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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Unique Kickstarter Campaign To Publish Phenomenal Black Heritage

— How newly freed slaves amassed 57 million dollars in nine years after emancipation —

Finding America: 57 Million Dollar Freedman


Bronx, NY — Velma McKenzie-Orr, director of The Bookstore At Grace and former director of the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, has announced that only ten days are left to become one of the backers that will unveil a legacy so amazing that only one group, in the history of humankind, accomplished it. Yet, most descendants of America’s 57 million dollar freedmen don’t know that their ancestors emerged from 249 years of slavery and amassed $57 million in the Freedmen’s Bank, in less than 9 years, between 1865 and 1874, until Finding America’s $57 Million Freedmen: In Search of “40 Acres and a Mule”.

McKenzie-Orr cites W.E.B. Du Bois, who described their feat as “phenomenal”, as the first to write about their accrual of $57,000,000 but notes that few descendants of this history have read his book published in 1935.

Finding America’s $57 Million Freedmen: In Search of 40 Acres and A Mule is a nonfiction saga that explains “a history so astonishing that not even a screenwriter could have come up with a more captivating scenario,” said McKenzie-Orr who serendipitously, “stumbled upon their accomplishment while fulfilling a challenge from her mentor, the late Westley Wallace (W. W.) Law, to research the history of ‘40 Acres and A Mule’ and share it.”

This riveting venture begins with Major General William Sherman on the “march to the sea” from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. Readers are taken back to the only meeting between the United States government and twenty Negro ministers where they discussed the future of soon-to-be freed slaves. Four days later, Sherman issued “Special Field Order No. 15,” now called, “40 Acres and a Mule.” The order set aside 400,000 acres of land for freed slaves and freedmen to have a place to exist in freedom.

McKenzie-Orr questions whether the meeting which resulted in Sherman’s order was an attempt at reparation or damage control for an act initiated by the Union Army that resulted in the death of hundreds of emancipated slaves at Ebenezer Creek.

Backers that pre-order the limited, first edition book, exclusively available for Kickstarter backers will have their names printed in the book to acknowledge their support to publish this important history. Anyone can participate at the Kickstarter campaign link by June 25, 2015 at: