Monthly Archives: October 2012

African Roots Podcast #186 October 26, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, it’s great to be back after attending the International Black Genealogy Summit last week in Salt Lake City Utah. People came from the east, west, midwest, south and all over the nation! It was great to witness so much talent on so many levels. Now it’s time to wind down the season of travel and conferences.

Now that we have returned from the many conferences of the fall season we return to the many projects that have captured our attention. Many of these are projects where we have embarked as the sole researcher, and we walk down paths without guidance, without mentors and without much direction—yet still we engage. Last week’s speaker, Isabela Wilkerson inspired us all on how important it is to take our time and do the research. It took her 15 years to complete her project—and she has unlocked a truth about how the country changed, thanks to the act of self removal from the south to other places. The act of removal of millions of people from the caste system of the south, changed the nation forever. The message of her book was there—but also I picked up on the lesson of how important it is to pursue one single idea and go down that path. We are often loners in what we do–but we should also sense the need to share and put “out there” what we have found. Others can grow and learn so much.

Let’s all embark on our own journeys to tell the story. Joseph McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project is a good example of one who is taking time to preserve the history of the enslaved people. The works of David Lynch who was a guest on Bernice Bennett’s show last night has taken his work on the Virgin Island and has taken it to the public to share it with the world. How inspiring!

I also applaud the people who are busy with taking their genealogy energy and putting it to work. At the Family History Center in Kensington MD, there is a weekly African American Special Interest Genealogy Group. In Baltimore MD there is a free genealogy class offered the first Thursday of the month at the Historical Society of Baltimore County. And new groups are emerging such as the Delmarva African American Genealogical & Historical Society.

Here are some of the groups that have a strong presence on Facebook as well.
African American Genealogy Forum
African American Genealogy Society of Ft. Wayne
Noxubee County Mississippi Afr. American Genealogy
San Diego African American Genealogy Research Group
African American Genealogy Society of Northern California
St. Louis African American History & Genealogy Society
AAHGS -Afro American Historical & Genealogical Society
AAHGS Arkansas Chapter
AAHGS Central Virginia Chapter
AAHGS – Memphis TN Chapter
AAHGS Metro Atlanta
AAHGS Greater Richmond

How exciting to see so many groups on Facebook and taking their events, and projects to the community and reaching out to others as well. Let us be inspired to share what we do on a much larger scale and to embrace and support each other as well.

Thank you for listening and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

African Roots Podcast Episode #185 October 19, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


You can reach me at

Hello everyone from beautiful Salt Lake City Utah. I am here attending the International Black Genealogy Summit here at the Radisson at downtown Salt Lake City.

What an exciting time to be here. I managed to get some research done yesterday and got a few school records from Indian Territory and hope to get back to the Library and do some more research as well.

What a thrill to also meet a good number of other researchers from around the corner.

Note that this is has been a busy season from the AAHGS Conference, to the Chicago event last week and now this week the Summit.

Among the people I met yesterday and last night was Nicka Smith, a gifted researcher from northern California. She has an amazing family history site, and she has a special program that she is extending to one lucky family. She is willing to devote an entire year to document one family’s history. Her personal site explains her special project.

Well lots of exciting lectures, workshops and I hope to get back to the Family History Library for more research today!

Stay tuned throughout the weekend for posts from me, on Twitter, Facebook, and on my blogs as well.

Thanks for listening, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.