Monthly Archives: December 2010

African Roots Podcast #91 Dec 31 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! My name is Angela Walton-Raji and you can reach me at

Today is New Year’s Eve, and this is a good time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the future.

The year for me was good with travel everywhere from Reno NV, to western Arkansas, Eastern Oklahoma, and down south to Birmingham, Alabama. I attended a family event, and later a history event in Reno, for Bethel AME Church.

I met some new people, including a man who descended from the slave owner’s family of my Oklahoma ancestors. I appreciate the relationship that I now share with Colin Kelly of Eastern Oklahoma as we both continue to search for ancestors on our shared history.

I also attended some great conferences from Oklahoma such as the Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedmen conference, to the Story Teller’s conference in Muskogee. And the Institute of Genealogical Research at Samford in Alabama opened my eyes to so many new things, new projects and new opportunities.

I appreciate all of the friends I spent time with, old and new, and I look eagerly to the future.

I must, on this eve of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, direct you to a wonderful site: About our Freedom. This site created by Robin Foster is a blog that you must visit. It is devoted to those first days of Freedom and the history of what happened to our ancestors during those critical years as freedom emerged. You might know Robin’s work fro Saving Stories—-well this blog is a must!

On the eve of the Civil War I can announce that I also will be uploading a new blog devoted to the US Colored Troops. By next week, it will be up and running.

So—let us move towards this New Year, with renewed vigor to research the past, find the documents—and to get the story right. By doing so, we will be able to call our ancestors’ names.

So keep doing what you do, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

Have a Happy New Year!!

African Roots Podcast #90 Dec 24, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots podcast
My name is Angela WaltonRaji and you can always reach me at

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has been successful with all of their holiday preparations—whether shopping, cooking, preparing for visitors, or preparing to travel to see relatives—whatever you are doing I hope it is enjoyable.

For this holiday message, I have a few tips for you:

Pull out the camera Take photos of the people—the food, the tree,—alone and with people as well.

If you are there while presents are being opened—snap a few images. Take photos of the children unwrapping their gifts—and if you are there when they wake up, snap that photo of them seeing their gifts for the first time!!! It is something to capture!!! Take photos of the house—with the decorations and if your family goes all out with the lights—capture them on film as well.

What’s for dinner?
Yes, the holidays are time for eating—lots and lots of eating in fact. Well why not document the menu—and get the recipes down—the sweet potatoe pie, the extra spice that Aunt Pat put in her collard greens and the crackling cornbread on the side. You might end up making a family cook book out of the photos and recipes that you get.

Look around the house. What is there? Are there any old family treasures? The favorite lace tablecloth that came from Spain and given to mom as a gift? The silverware, take a picture—-or of the old silver service that mom got for their silver anniversary. Take a photo of the once a year pull it out fine china—-years from now—someone will love seeing the elegant patterns again, that only 1 child inherited. The favorite pictures—-maybe it’s time to see what you DON’T’ have. One of my treasures—-the old candy dish—-each year we would have Christmas Candy around the house—and some in a old candy dish. I loved that dish—as it would remind me of a time that meant happiness. I have that dish today and have it in a special corner always on display. It’s one of those small mementoes from childhood, that treasure.

Good talk?
Are there folks visiting who are having a great conversation pull out the audio tape and just turn it on. You will someday appreciate hearing grandmas voice one more time.

So—-today the holiday’s begins—-enjoy yourselves—make some new memories—BUT don’t forget your role and your task to document as much as you can from every perspective that you can think of.

Thanks for listening to my holiday message! In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!