Last Friday’s Metro Connection had a wonderful story that would’ve inspired me to sit in my driveway vs. miss a moment of it, had I been in a car– it was about a local African-American family that defies the long-accepted stereotype that D.C. is a city for transients:
Rebecca Sheir introduces us to the Quanders: the oldest African-American family in D.C., and, possibly, the United States. Records show the family has been in the region since the late 1600s. These days, the family runs the Quander Historical Society, and keeps records at Howard University and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.
The Quander’s family site has this very American story about their surname (and there’s even more about this in Rebecca’s piece):
The Quander Family is believed to have originated from an ancestor with the last name of “Amkwandoh” from Ghana, West Africa and “Quando” as the name appeared in the 1800s.
From learning about Quanders who worked at Mount Vernon to hearing about their epic, three-day reunion at Howard University in 1984 (which celebrated 300 years of documented presence with over 1,000 family members), the entire piece deserves a listen.