Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 23rd, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! I can be reached at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com.

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The Grand Opening is Here!

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Well, it is finally here folks, the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture! Tomorrow is the grand opening and it promises to be a grand event! I was excited to see some of the images shared last week by those who had the special passes to the receptions and open house events. But tomorrow–it is official and the new museum will be open! I am quite excited about this event as well, and hope that we will be able to see that we  now have a home, a place where our history on a grand scale is celebrated!  Within the next several days I plan to be there, and will be uploading images from the Museum.

There are two exhibits that I am anxious to see. One is a Civil War exhibit reflecting images of soldiers from the 25th US Colored Infantry.

usct-albumCollection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Gift of Aneita Gates, on behalf of her son Kameron Gates and all the descendants of Capt. William A. Pritckett

This exhibit reflects a photo album made by one of the commanding officers of several men that served under him. The officer was William Prickett, and in 2014, Military Images Magazine featured an article that reflected the images of these men. The album has been in the same family since the Civil War and it was donated to the Smithsonian, and is now on display.
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drumright

Image Courtesy of Tammy Geyer Posey, Drumright Historical Society

The second exhibit that I wish to see is that of a series of textbooks from Oklahoma. I own three of the four books, by Emma Akin of Drumright Oklahoma, and published in 1938. The entire set of four and a new book telling the story of the books is also on display. The books were brought to my attention in the early 1990s and I now own three of the them. This is possibly the only textbook devoted to African American children, and used officially by a school system, segregated though it was.  The set is amazing, because the illustrations consist of actual photos of the children of Drumright Oklahoma from the 1930s. I wrote an article about the books

In future months, I hope to see the genealogy center opened and operating. I am most interested in visiting that center and possibly in the future volunteering to assist visitors seeking information on their family history.
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Bernice's Show Logo

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show featured Leonard Smith who has amazing experience as a videographer, interviewer and researcher. Well last night listeners had a chance to hear a great conversation about telling your story differently. Mr. Smith spoke about making a 5-7 minute documentary about the family. If you have photos, documents, oral history interviews of elders—you have the basics to make a documentary. The conversation between the two was an engaging one, and I must say that I was inspired after listening to two as they spoke.

The second half of the interview consisted of a review of a documentary that was made about a well loved teacher, Yvonne Busch, of New Orleans. He spoke about her legacy, but also spoke about the process. As I said the interview was very dynamic and inspiring. The show airs every Thursday at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

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AAHGS LOGO
Looking ahead, don’t forget that the Annual AAHGS conference will be next month in Atlanta October 13-16th. I look forward to that event and hope that I will see some of you there.

RootsTech1

Roots Tech is not too far away, and plans are being made right now to join everyone there. So there is a lot of planning underway for the present as well as the future! Looking eagerly towards 2017!
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I plan to have one or two Smithsonian special broadcasts while in Washington over the next few days, so stand by as I give you my impressions of the amazing things that will unfold over the next several days! What an honor and a joy to stand in a place that will be reflect so much of our history, on the national level!

This is a shorter podcast this week, so I am winding things down for the week! I will be blogging and uploading images and sounds from the Washington Mall over the next several days, and share with you my impressions of the many things to see and discover.

In the meantime, have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 16th, 2016

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!  You can always reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com

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This Week's Pod Cast

 

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Well, greetings to everyone! Hope you have had a great week! This week has been extremely busy and I hope that you have had a time of it genealogically. A highlight of this week was the Black Pro Gen LIVE episode! We had a panel of 10 and an active viewing audience asking questions and sharing their knowledge as well. The focus was North & South Carolina resources for African American genealogy. Well, the dialogue was fantastic, and the breadth of knowledge shown by so many on the 10-person panel was inspiring! If you missed it click on the link above and watch. The show went on for over an hour, but the dialogue was quite engaging!

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Bernice's Show Logo

Well last night you had another opportunity to hear some engaging dialogue on Bernice Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives, and Beyond, on Blog Talk Radio. Her guest last night was Nicka Smith, and they had a fascinating conversation about the challenges facing African American genealogists. They spoke about records, but beyond that they addressed the issues of addressing descendants of slave holders. DNA  was brought up and there was the issue of emotion of African American genealogy. There is much emotion one faces when one confronts for the first time seeing an ancestor listed alongside animals, tools, furniture—they are on a list not as people, but as objects. Seeing that record for the first time alongside other pieces of “property” is indeed a jolting experience. Tune in and listen to last night’s episode. As you know Bernice’s show airs every Thursday at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

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nmaach-opening

Ok—everyone is getting ready for next week-end the long awaited National Museum of African American History & Culture is about to open. Preliminary events are going on this weekend at the new Smithsonian site. Open House events, receptions for charter members and also donor are underway as well. Then next weekend—yes–thousands of us will be in Washington DC for the grand opening of this amazing site and the chance to visit this long awaited facility. I plan to be there, and shall be blogging about the experience.

A special treat will be to visit the genealogy center, so I am most excited about going to visit this facility.

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AAHGS LOGO

Registration is open for the AAHGS Conference, which is coming up next week! We are now less than a month away from the 37th Annual conference of the African American Historical and Genealogical Society in Atlanta! The dates are October 13-16th at the Westin Airport Hotel.

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RootsTech1

Well—there is a chance for you to register now for Roots Tech, the largest genealogy event in the world! Next year there will be a record number of speakers of color and a special feature will be one of the actors that helped to inspire millions of Americans to pursue their family history. Levar Burton–actor from the original mini-series ROOTS will be among the guest speakers on the main stage at Roots Tech. I hope that you will take advantage of the early bird registration and sign up now. Among many speakers are Bernice Bennett, Sherri Camp, Toni Carrier, Shannon Christmas, Janis Minor Forté, Nicka Sewell Smith, Robin Smith, and yours truly Angela Walton-Raji. We look forward to the experience and the event promises to be an exciting one again in 2017!

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A Cemetery Story

Other stories from the genealogy community consist of a story of an African American  cemetery desecrated in Greenwich Connecticut. This was an historic burial ground and it is now someone’s front lawn. Teresa Vega has ancestors buried there, and she share some of her story on the LIVE event this week. You can read more about the cemetery history on her blog.
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So glad to hear a story about a St. Louis based researcher, Sarah Cato who has learned more about her Illinois ancestors who were free people. She made contact with Monroe County IL genealogists, and they found more on the Merrimans of that county who were free people! A thumbs up for the spirit of sharing what they found on some of her ancestors.
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Well, time to wind down and to prepare for next week’s projects that face me. Thank you all for tuning in, and most importantly know that you are appreciated! In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keeps sharing what you find!