Monthly Archives: November 2009

African Roots Podcast #33 November 13th, 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back!
Today is Friday November 13th 2009
My name is Angela Walton-Raji
This is the African Roots Podcast.

You can always reach me at

For videos of the International Black Genealogy Summit visit the Video Griot. There is another video from the Summit that can be found at: Northwestern University. Enjoy them both!

Congratualtions to the Kansas State African American Museum for having received
a $25,000 grant to establish a statewide history and genealogy program called “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” The program is designed for anyone with a contribution to Kansas African American history. The grant, awarded by the Chester and Ada Franklin Scholarship Fund and co-trustees Bank of America and Samuel L. Adams, will allow the Wichita museum’s staff to set up video cameras at six Kansas towns with important African-American ties: Nicodemus, Topeka, Kansas City, Wichita, Hutchinson and Weir. The program is expected to begin next year.
For more information, contact Mark McCormick or Prisca Barnes at 316-262-7651 or e-mail:

From the Mississippi Digital collections First Regional Library, comes a very good resource for Tate County MS researchers.
Compiled by Louise Cox Fox 1997.

Roxana Chapin Gerdine Collection—This is a 14 page letter with no date but cleary written after the war. The letter written from one woman to anther lamenting about life now that the slaves were freed. Thought not complete with signature the letter is said to have been written by Roxana Chapin Gertine to her sister Emily McKinstry Chapin in West Point Mississippi.

I was impressed to find some oral history collections at the library of Jackson State University.
Jackson State Digital Collection NOT IMAGES—BUT still worth exploring. There are 16 inventories of a the holdings in special collections at Jackson State and some appear to be fascinating holdings and worth scheduling a visit to Jackson state to access the collections.
Included are:
Farish Street historic district of Jackson MS. Including a Senior Citizens Oral History project: Twenty-two audio cassette tapes and transcripts of oral history interviews conducted in 1976 with African American senior citizens in Jackson, Mississippi and many topics from civil rights to health issues are discussed.

Gowdy historical collection
This consists of transcripts and audio recordings of 22 interviews conducted between 1978 and 1988 with then-present and former residents of the Washington Addition (“Gowdy”) neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi. The Gowdy area was settled by African Americans in the early twentieth century. This is just a small sampling of the offerings at Jackson State Special collections.

Good news–ProQuest has put Historic Black newspapers online.
Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003)
The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
Chicago Defender (1910-1975)
Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991)
Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)
New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
The Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003)
The Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)
Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
The Black Newspapers Collection is also available with ProQuest Black Studies Center, which features journals, Schomburg essays and dissertations and more.

Veterans History Project
This is an ongoing project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress which has collected over 55,000 first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), the Korean War (1950-1955), the Vietnam War (1961-1975), the Persian Gulf War (1990-1995) and Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present). Almost 5,000 of these narratives and oral histories have been digitized and can be explored online. Many of the interviews were made with African American Veterans.

I hope you enjoy these listings which are put here for two purposes. First it is useful to know what can be accessed, but secondly these projects should serve as models for us all as we conduct our own research. It is essential that we consider telling the stories beyond our own family circles and embrace the larger community and that we find and share those stories as well.

Thanks for listening this week.

Keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

(For previous episodes, click on the date of each episode to activitate the podcast.)

African Roots Podcast #32 November 6, 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back
Today is Friday November 6, 2009
My name is Angela Walton-Raji
And this is the African Roots Podcast

Lots of good feelings are being expressed after last week’s first International Black Genealogy Summit. Many are sharing their thoughts online and I urge you to read about their experiences and reactions to that wonderful event.

Recapping the IBGS

My IBGS Conference Journey

Upcoming Events
African-American Roots Joe Williams, president of the Milwaukee African-American Genealogical Society, will help individuals explore strategies for discovering African-American ancestors in various periods of history during the African-American Family History program Saturday. Williams has tips on beginning a search, interviewing family and finding information in your home, using search census data and death records, searching records for slaves, and finding records and indexes to search. Williams will speak from 1 to 3 p.m. at Martin Luther King Library, 310 W. Locust St. Registration is encouraged. Call the Martin Luther King Library at (414) 286-3098.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 8:30 am. Falls Church, VA, The Fairfax County History Commission and other organizations are sponsoring the Fifth Annual Fairfax County History Commission workshop. Topics to be covered include the History of the James Lee School & Surrounding Area African American Community; and other topics. The conference will be held at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, VA. To register, contact Michell Alexander at 703-324-8674. Additional details can be obtained from the Conference Chair Lynne Garvey-Hodge or found at this site.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 11:00 am.
The Historical Society of Washington, DC will present a program entitled “Genealogy and Family History: An Interesting and Educational Hobby.” Dr. James Klump is the instructor. This workshop is for beginners who want to learn the how to’s of researching your family through interviews, documents, and local histories, and organizing the research to tell the story of your family. The program will be presented in the Historical Society’s theater located at 801 K St., N.W. in Washington, DC. You need to register in advance for the program. You can either send an e-mail to or by calling 202-383-1850.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm. The DC Public Library will present a program entitled Cemetery Records.” This workshop will be an intensive session on researching cemetery records conducted by Paul Sluby, author of numerous books on the records of cemeteries in the Washington area. This event is FREE and will be held in the Washingtonia Division (Room #307), Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC. The library is conveniently accessible from Metro’s Gallery Place-Chinatown station on the Yellow, Red and Green lines (Galleries exit) and Metro Center on the Red, Blue and Orange lines (11th & G exit). For additional information call (202) 727-1199.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm. The Prince George’s County Maryland Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society is sponsoring “Maryland Legacy Day.” The program willbe presented at Knights Hall, 1633 Tucker Road, Fort Washington, MD. The keynote speaker is Jerry Hynson. His talk is entitled “The Civil War Draft in Maryland.”

Congratulations to the editor and contributing writers of FORGOTTEN PATRIOITS, AFRICAN AMERICAN AND AMERICAN INDIAN PATRIOTS IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. The American Society of Genealogists voted to give their annual Donald Lines Jacobus Award, At its meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 10 October 2009

According to the American Library Association’s African American Studies Librarians Section: Covering the time period between 1830 and 1865, this collection of primary source records “…is the first to comprehensively detail the extensive work of African Americans to abolish slavery in the United States prior to the Civil War.”

News about the 1940 census.Although we are still 2 years away from the opening of the 1940 census a brief glance at the record has been provided by the National Archives. There is a lot information in that census year pertaining to employment. Keeping in mind that the country was still coming out of the depression, work was still an issue to many in the population, thus the woes of the previous decade are reflected in that particular census year.

Interesting Lesson from AfriGeneas
Great thread on the Afrigeneas message board pertaining to the value of preserving your family legacy. Read the thread on 100 years of Spokane Black History

Attending the Black Genealogy Summit and researching at the Allen County Library was a good lesson in the value of using local and regional libraries.

Don’t overlook these valuable places to find data on the region where your family lived. If there are books written about the history of the city or town, the local library is a logical place where such a publication can be found. As genealogists we know the value of incorporating your regional history into the history of the family and that your family history cannot be pursued in a vacuum. The local history has to be incorporated. Well the library is your ally in holding writings about the community.

That’s it for this week’s podcast. Thanks for listening. Please tune in next week and in the meantime, keeping doing what you do.
Keep researching,
keep documenting
and keep sharing what you find.

(To listen to previous episodes, click on the date of each episode.)