Author Walter B. Curry Jr., a native of Orangeburg, will be the guest speaker at the next membership meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in the fellowship hall of Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St.
Curry received a bachelor's degree in political science from South Carolina State University and has earned several graduate degrees in education, including a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Argosy University, Sarasota.
In 2018, Curry launched Renaissance Publications LLC and in September of that year, he published his first genealogy book, "The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960), which has been approved to use as a curriculum resource in several Aiken County schools. His second book, "The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga Vol.1, A Narrative History," was released in June 2021. Both books chronicle the reflections and experiences of his relatives shedding light on African American history in Aiken County and South Carolina.
In October 2019, Curry received the 2019 African American Historical and Genealogy Society Book Award in the non-fiction category-genealogy for his book. In 2020, the South Carolina Legislature recognized Curry for his significant work in service to African American history and heritage in South Carolina. In addition, Curry was selected to South Carolina State University 40 Under 40 Inaugural Class for his professional accomplishments and dedication to the university.
Curry is a member of several civic, historical and professional organizations including South Carolina Genealogical Society, Orangeburg County Historical Society, Aiken-Barnwell Genealogical Society and the African American Historical and Genealogical Society. He is also a charter member/volunteer of the International African American Museum and was recently appointed to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Commission.
In addition, Curry has done several book signings and presentations at local conferences, workshops, bookstores, museums and schools across the state and nationwide. His most recent project is "Salley and The Thompson Family," an exhibit in the Aiken County Historical Museum that featured the founding of Salley, South Carolina.
Sumter County Genealogical Society meets monthly from September through May. Visitors are welcome and admission is free. Interested persons are encouraged to join the society; membership includes four newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for family membership. For additional information, call the Society's Research Center at (803) 774-3901.
Refreshments will be served following the speaker's presentation on Sept. 19.
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