Angela Y. Walton-Raji on April 21st, 2017

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me at

I hope you have all had a great week! My week has been full of new connections, new cousins, and so much more! I was excited to talk to a new cousin whom I found off Ancestry when I noticed that she put up a photo of a cousin Alphia Martin. It turns out that she is a great great grand-daughter of Cousin Alphia, and quite a delightful young woman to know. I reached out to her and she reached back. We connected by phone yesterday and it was a wonderful conversation! (Shout out to cousin Malika!)

So excited to connect with my “new” cousin Malika!

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Speaking of “new” findings and “new” connections–if you don’t follow Nicka Smith, ( you need to check out her latest blog posts. She has been following one of her ancestors, Ike Rogers well known US Deputy Marshall, Cherokee Freedman, Civil War soldier and so much more.

Recalling the Murder of Isaac Rogers

His history is amazing and so is her research. She has been finding new chapters in her history for the past two weeks, and all I can say is—go read her blog posts about Ike Rogers, follow her on Facebook, if you don’t already, and enjoy her journey as it continues to unravel.

Speaking of Blogging—have you heard about the Blogging Bonanza? Blogging has not died and many genealogists are blogging away. Anita Henderson of Write Your Life, has organized the Blogging Bonanza for the month of May. Join several writers/bloggers/genealogists to hear how they get ideas and stories to tell. The presenters are Toni Carrier, Kristin Cleage, Carol Dunlop, Michael Henderson, Nicka Smith, and yours truly, Angela Walton-Raji. For more information visit the Genealogists Writing Room.

nd speaking of blogging, I am currently blogging 52 families in 52 weeks! This is on my African-NativeAmerican blog, and I am documenting 52 Freedmen (as in Oklahoma Tribal Freedmen) in 52 Weeks. (My latest post is HERE.)


So are you watching Genealogy on TV? Well we are all watching the Genealogy “trifecta—-WDYTYA (Who Do You Think You Are and Long Lost Family,on TLC network, and over on BYU-TV there is Relative Race. We all recently watched the episode on WDYTYA with Smokey Robinson recently. Did you catch the document where the slave testified for the former slave holder? Did you catch the sentence that they chose not to read aloud? The sentence that they did not read aloud was where the formerly enslaved man pointed out that he was the former slave holder’s son. If you watch it again–freeze the frame and see if you see what at least, I thought I saw. The shows are all fascinating, and capturing our attention, and they are inspiring even more people to research their family histories.

From the ONLINE World:  Black Pro Gen, and Bernice Bennet’s Show aired this week. On Black ProGen we discussed resources for New York, and New Jersey. Great discussion about resources for those two states.

Last night, Bernice Bennett’s guest was Dr. Melissa Cooper, author of the work, “Making Gullah”. Was this authentic culture being represented accurately, or was some of the culture actually “invented”? The discussion was fascinating and the author addressed many issue pertaining to how Gullah people were presented from the 1920’s onward in the press. Tune in for Bernice’s show that you can catch as a podcast if you missed the live broadcast!

                               Woman Who Word to Preserve Sotterly Slave Cabin Honored

Source of image HERE.

Well—the word of the day is Preservation! Today Dr. Agnes K. Callum was being honored in a special exhibit at Sotterly Plantation in Hollywood, Maryland. The exhibit was being named in her honor where she spent countless hours working to preserve the plantation and the slave cabin. She was an inspiration to so many of us whose ancestors lived in the cabins, in the quarters. Her research opened the doors for many of us. Because of her, I started doing what I do researching my own history in Arkansas and Oklahoma.  She influenced how history in Southern Maryland is to be interpreted in the future. It is important that we insert our narrative in the places where our ancestors lived, and we thank Agnes Callum for her inspiration!


Also in the spirit of Preservation–I am on my way to the Mississippi Delta in Lake Village Arkansas! I will be speaking at Lakeport Plantation and will be speaking about the history of people who came from that area, and especially the soldiers who came from that area. Quite a few US Colored Troops from that region and their history.  This event is an act of preservation. I will spend some time at the estate it self, but I will meet some other preservations–Jerome Bias from Staggville Plantation will be there, Joe McGill from the Slave Dwelling project. The event is free, but space is limited. I look foward to going there and presenting research there!  Lakeport is the only surviving antebellum plantation in SE Arkansas.


In Atlanta check out the Auburn Avenue Library–some preservation workshops are going to be held throughout May and into June.


