The Melungeons blog

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Kennedy: "Elizabeth Mills, Editor
National Genealogical Quarterly
1732 Ridgedale Drive
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35460

To the Editor:

I am responding to Virginia DeMarce's 'essay-review' of my book, The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People, as published in the June, 1996 issue of National Genealogical Quarterly. Although DeMarce's 'review' covered an extraordinarily lengthy sixteen pages, I am keeping my response to one-third the space allotted to DeMarce in expectation of its unedited inclusion in your next issue.

First, it is unfortunate that the NGQ is published quarterly, since this enforces a three month delay between DeMarce's attack and any possible response on my part (a fortuitous circumstance for DeMarce - a former President on the National Genealogical Society - whose previously published works strongly conflict with the theories set forth in my book). I can only assume that, with the receipt of my response, that the playing fields will now be equalized and that, in fairness to me, DeMarce will likewise be forced to wait three months before responding via the next issue of NGQ.

Second, Virginia's scathing and personal attack misses the point of the book. It is a book of speculation begging for more inquiry and stating the author's limitations from the onset. As Virginia points out - and I admit early and often in my book - - I am not a professional historian, anthropologist, physician, or genealogist, but a simple human being who, after a debilitating illness, stumbled onto something that I found to be both intriguing and deserving of further research, but being generally ignored - and even ridiculed - by those I considered to be more qualified researchers. My book is an up-front call for help from qualified scholars, with the entire premise of the book being 'Here is something worth examining...I"

The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People. An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing in America
The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People. An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing in America


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