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A Sharperson Legacy: Orangeburg, SC




History of the Sharpersons:

Sharper was our original surname. My great grandfather, the Reverend Isaac and his brother Michael Sharper changed the name. The reason the name was changed was that their children’s first names were the same. They thought that this might cause some confusion in the future; therefore, my great-grandfather changed his name from Sharper to Sharperson.

My grandfather Johnnie Sharperson was born on October 29, 1899; he was the son of Isaac and Queen Sharperson.  He was described to me as a gentle and very diligent man, and an outstanding mechanic. He later worked at The Chemical Plant now called The Albemarle Corporation. He died at the early age of 52.

My grandmother formally Lila Jamison was the daughter of Mary and James Jamison; she was born on December 27, 1905. They eloped on October 15, 1918 in a town called North, SC. They purchased the land on 717 Norway Road in 1938 for $100.00. They had fifteen inimitable children. My grandmother was a very gentle and always very composed. I remember the summers that I would visit her during the early seventies. We would have many conversations while she smoked her pipe, while she sat in her favorite chair in the screened porch. I would sit down near this enormously large buffalo pecan tree located next to the house, and she would often tell me stories about my aunts and uncles, always telling me about the ones that had the worst behavior. There was one conversation that resides in my mind even today, and that was the one about getting an education. My grandmother said once, “You stay in school and get a good education because times are different for colored people”.

I attained this idea to do an African-American Museum while attending a family reunion in Orangeburg, SC in 2003. I visited the site and it was incredible, seeing the house, it brought back many admirable memories. Although the thesis is an imaginary project, it was something that I wanted to do in honor of my grandmother. I wanted to thank her for all the love and inspirations that she has given me.



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