Trenton, New Jersey - May 12, 2021. We are pleased to announce that the 2021 Annual Sons
& Daughters of the United States Middle Passage (SDUSMP) Awards Ceremony and
Conference will take place virtually on Friday, May 21, 2021, and Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Both events are free and open to the public. The conference is a celebration of the lives of the
estimated 10 million individuals who were enslaved in the United States and early colonial
English America. Without them, African-Americans and their descendants would not exist,
and our country would be unrecognizable. They endured the horrors and brutality of
American slavery, and we must never forget them.
The awards banquet will highlight twelve individuals who have made significant contributions
to the memory of these amazing ancestors, including Representative Sandra Hollins of the
Utah House of Representatives, Cherekana Feliciano, Vice President of New Jersey AAHGS,
Dr. W. Paul Reeves, Chair of Mormon Studies in the History Department at the University of
Utah, Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck, authors and members of the Stoutsburg Cemetery
Association, Margo Lee Williams, Deputy Registrar of Sons & Daughters of the United States
Middle Passage, Dr. Wanda Lundy, Pastor of Siloam Hope First Presbyterian Church, Donya
Williams and Brian Sheffey, hosts of Genealogy Adventures, Marvin Tupper Jones, Director
of Chowan Discovery, Mélisande Short-Colomb, member of the Board of Advisors for the
Georgetown Memory Project and a founding Council Member of the GU272 Descendants
Association; and Frank Smith, Jr., activist, founder of the African American Civil War
Museum in Washington, D.C., and a former Council Member of Ward 1 in Washington, D.C.
Our keynote speaker is Nicka Sewell-Smith, noted genealogist and host of BlackProGen Live.
The awards presentation will honor six authors with our Phillis Wheatley Book Award. The
following books and authors will be honored: A Mulatto Slave, the Events in the Life of Peter
Hunt, 1844-1915 by Denise I. Griggs; Monumental: Oscar Dunn and His Radical Fight in
Reconstruction Louisiana by Brian K. Mitchell; Gram's Gift by Joyce Mosely; Born
Missionary : The Islay Walden Story, by Margo Lee Williams; Caste by Isabella Wilkerson;
and I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land (America in the Nineteenth
Century) by Alaina E. Roberts.
This year’s conference program includes over 18 live and pre-recorded presentations, games,
live cooking and mixology sessions, and an Expo site. The sessions will be highly informative,
with sessions including: basic and advanced genealogical research, using DNA and other
records to discover your roots, understanding African-American history by using genealogy,
how to join SDUSMP and Society of the First African Families in English America
(SOFAFEA), and presentations on family histories connected to slavery. The plenary speaker
is Nicka Sewell-Smith, and the lunch speaker is Andre Kerns, noted genealogist and public
speaker. Other speakers include, Johnathon Sellers, Rahkia Nance, Benice Bennett, Margo Lee
Williams, Skip Richardson and GiGi Best-Richardson, Karen Stewart-Ross, Dr. Evelyn
McDowell, Yvette Lagonterie, Leah Rogne, Ric Murphy, and Stacy Cole.
The conference is sponsored by the National Society for the Sons & Daughters of the United
States Middle Passage, New Jersey Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical
Society, Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilySearch, the Midwest African American Genealogy
Institute (MAAGI), Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (National), and many
individual donors. Anyone in the public can be an individual donor by donating at
For more information about the conference, please see the conference website:
Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage (SDUSMP)
Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage (SDUSMP) is a heritage society for
individuals who can trace their lineage to a direct ancestor enslaved in early colonial America
and/or the United States of America. The organization was formed in 2011 in Washington,
D.C. Its mission is to help descendants of enslaved Africans to identify and honor their
ancestors, connect to other descendants, and to educate others about the history of slavery and its connections to today’s society, lest we forget.