Angela Y. Walton-Raji on April 24th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

It is good to be back home in Maryland, after a wonderful time in Arkansas for the Arkansas History Civil War Sesquicentennail Commission. For me, being there was a true celebration of Freedom, and of the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. A special thanks to Archie Moore for taking time to show me some things I had not seen before, and also to introduce me to some amazing people also. Thanks to Mr. Moore, I met some of the movers and shakers in the historic community of historians, preservationists and researchers. I was so excited to also tour the Mosaic Templars Museum and to see the wonderful Civil War exhibit. Many of you know that I explore the histories of various benevolent societies and being at the Mosaic Templars Museum was a treat!

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Saturday was a real experience. I spoke at the Old State House Museum, where one of my favorite historical images was captured. I am referring to the Harper’s Weekly image, “Mustered Out.” Well that was where I spoke last Saturday! Being inside of that historic building was a real treat!

Mustered OutHarper’s Weekly, May 19, 1866

What an honor to be there.  I had a chance to see and visit a historic black community of College Station, just outside of Little Rock. I ended my trip with a Sunday service at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, on State Street in Little Rock.

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So thank you to everyone for making this a special trip!

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As May approaches quickly, I hope some of you are preparing for the Grand Review and Parade! All groups of reenactors of the US Colored Troops are invited to join the six to ten thousand participants expected. There will be a parade, a forum at the US Capitol, a candlelight vigil at the Civil War Memorial, a prayer breakfast, and the Officer’s Ball. What a wonderful way to bring the celebration of Freedom to light. I hope that you visit the Memorail and Musuem and look for your ancestor’s name inscribed on the wall.

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Last night’s guest on Bernice Bennett’s show featured Dr. D. Ryan Gray, who spoke last night about historic Holt Cemetery in New Orleans Louisiana. This discussion covered the origins of this burial ground, and damage that occurred after Hurricane Katrina, and also the efforts to preserve it today. This is particularly unique as it is one of the few below ground burial grounds in New Orleans. The show as you know her show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.

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Speaking of Bernice Bennett, don’t forget to tune in to hear her webinar today on the Civil War Widow’s Pensions! This will be on Family Tree Webinars and is part of the Freedom Series. If you are unaware of the content of the amazing Civil War pensions, then this webinar will be most enlightening! The webinar will take place today at 2:00 pm eastern time. If you miss it, ¬†you will have 5 days to catch it for free!

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Speaking of Civil War—this is the time to find out if your ancestors served in the Civil war. Fold3 is opening their Civil War collection to the public for free until the end of April. That’s right April 30th you have time to check those service records to see if you have ancestors who were US Colored Troops, or if they filed for pensions and so much more! What a great treat as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and the beginning of Freedom!

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Don’t forget to register for the Juneteenth celebration of Freedom hosted by the Prince George’s County chapter of AAHGS. Their event which is free will take place.

And don’t forget to register from MAAGI–there is till plenty of time for that as well. Speakers from all over the country, so take a look at the tracks and submit your registration for a 3 day experience.

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PAAC 2015

Those in Arkansas and Oklahoma will want to attend the preservation conference with PAAC, the Preservation of African American cemeteries. This year they will be in Quapaw Oklahoma, and will talk about the preservation efforts there. This group is really expanding and I think it is wonderful!

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Are you excited to see the line up for the AAHGS conference? We are all anxiously awaiting the official presentation of the speakers and hope that everyone will be excited to see the program. The conference this year will be in Richmond Virginia this year and I understand that rooms for the hotel are quickly filling up, so make those reservations early as well.

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This week I got a lot of research done as I was at the National Archives. If you have not been there recently, the research area has truly changed. Some areas are much smaller. Digitization has really affected the research experience. I still enjoy it as a place to conduct research, but it is interesting to see how digitization has affected travel. Have you had a similar experience and been able to alter your travel plans to conduct research. Have your methods changed over the years?

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Time to wind things down this week, and while I get some rest and prepare for upcoming presentations. Thank you for taking time out to tune in to this week’s podcast! You are greatly appreciated. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on April 17th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast.
Well, I am coming to you today from the lovely city of Little Rock Arkansas on the banks of the Arkansas River.

LetFreedomRing2

I shall be be speaking tomorrow at the Arkansas Civil War Commission Sesquicentennial celebration of Freedom! It is called Let Freedom Ring, and I am so delighted and honored to speak at this event!

So many events have occurred this week, I hope that you are incorporating stories of freedom into your own family narrative. If you don’t know or can’t find your own family’s story of freedom, then find out what happened on a wider level—how did the community fare when word came that the war had ended? How were the enslaved people told? Or had they become free before that time. The Civil War was an incredibly dynamic time, with changes and unexpected occurrences affecting all. I hope that you realize that the 13th Amendment was passed, and several places in Arkansas have been commemorating this event. Have you also taken note of this critical anniversary? Tell all of the stories–of the Freedom Seekers, of the men who then became Freedom fighters, and also telling the story of the “self-emancipators”.

Freedom's Arrival

Let’s tell the story, and make it a goal to tell you own family story of freedom.¬†What happened in your own ancestral community?

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The Appalachian Oral History Project

Appalachian Oral History
This oral history project was shared earlier this week. I was excited to learn about this oral history effort coming from Emory and Henry College in Emory Virginia. One does not often think about enslaved people coming from Appalachia. one of the interviews was of a woman interviewed not too long ago, in her 90s, and she was sharing stories that she heard from her elders when she was longer. I am sure that you find listening to this interview from a daughter of once enslaved people.

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Bernice's LogoLast night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show on Blog Talk Radio, featured James H. Commander who spoke about an amazing degree of empowerment that has come from his experience documenting his family history. He is the author of “Love At Our Roots. How Freedom Became a Force for Change.”¬†He addressed something that I think many of us have experienced—a special sense of empowerment that resulted from the research of family history. He spoke of the family’s origin in Alabama, and then the eventual migration to Chicago. In addition, he mentioned some amazing resources and records that he was able to find along the way. I think you will find it to be a most interesting show. Her show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.

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Legacy Freedom Series Lecture

Next week’s webinar on Legacy Family Tree Webinars, will feature Bernice Bennett, who is speaking in Part 2 of the Freedom Series. Her topic will be the Civil War Widow’s Pensions, and the focus will be on African American women who filed for pensions and some of the unique situations that affected their applications. This takes place next week April 24.

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Let’s talk about the Freedman’s Bureau. These amazing records are available on Family Search and the Internet Archive. They are wonderful, but they are not indexed. Well, a major initiative is about to unfold to get these essential records indexed. We need to join this effort. A partnership is being formed with the Smithsonian NMAAHC, Family Search, AAHGS, and hopefully all of us. Let’s all participate and see what we can do to make these records available and researchable by name.

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Memorial in May

PAAC 2015

I am excited to share with you some information about the Memorial in May–the annual conference of ¬†PAAC. This year they shall share information about the African American cemetery found on old Quawpaw land. This should be a landmark conference. I hope that many of you will be attending this event. For more information, please contact:¬†paacarcemeteries@aol.com.

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Thank you for another week of sharing events and websites with me. I have to wind things down and prepare for my experience tomorrow at the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Thank you all for listening and for being there. Remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and to keep sharing what you find!