Fashion Stylist | Creative Type | Blogger
I’m C. Rae White and this blog is an eclectic mix of my various interests and creativity. I’ve been a fashion fanatic since childhood and started runway modeling, coordinating clothing and fashion shows as a teenager. I’ve worked with a modeling agency, been a fashion stylist and a personal shopper. I currently enjoy creating fashion sets and product collections here. Check out my blog fashion posts here. I’m a creative who loves art and jewelry making. I’ve also made patterns and color palettes on colourlovers.com. Check out my art related posts here.
I began blogging in 2005 on MSN Spaces as an outlet for creative and thoughtful self-expression. My initial blog content featured technology innovation, fashion and beauty trends, interesting people, places and things. I’ve been blogging on WordPress.com since October of 2010 and my content largely remains the same.
I’m a proud 6th generation Detroiter. My maternal Binga ancestors settled in Detroit in the early 1840’s. I’m a Detroit Snob, I Love My City. I’m cognizant of the longstanding issues plaguing my beloved hometown and I’m hurt and saddened by the ruin porn (photography) and pervasive negativity across the Internet regarding Detroit. My purpose is to highlight the positive, restorative, innovative and fun things happening around town. Check out my Detroit category here.
I am African, Indigenous to America, and Western European.
My African ancestors primarily come from Ivory Coast/Ghana and Cameroon/Congo, with traces in Nigeria, Senegal and Benin/Togo. My maternal Binga ancestors were most likely initially enslaved in Virginia for generations and then offspring were sold or taken into Kentucky sometime during the mid to late 1780’s. I am aware of two plantation owners who held my ancestors, but only one has been confirmed. My maternal 3rd great grandfather, William W. Binga, was born a slave in Greenupsburg, Greenup County, Kentucky in 1817. Also, my paternal great grandfather, George H. White, was born in Greenupsburg, Greenup County, Kentucky in 1855 and was possibly a mulatto slave, but there were free Negroes living there also. George shows up in the 1870 Kentucky Census as a 15 year old house servant living with a white couple.
My original indigenous paternal ancestors were Egypto-Nubian (Manding, Mandinka, Mandingo) Africans who settled in southern Mexico at La Venta between 1400 & 1200 BCE. My direct ancestors lived at Lake Chapala, Mexico in the land of the Olmecs or Xi People. Much later, the Mayan’s encroached upon their land and they were pressed into the Mayan army. When the Aztecs came to conquer the Mayans my ancestors chose to fight with them, subsequently rising through the Aztec ranks. Later, my ancestors came out of Mexico on a northeastern migration in 992 AD as Lenne/i Lenape (Original Man). They settled into their first permanent village at Crystal River Florida and were known as the Mound Builders. Later, they were also part of the Fort Ancient culture, subsequently becoming Shawnee (Kispoko Sept), from which all Shawnee chiefs emerged. My known indigenous ancestors are Ella Thompson – Elam (paternal great Grandmother) and Grace Viola Elam – White (Paternal Grandmother). My father’s family (both sides) ended up living in Portsmouth, Scioto OH and Troy, Miami OH.
My European roots are primarily in Europe West, Ireland and Scandinavia, with traces in Great Britain and the Iberian Peninsula. I don’t know much about my Western European roots, but I suspect some of it comes from chattel slavery rape and the mixing of Europeans (primarily French) with Shawnee natives; and racial mixing of my maternal Cotillier family line.
My maternal 3rd great grandfather, William W. Binga married an orphaned Irish girl named Adelphia Seymour. She later claimed to have found her birth family, declaring she was a member of the New York State Powers family. I suspect that William married a white woman (in 1844) to secure the freedom of his children, due to his fugitive slave status (1836 until 1865) living and conducting business openly in Detroit, MI.
I supposedly have maternal Cotillier French and Afro/Portuguese ancestors, but none of that family tree information has been substantiated. What is documented about the beginnings of my branch the Cotillier family is is as follows:
“On the website, Virtual Jamestown the Cotillier family begins with a free white woman Katherine Jewell-Pond born about 1639 who had 3 illegitimate mulatto children, by an unknown black man, called by the surname Cattilla including Mary born 1669, William born on 3/6/1670 (the date of his indenture) and Matthew (my direct ancestor) born 1672.”
The Courtillier Family Tree states that Abram Catillier, a free Negro of Jamestown Virginia, born 1652 was the father of Katherine Jewell-Pond’s three mulatto children. I find this information a bit disconcerting, because Katherine had her first mulatto child when she was about 30 and Abram Catillier was a 17 year old teenager in 1669.
I’m a descendant of the Underground Railroad. My Binga ancestors escaped slavery from Newport (now Covington), Campbell County, Kentucky in 1836 (Africa, Virginia, Kentucky, Amherstburg OT, Chatham/Kent OT and other parts of Canada, Detroit, Saginaw, Howell, Pontiac and other parts of Michigan, St. Paul & Minneapolis MN, Cincinnati OH, Chicago IL, Harlem NY and more). Some of our family surnames are Binga, Cotillier, Robinson, McCowan, Winchester, Dandridge, Ford, Smith, Scott, Palmer, Dismond, Atkins, Hughes, Nash, Bowles, Williams, White, Marshall, Margolin, Coleman, Wright and many more. I’ve written articles about a few family members and the history connected to those individuals. I continue to be fascinated and amazed by my Binga ancestors, check out my Family Research category here.
Several of my cousins (maternal side) conducted research on the Courtillier, Cotillier, Cotellier, Catillier, Catillia, Catilla, Cotillia, Cutillo, Kerteller, etc… branch of our family (Paris France, Africa, Portugal, Quebec CA, Jamestown through to Richmond VA, Detroit MI, Saginaw and other parts of MI, Chicago IL, Ohio, Altadena and other parts of CA). Some of our family surnames are Berry, Epps, Combs, Francis, Stewart and many more. Also, the Cutillo surname is on the Melungeon list.
Thanks for stopping by!