Election Day! The Grandson of A Slave & Father Theodore Hesburgh - President of Notre Dame.

My Story of our Family's Connection to Father Hesburgh

President of Notre Dame
from 1952-1987 

Born & Died
 May 25th, 1917  - February 26th, 2015 

The Grandson of a Slave & a 
Catholic College President

 Our Connection to Father Theodore M. Hesburgh!

Father Hesburgh was Appointed a Charter Member by Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower to be on the 
U. S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1957. He chaired from 1969-1972. 

He interviewed, met and knew my Cousin Aaron Sellers and said
"God Bless You"! 

Just like that Father Hesburgh went down in History with my Family Legacy

This is how American History intersected 
with Father Hesburgh and the Ivery's

For a long time now; I heard the oral history stories about Cousin Aaron from his Daughter, grandchildren and many family members along with Daddy that he was OUR Civil & Voting Rights Pioneer in our Family. Little details here and there. 
I just hadn't really seen it in black and white with the old typewriter print. 

I come from a fairly large family. Over time I have learned my Family's role in this Country. We might of been Slaves but we made it All the way to the White House. Time and time again! 

My Cousin Brad is a Mayor. He is the nephew of Cousin Aaron. Another Generation! So you see the Apple doesn't fall far from the Ivery Tree

Cousin Mayor Brad and Pres. Obama 

Granddaddy Ike died in 1937. Born a Slave but Died a FREE man. I just wonder what he thought of his Grandson Aaron
& Great Grandson Brad ?
I wish I could of asked Cousin Aaron in 2007 so many questions about Granddaddy. I was in such awe when I first met him in 2003. 
Cousin Aaron got to Vote for the 1st African American President. There were 3 Deaths in November. My Mom; age 85 on November 11th, 2008. President Obama's Grandma & Cousin Aaron. November 2nd,2008.
They all got to live to see and Vote! 

Today is Election Day where I live. This is a reminder of WHY I am suppose to VOTE. My family as many others of all Nationalities have DIED and Bleed for our Right to do so. My Cousin Aaron stood his ground after many threats in his small town of Midway where at any moment his Life could of been taken in the still of the night and nobody would of gave a damn.  I will not let what my Cousin Aaron and many in my Family and what Father Hesburgh did for ALL, be in Vain. 

We can look back and this blog post does no Justice on all that went on around the Country. I'm just giving you a glimpse from my perspective on my family and what their involvement in the Civil and Voting Rights Commission lead to. We need to Honor those TODAY and forever more on all that they sacrificed. 

That's ALL the reason I need to know to get up  early and VOTE 

The Ivery's know what their Civic Duty is to this Country. 

Do you?

Cousin Aaron was a farmer. He owned 240 acres. 

He farmed all his Life. He taught his 2 Daughters Gladys and Annie Pearl. They could handle the farm and a hoe just like their Daddy.
 They are still with us today. I just saw them in Pittsburgh of July 2015 celebrating our 20 years of Remembering our Grandfather Ike Ivery
From whom we all descend from. That is our Common Thread. 

Cousin Aaron Sellers Mother
 was Lela B. Ivery Sellers 
she was the Daughter of Ike Ivery 
My True Roots
Mrs. Lela B. Ivery Sellers

She's my Grandma Eddie Lee Ivery Lewis's Sister. 
They have the same Mother Mary Haynes who was married to Ike Ivery in 1875. His 1st of 3 Wives.  Aunt Lela and Grandma Eddie are 2 of his 23 children. That is how we are kin. 

Cousin Aaron was 40 when he was summoned by Tuskegee Institute Professor Charles G. Gomillion out of his fields in 1954 to make a difference in the Lives of Black Folk. 

Professor Gomillion knew of every Negro that was denied the right to Vote in Alabama.  So he sought them out.

This LINK will take you to 
 Interviews of Dr. Charles G. Gomillion  
Housed at the University of Virginia. 

So you can see Dr. Gomillion in person and in voice. What his significance on Civil Rights means. 
They wanted Cousin Aaron Sellers to aid the Citizens of Bullock County, and the State of Alabama on the Right to Vote

Cousin Aaron established the 1st Chapter of the NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at Oak Grove #1 Baptist Church and became it's 1st President!

He was secretly taken to testify on the Voting Rights Commission. He had been threatened over his Land. He had made 6 attempts at trying to Vote and was denied.

Cousin Aaron was always trying to find a way to help OUR People over the decades. So you can imagine all the things living in the deep south all he had to experience in his Lifetime.

My Blog Sister Nicka Smith of Who is Nicka Smith?  Text and asked me; Did I look for my Cousins records yet? I said No....Nicka said; the records are in Public Domain! 
She has a family member over there as well. She had his testimony from the very same Commissioner Storey that Interviewed her family member the Atlas's in New Orleans. 

Random Act of Kindness from a Colleague and Friend! Just for the simple reason she kept up with my Stories & Remembered I had mentioned it to her.

The Ties that Bind Us. 

So of course! I was taken aback and astonished and didn't know what to do but Holler and send her way to many texts Thanking her. For some reason I thought they were classified or I would have to pay a gazillions bucks to get them. 

It was 322 pages of Testimony right in my lap for me to read!

Also there is a Transcript of Testimony on how the Committee Members was formed and commissioned to be on the Panel. These 22 pages housed at the University of Michigan are filled with their Nomination Testimony!

 This Link has a Excerpt of Testimony
 of Commission being Formed 

Father Hesburgh understood the racial disparities in the country. They were honored to be on the panel. Father Hesburgh also said after someone mentioned, this should be solved at the local level. He wanted it to be nationwide. Father also suggested they take these issues on as they come. 

Father Hesburgh was very diligent on his intent and his strong views. He never wavered no matter how many times or ways he was asked. He believed All Citizens where Created Equal! 
He said so over many conversations. 

The Men on this Panel I will do further research. It's the Genealogy way!

 I want to put them in perspective and see their Whole Lives. How it became that they had come to this Point in their Life and Career?  It deserves  research. They are part of our collective History and How we are here today with these RIGHTS. 

That's the backdrop of this Story

Now on to the Genealogy Goody Gem!


This photo was in Mary Frances Berry book called 
"And Justice for All"

The United States Commission On Civil Rights And The Continuing Struggle For Freedom In America

Cousin Aaron was on page 10 & 11

This was found at 11:45 pm on Sunday. Last minute on Google. Somebody in Heaven was looking out for me.
 I almost gave up. I was so tired. I searched one more time. The photo above is a result of burning the midnight oil just to find that perfect photo of what actually happened that day. The PHOTO brought us right into the Hearing!

Cousin Aaron Sellers 

Names of the Commissioner's

Future Governor of Alabama: Honorable George C. Wallace

Cousin Aaron's Testimony



 322 Pages of Testimony

Genealogical Sketch for Aaron Sellers and True 

Caro, Robert A. The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Cousin Aaron Sellers was interviewed and was mentioned in Mr. Caro's book. 

Thank You for stopping Over....I hope you got out and went to VOTE today! 

Best Regards
November 3rd, 2015.

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