Pottstown NAACP Chapter President Johnny Corson has made some surprising discoveries about his family over the years, writes Evan Brandt for The Times Herald.
Corson was born 56 years ago as the child of a black man and a white woman. His biological mother, Betsy Corson, gave her newborn baby her name before giving him up to the foster care system.
After years of abuse, he was taken in by Janie Brant, pastor of the Church of the Living God in Pottstown.
“Pottstown was my original family,” said Corson.
Years later, when teenage Corson asked Brent to adopt him, she advised him to first find out all he could about his roots.
He managed to locate an aunt, Binnie, who taught him about the Corson family.
In fact discovered his ancestors include Simon Cameron Corson, who designed Elmwood Park. A few generations further back he found George Corson, an ardent abolitionist who built Abolition Hall in Plymouth Meeting.
He also learned that the Carson farm, which NAACP is currently trying to protect from development, was a safe place for runaway slaves to hide and a key regional stop on the Underground Railroad.
Read more about Johnny Corson at The Times Herald by clicking here.