The Quanders: Since 1684, An Enduring African American Legacy, is a new book documenting the sustained history of one of America’s oldest African American families, written by Rohulamin Quander, Director of the Quander Historical and Educational Society, Inc.
Traced to the 1670s in the Virginia and Maryland colonies, the legacy includes enslavement at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plantation, and was most recently featured in the estate’s exhibit, Lives Bound Together, Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon (2016-2021).
This is not so much an African American story, as it is an American history story, written from an African American perspective, featuring examples of faith, strength, focus, character, resilience, and triumph, acknowledging the contributions of those who came before, building to the benefit of future generations. This is a record of accomplishment, despite whatever racially inspired obstacles were placed as inhibitors on the road to success.
While much attention is devoted to the Founding Fathers, the Quander story paints smaller parallel stories addressing what else was ongoing with the African American community, especially in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, sharing in the building of the United States, and in seeking to fulfill the American Dream. This dream’s realization came through such ancestors and current progeny as: Nellie May Quander, Woman Suffragist and first Supreme Basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; four living US Army generals, three of whom are West Point graduates; two Tuskegee Airmen; at least one school named after a family member; and four Quander Streets – one each in Washington, DC, and Prince George’s, Fairfax, and Prince Williams counties.
In addition to his duties and the Director of the Quander Historical and Educational Society, Inc., Rohulamin Quander has published four books, documenting the sustained history of this accomplished African American family. A native Washingtonian, he is a retired Senior Administrative Law Judge for the District of Columbia and holds a BA degree (1966) and a JD degree (1969) from Howard University. Judge Quander periodically serves as an advisor to Mount Vernon.