“Your children shouldn't have to rummage through your personal items after you go, to discover the family legacy you left behind. Leaving a written legacy changes something inside of us, our children and grandchildren as we begin to truly feel a part of something greater than ourselves," says Judy Fambrough Billingsley, who will be the featured guest speaker at the next Writers of Kern virtual meeting on Saturday.
Author of the memoir "Too Brown to Keep: A Search for Love, Forgiveness, and Healing," Billingsley will deliver a presentation called "Researching, Writing and Publishing Your Family Legacy." She will share what she has learned about leveraging resources when researching your family tree, whether found on the internet or offline, and how to verify the information you discover.
Participants interested in writing their own biography or family history will receive plenty of ideas to help them to create their own unique story in a way that they will be proud to share it. Billingsley will also offer helpful publishing and marketing tips when choosing to make it public.
The discussion will also cover how to prepare yourself emotionally for what you might unexpectedly discover while doing your research.
Born to a white German woman and a black American soldier shortly after World War II, Billingsley was abandoned to live in a kinderheim for unwanted children until adopted and brought to America. She was raised and educated in Bakersfield and has taught school professionally for many years, until her retirement as a high school teacher in Northern California. Her personal journey and international research to find her birth parents resulted in her published memoir.
The Writers of Kern meeting will be held online via Zoom due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The public is welcome to attend this event and there is no charge for registration.
To register for this free event, please go to the Writers of Kern website at writersofkern.com/events.
Susan Baker is a member of the Writers of Kern.