The Quander Historical and Educational Society Inc. (QHES), led by its founder, author and historian Rohulamin Quander, released on January 29, 2021 a comprehensive, detailed historical account of the internationally known Quander family, one of the oldest documented African American families in the country. The Quanders can trace their lineage almost 350 years to the 1670s in colonial Maryland. A branch of the family eventually came to be at Mount Vernon plantation in Virginia as the enslaved servants of President George Washington.
Featured three times in the Smithsonian Museum, the Quander family history has been highlighted in national and international exhibits, videos, audio recordings and print media throughout the United States, Europe, Ghana, and elsewhere over the past several decades. Yet, until now, nowhere has all this history been compiled in an easily-accessible format.
Rohulamin has dedicated years researching historical archives in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, bringing together a broad knowledge and record of the family story, as well as documenting the family’s oral history through which, in part, the family name was traced back to Ghana in West Africa. A recent Emmy Award-winning exposé entitled “I Am Quander” ("Finding Quander"), produced by WUSA-TV 9 (Washington DC) and written and reported by Michael Quander, Jr., explores this journey of reconnection in detail.
Until now, there has been no primary single source encapsulating this fascinating, multi-century story. This narrative tells the story of the Quanders over the generations, their successes and travails. Here is a family that has produced four U.S. Army generals, three of them West Point graduates; two Tuskegee Airmen serving in World War II, and the first national president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Like many African American families, they have known the despair of involuntary enslavement. This powerful story of perseverance is an inspiration. As 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first captive Africans being sold into slavery in the British North American colony at Jamestown, Virginia, it is important that this poignant, inspiring, expressly American story be told. NOW is the time, the Quander Family’s documented and distinguished history of sustained achievement must be shared with everyone.
Rohulamin Quander is a retired Senior Administrative Judge for the District of Columbia, and a 55-year member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The Quander Historical and Educational Society Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.
By Lewis Lear Quander | June 18, 1984
Dear Sir or Madam I can see
This letter that you wrote to me Expressed a strange desire – to be a Quander.
Tell me why in heaven’s name
Do you really have no shame?
Well, you’ll have to bear the blame – to be a Quander.
Dear Sir or Madam, with much pain
I must reiterate again
That you would have to be insane – to be a Quander.
Not only crazy, stupid too
If you don’t think this is true
Here’s some things you’ll have to do – to be a Quander.
First you have to learn to fight
Most verbally ... all night
And scream until you earn the right – to be a Quander.
A Quander is a breed apart
Peculiar, but with lots of heart
You must know this before you start – to be a Quander.
A Quander, whether fat or slim
Will satisfy his every whim’
And you must go along with him – to be a Quander.
You must not ever sing the blues
But always pay your union dues
And know how to control your booze – to be a Quander.
In final word, dear girl or man
If you can see a wedding band
And if you find it in your plan – to be a Quander.
Good luck to you, and all the best
When all your days bring happiness
You know that you have passed the test – to be a Quander.
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The Quanders: Since 1684, an Enduring African-American Legacy was released on January 29, 2021 and is available for purchase. Written and published by author and family historian, Judge Rohulamin Quander, this is the first detailed, historical account of the internationally known Quander family, one of the oldest documented African American families in the country with a 350 year lineage dating back to colonial Maryland. This new book is the first primary single source encapsulating this fascinating, multi-century story.