I am happy to say that this past July 25 marked my 2 year anniversary of having this blog. When I first started this blog it was out of frustration and curiosity. I was trying to do my family’s genealogy and place them into the context of local history, but I had no idea what African Americans were doing in Ripley at the time. There were a few books out there, but none of them discussed African American life in West Tennessee in any detail. I got the majority of what I know from my Mother in Law who without a doubt is my biggest inspiration for what I do here. I can still remember the looks I got when I would go into the genealogy room of the library there. I even recall when someone at the the library asked me why I would want to know who owned my family in a very negative way, but I didn’t let that stop me.

I can say that this last year I have experienced a tremendous amount of growth. I redesigned the blog, purchased the domain name, printed my first business cards and really began to treat this as a second job and not just a hobby. I truly thank each and every one of you who have stopped by, commented, or emailed. There are so many more stories to share about African American life in Ripley and I cannot do it without each one of you who are kind enough to share what you know.

Goals for the Next Year:

1.) I plan to really step up the Saving our Stories part of the website. It got a little side tracked by my summer research travel, but its going to make a come back!

2.) I plan to do more with mapping. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to map the locations of former plantations? Using what I learned this summer at Virginia Tech I hope to make some progress on this.

3.) I plan to focus more on Henning. There is something about Henning that really has a hold on me.

4.) Who knows? But I am sure I will come up with another goal.


Again, I really, really appreciate my readers. Keep asking me questions. The more we collaborate the more information we can gather and provide for future generations.


As always, if you have a story to share please feel free to drop me a line at Tiffany @blackripley.com (remove the space between the y in Tiffany and the @ sign).

– Tiffany