Kaila Rain Thomas
I grew up hearing heroic tales of my relatives fighting for peace, equality and justice back in the day. Early on, I knew my mission was to tell the stories of the unknown, everyday people in history. When the time came, I went to the University of San Francisco where I earned a BA in American History with an emphasis on African American history, culture, and politics, in addition to minors in African Studies and Anthropology. At the end of my college career, I interned at the Freedom Archives where I rediscovered my mission - preserving and illuminating the stories of the people, stories much like the ones I’d been told growing up.
One story in particular, changed the course of my life and career; my grandfather’s. After uncovering a piece of my grandfather’s story in the stacks housed within the archives, I knew that I was meant to share his story with the world. I studied Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to better prepare myself for the road ahead. Combining my skills as a trained Public Historian and Information Professional, I created A Grandfather’s Legacy Project to share my research and preserve my grandfather’s legacy.