Monthly Archives: July 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #225 July 26th 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at

Greetings everyone, I am busy these days as I prepare for the upcoming FGS Conference. Lots of wonderful tracks and I honored to be able to speak in the African American Track. David Dilts, Tim Pinnick, J. Mark Lowe are also presenting in the African American track as well. The line up of speakers and tracks is quite exciting. Also take note of the other tracks, Military, Immigration, Methodologies, British Isles and so many more! If you are in the midwest, then FGS should be a destination for you!

I received information recently online that there appears to be a concerted effort to recruit more African American women into the Daughters of the American Revolution. Karen Batchelor of Royal Oak Michigan has put her contact information out there for individuals who are interested to contact her. I recall when I was in California earlier this summer I had a chance to have an interesting conversation with the registrar of one of the southern California DAR chapters. She too was working hard to let others know about the DAR and their interest in inviting women of color into their organization. So if you have that interest, I have put her email address HERE.

I want to give some attention the genealogy community online especially on Facebook. We formed a MAAGI Facebook community There is a wonderful MAAGI Facebook community that I hope that you can join. Simply go to Facebook and type Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute. and ask to join.

Some good information about the oldest community of free African Americans has been located in Maryland, in the city of Easton MD. Well there is now an archealogical excavation unfolding in that area. This community is well over 200 years old nad there is a fascinating collaboration between scholars from the University of Maryland, and Morgan State University to tell the story of the community. I like to hear stories of collaborations and hope that this kind of combined effort will encourage scholars across the disciplines to study African American communities.

There is a neat story about Idlewild an African American resort community in western Michigan. This was a destination for many in the summer for many in the African American community who wanted to have a place to enjoy the outdoors. In the days of segregation, there were very few options for people, and Idlewild was such a place. The article documented a little known aspect of African American history—-the black resort communities. There is a small hamlet in Maryland and it is another black resort community called Eagle Harbor. These are fading quickly from the American landscape and their stories also need to be told.

I mentioned Civil War earlier and there was a story shared this week about a gentleman in Springfield Illinois who learned of an ancestor’s Civil War history, which he had never heard before. The story was one that many of us have about forgotten ancestors, whose names were never mentioned for decades and who became almost lost to history. Many of us have this missing story in our own line, and the story reflected how important it is to find those stories and learn more of them. The ancestor in this case was buried in the Civil War section of the local cemetery, so he ws not hidden, but the family memory was almost lost. An accidental conversation with his mother brought out the fact that the ancestor was right there all the time, Civil War markers reflecting his burial site. The lesson is to put the family in the right historical context. If something happened in their community during their lifetime they have their own version of that story. How did the ancestors survive during the enforced policies of the day. Do you know the family’s freedom story? Or is there a 20th century migration story? There may be several military stories. That is our goal to find more of those stories and to tell them. My own personal goal is to put more energy into writing my own stories and teaching others how to extract their stories.

Well thank you for listening and taking time out of your day to tune in. I hope to see some of your next month in Ft. Wayne at the FGS Center. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and always keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode # 224 July 19th, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at

Hello I hope you are all keeping cool, during this heat wave that is hitting the Northeast!

In Brooklyn New York, the Saving Our American Treasures program which is an initiative of the Smithsonian Institution and the Brooklyn Museum. Bring your document, have them evaluated and preserved by archivists who can assist you. This is a great opportunity.

This a great weekend in Baltimore MD, this is the Artscape weekend. Many of the artists express their history through the arts. So as long as you can keep cool in the Baltimore area, do try to make it down to Artscape.

Things are going on in Kentucky, on July 25th the Digging up Your Roots program will take place in Frankfort KY.

FACEBOOK is all a buzz! One of the newest groups on the scene is the MAAGI Facebook page. You can find it by simply typing in Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute. If you can’t enter the group, then send a message to Drusilla Pair who can add you to the group.

Also make sure you know that there are GROUPS, and pages on Facebook, that have a lot of interaction. I should mention some PAGES on Facebook that you should visit at least weekly to see what kind of announcements or links that you may have missed. AfriGeneas has a Facebook page with over 17,000 friends who have “lived” the page. Check it frequently for interesting pieces on on history, genealogy and biographies and community stories.

One page that is new to me is the “>”>”Legacy of Slavery in Maryland”- another page to LIKE on Facebook. This Facebook page keeps you abreast of an interesting group of scholars and researchers. Their website looks at stories of flight, or resistance—freedom seekers, the US Colored Troops, Slavery and the War of 1812, and Maryland Colonization Society. The site is not limited however to 19th century, it also takes the visitor into the 20th century as well, and has some amazing case studies and rare photos to examine.

BLOGS are bursting out all over—
If you are not aware of blogger Yvette Porter Moore, then you should be. From San Diego California, this blogger has been sharing her own research journey for some time, and since returning to California from her participation in last week’s institute in St. Louis, she has been writing some beautiful pieces about her experience, what she saw and what she experienced. And she points out that there is so much more to come!! Her blog is called: “The Ancestors Have Spoken”. I know that for many, getting one’s head around what a blog is, can be an obstacle, but when you read her blog and her posts, you will get it.

Speaking of blogs–do check Melvin Collier’s blog, Roots Revealed.“>Roots Revealed. In his case I always find two stories—the research story and the family story. Take a look at the blogs.

And again, both AfriGeneas and Low Country Africana should be checked weekly.

As you know there is lots of Civil War talk these days. Well this week many marked the anniversary of the Assault of Ft. Wagoner. However, 1000 miles away, there was a major victory earned by the Kansas Colored. I am referring to the Battle of Honey Springs! This battle was won by the actions of the Kansas Colored – black Union soldiers who saved the day.
I shall be celebrating the 150th anniversary from the Battle of Honey Springs!

Let’s make a commitment to tell all of these stories from our wonderfully rich history.

Well that’s it for this week, thank you for listening. Please stay cool this weekend, and in the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and please keep sharing what you find.