased from history. That being said, while I am happy about the outcome, I do feel that the Stewarts and the Town are now able to just walk away and both entities act like everything was done for “due diligence” and can say “let bygones be bygones.” They can easily both “go home with footballs,” as Attorney Marcus stated in the Greenwich Time newspaper on 8/11/18. Obviously, they never considered the racial and class dynamics that were being perpetuated in prime time that were no different from what my ancestors experienced. They had the power once again to deny us everything and that was not lost on us —not for one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one year nor for centuries.

Meanwhile, I am battle-worn, battle-scared, and suffering from PSTD feeling like I was forced against my will to run thousands of miles to the top of a mountain and now some people feel that I should run down the other side of the mountain immediately when I am physically and mentally exhausted. No, that is not going to happen. I need time to deal with the past two years and especially the past 8 months. I don’t have the luxury to just walk away now, as others apparently do, because my ancestors CHOSE ME to be their unified voice to articulate their pain, loud and clear, with my head held high…just like they showed us all when they walked towards freedom. It was a burden I willingly carried and I did it to protect my ancestor’s burial site and elucidate their RADIANT lived history that should NEVER be erased. I need time to breathe clean air again and re-charge my batteries. I would like to think that I’m like Timex and can take a lickin and keep on tickin,” but I’m not. Vegatron does have her limits. Don’t worry. I will be just fine in the end. His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.

Both The Stewarts and The Town’s Law Department put my family under tremendous, unnecessary stress. The Stewarts knew it was a cemetery from the beginning. The Town did not follow proper procedures in acquiring abandoned cemeteries. Both entities threw The Stewarts’ wealth in our faces like hot bricks just out the fire. The “no disparagement clause” in the settlement is for their mutual benefit. At no point, have they even offered an apology to my family —not privately, not publicly. Though that is something I know they would never do and I am not holding my breath for, it’s those little things that sometimes matter most.

My family and I worked out our issues with The Town in early April and this has allowed us to move forward. From the beginning until present, The Town said, and now will do, what they said they would do when they actually acquired the abandoned cemeteries. Our family will be active partners with the Town going forward to create a historic “Colored Cemetery”. However, The Stewarts are another matter. As of today, there will be NO Kumbaya moment. I want nothing to do with people who have no integrity and show no respect for the sacred resting spaces of others.

There are NO Statutes of Limitation on Historic Trauma/Historic Erasure

Desecrating an ancestral burial ground for greed is traumatic. Arguing that we must excavate our ancestors to satisfy that greed and morbid curiosity is traumatic. Denying that our ancestors ever existed and trying to erase their physical presence in this world is traumatic. It is traumatic because you KNOW that slavery was never designed for Native-and African-American family reunification. It was designed to sever the ties that bind. And then, here we were in 2016 and just as we located our oldest ancestors, we found out that the couple, who made our ancient burial ground into their front lawn, tried to use us against The Town. You realize that had you not had Guardian Angels in Greenwich who immedately notified you of The Town’s actions, they would have gone with the photos you sent them, selfies included, with the letter you unknowingly wrote in their favor to the Town of Greenwich meeting on 9/22/2016 and act like they had secured the approval of the descedants of the enslaved/formerly enslaved buried there. Duplicity in action!

I strongly feel that The Stewarts need to be held accountable for their actions that led them to desecrate our burial ground. Two years ago, I wrote that no one should expect us to be neutral on this matter and we meant it. Since Section 34 was part of their lawsuit— though the “Colored Cemetery” has been in existence for centuries as part of Byram Cemetery — and is now forever etched in our collective memory, we will continue to tell the truth that their lawsuit was an obvious land grab to increase the value of their waterfront property. It was also a racist lawsuit since they could have argued their case without mentioning race in the first place. They are the ones who DECIDED to go there and WENT there! We are the ones who always told the truth.

 

Jeffrey M. Stewart et. al. v. The Town of Greenwich 

 

August 28, 2016 Is The Day Our Ancestors Decided This Very Outcome

The Stewarts made several wrong assumptions back in 2016. 1) That we would not know anyone in Greenwich because we didn’t live there. 2) That we weren’t educated and couldn’t detect the gaping holes in their story on Day1; 3) That we would never be united with our Lyon cousins. Our ancestors, on both sides of the color line, decided that would not be the case. They chose me on that day to repeatedly ask the all important question which was “If no one owns the land as you indicated by doing a deed history search, then why are you following a Cease and Desist letter?” Our ancestors chose my cousins Pat and Eddie to bare witness on that particular day, too.

I believe in many things. I believe that that my God is an awesome God who loves everyone unconditionaly. I believe that in my Father’s house there are many mansions. I believe that my ancestors are with me wherever I go. I believe that death is but a necessary happenstance. I believe that there is no shelf-life in the Hereafter and that, as descedants of originally enslaved people, family reunification happens automatically upon transitioning — even if it never happened during our years on Earth. I believe in the power of God to direct my path. Like Assata Shakur, ”I believe in living, I believe in birth, I believe in the sweat of love and in the fire of truth and I believe that a lost ship, steered by tired, sea sick sailors, can still be guided home to port.” On August 28, 2016, I KNOW my ancestors guided me to THEIR ancient burial ground here on Earth to help guarantee that our side of the family would be represented at the September 22,2016 meeting alongside our Lyon kin.  A family UNITED will never be DEFEATED. My cousins and I will continue to make them proud.
We are the Lyon-Green-Merritts

 

My Research Is My Therapy: Next Up On the Agenda

I will be contiinuing my research to get state and federal recognition for the Green-Twachtman House — the house my 3rd great-grandfather built in 1845 at 30 Round Hill Road (Hangroot) —as a confirmed UGRR site. My 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Johnson, was a self-emancipated woman who arrived in Greenwich, CT in the mid-1820s from Virginia.

In Closing…His Eye Is On the Sparrow and I KNOW he watches ME

Let it be forever known that I am the daughter of Joyce Greene Vega, the granddaughter of Richard W. Greene, Jr., the great-granddaughter of Richard W. Green, Sr., the great-great granddaughter of George E. Green, the great-great-great granddaughter of Allen and Mary Green, and the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Anthony and Peg Green.

I’m going to leave this Walter Hawkins video right here so I can go back to singing amd shouting! We got the VICTORY! 

 
 
#DaughterOfJoyceGreeneVega #BaptizedInMessiahBaptistChurchByRevMichaelWayneWalkerIn1981 #80LegionParkwayBrocktonMA

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