“ The Life of William Grimes: The Runaway Slave”
KSQD 90.7FM “Be Bold America!” Sunday,
February 13, 2022 at 5:00pm (PT)
“Let anyone suppose himself a husband and father, possessed of a house, home, and livelihood: a stranger enters that house; before his children, and in fair daylight, puts the chain on his leg, where it remains till the last cent of his property buys from avarice and cruelty, the remnant of a life, whose best years have been spent in misery! Let anyone imagine this, and think what I have felt.”
– William Grimes Litchfield, October 1, 1824
Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave is the first fugitive slave narrative in American history. Because Mr. Grimes wrote and published his narrative on his own, without deference to white editors, publishers, or sponsors, his Life has an immediacy, candor, and no-holds-barred realism unparalleled in the famous antebellum slave narratives of the period. Reading it will cause your skin to prickle and crawl.
On this show you will hear from his direct ancestor, Regina E. Mason and her story of her 15-year path to authenticate her ancestor’s story and the intense personal sacrifices that made editing and publishing a new edition, “Life of William Grimes, The Runaway Slave,” possible and its subsequent documentary.
In making the film, “Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes,” Director and Producer, Sean Durant, sought to convey not only Mason’s long road to uncover her past, but also the unimaginable conditions that faced William Grimes as he struggled to free himself from slavery. The documentary is captivating, inspiring, unforgettable, and historically significant as it dramatizes two powerful stories: the heart wrenching travails of William Grimes and Regina E. Mason who discovers long-hidden truths about her forebear’s lives.
Regina E. Mason is an international Speaker, Author, Film Producer, and Storyteller, who believes in the extraordinary will of the human spirit. She has spent 15 years researching the life of her great-great-great-grandfather, William Grimes who penned his life story in 1825 at a time when African American autobiography was rare.
She has shared her story on college and university campuses across the nation and in the United Kingdom. Her story has been featured on RTE Radio in Ireland and on C-Span2 Book TV and on NPR’s Fresh Air with host Terry Gross. She is the recipient of several awards including the celebrated AMISTAD “MAKE US FREE” award by the state of Connecticut’s Amistad Committee. A retiree from the University of California at Berkeley, Regina resides in Oakland with her family.
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