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Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs Host Tour of Virginia Plantation Location Where Her Ancestors Were Enslaved

Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs (3rd from right/back row) with decendents of hte Fraction family. (Photo credit: Imagination Lunchbox. LLC)

*Baltimore Research Author Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs will be the guide on the “More Than a Fraction Location” Tour presented by Imagination Lunchbox, LLC, publisher of her “More Than a Fraction: Based on a true story” creative non-fiction book. The “More Than a Fraction Location” Tour is one day, Monday, June 24, 2019, and will visit the Smithfield and Solitude Plantations (now the grounds of Virginia Tech University), the Preston family cemetery where one of her ancestors Virginia “Aunt Ginny” Fraction was buried along side those who enslaved her, and a cabin of the enslaved Fractions recently dedicated as “The Fraction Family Home” locations.

The locations in Blacksburg, Virginia are mentioned in the “More Than a Fraction” book of Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs, which tells the story of the Fraction ancestors, how they came to America, how they fought in the Civil War, their struggles after the Civil War to obtain their freedoms. So impressed with her genealogical research the Smithfield Foundation that oversees the management of the Smithfield Plantation, asked her in 2015 to be a member of the Smithfield-Preston Foundation’s Board of Trustees to make sure the legacy of the enslaved is told in a way that portrays them as people. Dr. Moseley-Hobbs is also a member of the Solitude Board, which falls under the management of Virginia Tech University.

Following the release of her book Dr. Moseley-Hobbs has been on a “More Than a Fraction” presentation tour, not only talking about her book but the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The presentation was held at to the popular Red Emma’s Book Store in Baltimore, Virginia Tech University for a lecture/presentation for their Civil War Studies Department to a standing room only crowd and at the Central, Edmondson Avenue and Waverly branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Libraries in Baltimore. In 2018 Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs presented the book to visitors of the Solitude Plantation estates’ “Renaming Ceremony” for the cabin known as the home of her ancestors, the Fractions.

“More Than a Fraction” takes place in Blacksburg, Virginia where her ancestors, the Fractions, were enslaved until the Civil War. It follows the Fraction brothers Thomas and Othello, who ran for their freedom as enslaved people by joining the Union Army. Their names are currently engraved on the War Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.  The Prestons, the original owners of the plantation, were the wealthiest family in Virginia at the time. The last heir to the Smithfield estate was William Ballard Preston, a former Virginia State Senator and the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.

At the same time Dr. Moseley-Hobbs was searching for her ancestors, because her great-grandmother Isabel Fraction grew up without knowing her family as an orphan, the Smithfield Foundation Board of Trustees were looking for descendants of the Fractions, who it seems played a very important role in the history of the Preston family. Dr. Hobbs’ ancestors, it was discovered, had a remarkable story; one so special one member affectionately called Virginia (Ginny), a house servant, is buried with the Preston family at their cemetery. Dr. Hobbs is a direct descendant of Thomas Fraction, brother of Virginia. Thomas was noted by a local newspaper as a “well known colored man” when he passed away in Salem, Virginia where he owned a large portion of land near the railroad. The “More Than a Fraction” presentation includes a very powerful Power-Point segment where Dr. Moseley-Hobbs connects the African cultures of her ancestors’ with the cultural norms of African-Americans in the U.S. today.

To learn more about the “More Than a Fraction” Location Tour or creative non-fiction book visit www.ImaginationLunchbox.com or email [email protected]. “More Than a Fraction” can be purchased at Barnes & Nobles and Amazon websites.

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