Dr. Charles Sampson Shares His Reflections on Family, Race, and History in a Moving Memoir “Sparrows of Senegambia”
Dr. Charles Sampson released his book Sparrows of Senegambia: A Memoir, a compelling and thought-provoking read that is a cross between a family autobiography, travelogue, history book, and social commentary.
For the author who calls himself an ardent observer of life in America, writing this book presented him with tremendous opportunities for self-examination. Sparrows of Senegambia connects his birthplace, life, work, educational experiences, and above all, travels to many countries, particularly countries of Africa. His travels to Africa, most especially to the island of Gorée, Senegal in 2005, as a member of the Consortium on International Management, Policy, and Development (CIMPAD) and Fulbright fellow led him to confront the history of slavery, among other events that impacted him as an African-American.
The visit became a gift as it fostered informed reflections on my past life, the author wrote in his book. Because I traveled to Gorée Island, I was able to connect that place in West Africa to Eucutta, MS, home of my paternal grandparents, and then to connect that place to a story of the descendants of Abe and Calline Sampson and the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of this American family. Africans from many different locations were brought to Gorée Island, sold into slavery, and held in the holding warehouse on the island until they were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean.
The authors great-great-grandfather was born on a slave plantation in Virginia. His son, Abe (authors paternal great-grandfather) was born on a plantation in Mississippi. He reflected at length on the slave trade and the victims it claimed.
The history of my family can be traced to that island, first known as Senegambia and now called Gorée Island. During the African slave trade, Gorée Island became a slave-holding warehouse that became an important functional center for the trade in African men, women, and children. Millions of West Africans were taken against their will. Africans from many different locations were brought to Gorée Island, sold into slavery, and held in the holding warehouse on the island until they were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean.
As I stood where my ancestors had been shackled, my mind raced to recall the guides discussion of the conditions my ancestors had experienced. I conjured horrific smells and sounds. For a second time on that day, I was caught in a time warp I became a time traveler. The experience brought sadness to my soul and tears to my eyes. I did not attempt to hide my tears.
Delve into the thoughts and reflections of Dr. Charles Sampson in Sparrows of Senegambia: A Memoir. Order a copy today on the authors website https://www.charlessampsonbooks.com/ or find the book on Amazon.
Sparrows of Senegambia will be displayed by self-publishing and book marketing company ReadersMagnet at their exhibit for the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition on June 24-27, 2022, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Sparrows of Senegambia: A Memoir
Author | Charles Sampson, PhD
Published date | 2022
Publisher | ReadersMagnet
Book retail price | Paperback, $45.11; hardcover, $58.95
Charles Sampson, Ph.D., emeritus professor of Public Affairs and Black Studies is a founding member of the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri, USA. He was also a founding member of the University of Missouri Department of Black Studies. Sampson was awarded the PhD in Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, in 1974. His studies focused on urban and regional planning. He joined the MU faculty in the summer of 1988; initially serving as associate dean of the Graduate School and then dean from 1996-2000. During his decanal appointment, he sought and obtained greater than $15M in grants and contracts to support the matriculation of STEM graduate and undergraduate programs on campuses across the state of Missouri.
In 2012, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board selected Professor Sampson as recipient of a Fulbright award to facilitate his appointment as visiting professor, Khan Kaen University, Thailand. Dr. Sampson has also served as visiting professor, School of Government, University of Western Cape in South Africa.
His service to the profession includes past membership on the national council of American Society of Public Administration (ASPA); editorial boards of American Review of Public Administration, Public Administration Review, and Journal of Social Policy and Public Management. His public policy and administration research has been published in refereed scholarly journals and book chapters. His research agenda focuses on voting rights policy in the USA and minority-governed municipalities. Sampson formerly served as chair of the committee on fiscal affairs for the MU Faculty Council and the MU representative to the Consortium of International Management, Policy, and Development (CIMPAD) a group of higher education institutions, and non-governmental organizations devoted to sustainable governance among rising democracies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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