Time to wind things down, and thank you so much for tuning in again this week. I love hearing from you and learning about those things that keep you busy, and attract your attention. In the meantime, thank you for your work, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!


Angela Y. Walton-Raji on April 7th, 2017

This Week's Pod Cast


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

I hope everyone is doing well now that April is here. Spring is here, but we are expecting a frost tonight, so stay warm wherever you are!

A couple of shout outs to say hello one to a “new” and friendly DNA cousin-match, Monica way down under in Australia! Been enjoying hearing from you!

Also a shout out today to James Morgan III, for taking time to share with me some wonderful aspects of the history of the African American masonic lodges and the Prince Hall affiliated lodges nationwide.

What an amazing history that these groups have  had for over 200 years, but also the fact that some of these fraternal organizations were forefathers of the Civil Rights leaders of later years. If you have a chance to meet James in Washington DC, and to visit the Corinthian Lodge library. He shares a lot with our online chats and his knowledge is amazing, so thanks James for sharing knowledge.
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Speaking of Black Pro Gen, I hope you caught this week’s chat on African American history and participation in the military. Every conflict since the American Revolution. We have well over 200 30 years with amazing history. We discussed resources for military history and this is the 100th anniversary of the US history in World War I–the Great War. I have two World War I, veterans who served in Europe during that time. We had a wonderful conversations about resources.
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New Websites:
Georgetown Slavery Archive. This website looks at the history of the slaves sold by Georgetown so that they could expand the university. This story came to light about a year or so ago, and the response from the community has been amazing. Finally the university is responding to the issues brought to light. We have to thank the students- the young people of Georgetown who have responded to this issue. There is now a major project underway to find descendants of those who were sold. Did they survive and make it to freedom? Many questions to answer. Anyway, take a look at the website.

Unknown No Longer. This site was a collaboration between historians, genealogists, anthropologists, archaeologists to bring about the names of people enslaved in Virginia. I am impressed that people from different disciplines have worked together to create this website. It is a great database of Virginia Slave Names.

Slave Era Insurance Registry. This site looks at the names of slaves who were insured and if anything happened to the enslaved person, the slave holder would be monetarily compensated. This is something to take a look at.

And here is a video to watch: Finding the Slavery and Slave holding in the Family  . This is an interesting video on tracing slavery in the family. It was made at an FGS conference in 2011 and quite good. And speaking about videos—I am happy to share with you a documentary about the Freedmen’s Bureau indexing project.

The video addressed the amazing indexing project, and the effort to address the enormous record set of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, which reflects the incredible efforts made by thousands of volunteers who successfully got the records indexed and fully uploaded and searchable. Congratulations to Thom Reed and the staff and volunteers of Family Search.

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I want to mention, last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was quite revealing–the use of black bodies that were used in medical colleges. Many bodies of African Americans were used throughout medical colleges in the south, dead bodies were taken from their graves and students had bodies to dissect and learn the human body. Her guest was Dr. Shawn Utsey, who produced an amazing video called Until the Well Runs Dry. A tragic and gruesome story, and the fact that most were poor blacks used for white medical students. Dr. Utsey, the filmmaker was one who noted a black man who assisted the medical schools to obtain the bodies. We know the use of African Americans for science is not a new story. We know of the Tuskegee Experiment, the story of Henrietta Lacks, and other experiments over the years. Tune in by clicking on the above link if you missed the shoe.

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New Genealogy TV Show

Congratulations to Shamele Jordon for her new TV program, “Genealogy Quick Start TV.”  In her opening episode, she worked with a young man, Tory, and how to use certain filters on Ancestry to find the ancestors! It was fun to watch and she was quite at ease as she explained how to use filters on a huge database like Ancestry to find ancestors. For more info, click on the link above.

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A Look at the Old Fraternal Societies

I mentioned the fraternal organizations, the Prince Hall Grand Lodges, the Grand United Order of  Odd Fellows, The Mosaic Templars, Knights of Liberty and others–these groups have amazing history. These were people who protected the community, to protect each other. They saved lives of community leaders who may have been lynched, and they assisted them in other kinds ways. These groups formed organizations to offer health benefits, burial benefits. These groups are amazing, and we should include asking about these groups when conducting oral history! We need to look at these groups more closely and include questions about these groups when speaking to the elders. I look for Civil War soldiers at black cemeteries, but I know now to look for benevolent society stones as well. We should start to include these groups in our lists of places and groups to explore as we tell the family narrative.

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Well, it’s time to wind things down this week! Thanks for listening and sharing things with me. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and always keep sharing what you find!