Author Talk: “At the Feet of the Elders” by Darius M. Brown

In honor of Black History Month, we hosted a special virtual book club event with Darius M. Brown, author of At the Feet of the Elders: A Journey into a Lowcountry Family History. Learn more about his work and watch the discussion below!

About the Author

Darius M. Brown is a Genetic Genealogist and Research Assistant at the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC. With over 6 years of experience in genealogy, he specializes in researching enslaved African Americans in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Mr. Brown has conducted extensive research on various lines of his family, tracing them back to the colonial period. Notably, he has reconstructed the enslaved population at several plantations, including Old Fort, Otaheite, Blue Mud, and the Blake Plantations, situated in Beaufort, Charleston, and Colleton Counties, South Carolina.

In addition to his work, Mr. Brown is featured on a drive and tour app called Free & Equal, available on the Apple and Google Play stores. Currently pursuing both his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management at the College of Charleston, and certification in DNA and Genetic Genealogy from the International Institute of Genealogical Studies.

About the Book

The disintegration of slavery in the Lowcountry of South Carolina began with the federal occupation of Beaufort in 1861. After the Battle of Port Royal, slave owners fled their plantations, simultaneously freeing thousands of enslaved people who labored on cotton plantations throughout the Sea Islands of Beaufort County, South Carolina.

Despite slavery destroying the knowledge of family histories in many African American families, Darius Brown illustrates the journey of his ancestors from the colonial period, American Civil War, and thereafter. In this book, the lives of his ancestors are illuminated with the use of archival records that shed light on their arrival from Africa, experiences during slavery, and their lives as freedmen.

At the Feet of the Elders is an astonishing account that shows the resilience and perseverance of a people who were held tightly in the grip of chattel slavery. It honors the tradition of preserving oral histories, genetic genealogy, and serves as a template on how to reconstruct the lives of enslaved people. Learn more: