This Is Something Very Important

Ronald Smith:  The stories that you always get, you don’t really hear about.  Now if you look at what my grandmother actually put down as Thomas C. Woodson’s father, you won’t see Thomas Jefferson.  What you’ll see, you’ll see the name of Thomas Woodson as being Thomas C. Woodson’s father and his mother being a slave woman. That’s all she put down.

See but there were so many taboos.  You didn’t speak about certain things.  And I don’t know, she said Thomas C. Woodson had a father by the name of Thomas Woodson and a slave woman.  That was it that my father put down in the 1930’s. And that was a little piece of paper that I went from in order to try and pick up some things that (unclear) true.

Dianne Swann-Wright:   I guess what I’d like to do is to ask you to really think about what it was that your grandmother said to you.

RS: She didn’t say this to me.  She said it to my father.

DSW: Okay, well then, tell me about that and tell me what your father said to you.

RS: Now listen.  My father really never said anything to me about this stuff.  The only reason why I knew, I came across this, I knew he had it and when he passed away in ‘72, I said this is something very important, we should do something about it.  He had drawn it up for some reason or another for a brother who died,  I didn’t give you the name, had passed away in 1944.  It was Karl Franklin Smith, Jr.  He had drawn this thing up in the 1930’s for some reason or the other.  But Karl Franklin Jr. died in 1942 and I don’t know why he drew it up and I just happened to see the thing and I used it.  So it wasn’t, it’s nothing that I ever really spoke to him about or to his mother about.  So I really don’t know why he did it.  I really would like to know why he would do it back then, he would have done something like that, because you didn’t talk about genealogies then, or a lot of people didn’t know, so you really didn’t know so, an d there’s a lot of other things that were in there that I wish I had known about.