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“The Alabama Black McGruders’ Recounts Generational Reconciliation from Slavery
By Betti Halsell, Staff Writer
Published May 18, 2022

J.R. Rothstein, Susan Tichy, and Kevin McGruder came together to create, “The Alabama Black McGruders,” through Redstone Publishing. (Caption)

J.R. Rothstein, Susan Tichy, and Kevin McGruder came together to create the historical biography, “The Alabama Black McGruders,” through Redstone Publishing. The 517-page novel contributes to the American narrative in multiple areas in culture, government, law, science, medicine, academia, and business. This is the story of how the McGruders came to be.  

The novel shares a narrative between the enslaved and the family who enslaved them. Starting at the beginning, Charles Magruder was used as a stud to breed more Black people to be used for slavery; for the benefit of William A. Ferrell and William A. Wynne. Rothstein is a great-great-great grandson of Charles McGruder and Kevin Mcgruder is also a branch on the Black side of the Mcgruder family tree.  

“Slave breeding” became popular after 1807 because the prohibition on the importation of African slaves limited the “supply” of slaves in the United States. Subsequently, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 increased the territory boundaries and started opening massive new regions for settlement.  

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 The McGruder story can be recognized from ABC’s “Soul of the Nation.” However, the novel takes a deeper dive into a century-long American saga and shares vulnerabilities and reconciliation between White and Black McGruders.  Tichy happens to be part of the White side of the McGruder family and has done a lot of research found throughout the book.  

The story stretches over two generations and begins with a couple of branches of a family descended from Ninian Offutt Magrudert. The tree had polarizing access to American privileges and freedom.

The biography focuses on Charles McGruder’s emergence in the home of his White enslaver and aunt, Eleanor McGruder Wynne. Throughout slavery, Charles is abused and conditioned to breed oppressed people.  Charles has more than 100 children over the course of a lifetime, including 52 sons from various women. 

Charles’ story is being told centuries later by White and Black descendants (McGruder/Magruder family). This book is a one example in American history of the African American family from the beginning to the time onward. 

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