Monthly Archives: January 2010

African Roots Podcast #42 January 15, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back! Today is Friday January 15, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji & this is the African Roots Podcast!
You can always reach me at:

I hope that you will have an opportunity to participate in the many MLK Day activities in your area.

Coming UP:
Jan 16, at the Smithsonian, American Museum of American History has scheduled the MLK Family Festival from 10:00-5:30 pm tomorrow Jan 16.

Jan 29-30 in Ft. Smith Arkansas a full day of lectures on the black history of Arkansas will be presented at the U of Arkansas Ft. Smith, including an all day Black History Symposium on January 30, 2010.

Some interesting items:
Sankofa Restoration Project is an interesting understaking in Beaufort County SC and the Hilton Head, SC in particular. Mr. Howard Wright is working to preserve history and cemeteries in his SC community. One of his goals is to obtain more than 2000 headstones in Beaufort County. One cemetery Talbird Cemetery, he hopes to establish a memorial to the US Colored Troops from Hilton Head.

Underground Railroad Lecture in February in Northern Virginia to focus on Northern Virginia.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . Discover the key people and places involved with the Underground Railroad movement in our region. The Department of Public Works will host a lecture by Dr. Deborah Lee, a leading authority on the Underground Railroad in Northern Virginia. It will be held Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110 Dr. Lee will speak about the Underground Railroad in Northern Virginia, specifically sites along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. Dr. Lee will highlight people and places whose stories show how many in the region resisted slavery and assisted others in escapes to freedom. The talk will be richly illustrated with photographs and other images. Dr. Lee’s recent book, Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions along The Journey Through Hallowed Ground will be available for purchase. This event is free to the public, with donations welcome.

For more information, please contact Rob Orrison with the Historic Preservation Division Office at (703) 365-7895 or

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The Southeast Family History Expo will take place in February in Savannah on the 20th . Several genealogists have communicated and who have met each other on Twitter will be meeting up at that event. There are several workshops of interest to African American researchers. DNA workshops, info on the Sankofa Project from Hilton Head, sessions on Vital Records and finding good substitutes for vital records.

Southeast Family History Expo

I picked up a great suggestion from a recent thread on the AfriGeneas Message Board.
Don’t forget to visit the wonderful offerings from ProQuest and the incredible titles that have been microfilmed from college and university theses and dissertations. Many of these titles will be of interest to African American historians, scholars and researchers. This site holds a treasure trove of data on African-American history and social issues. Among some of the topics are:

Burden of blackness: Quest for “equality” among black “elites” in late-nineteenth-century Boston

The unseen cost of privilege: The psychological experience of African American women mistaken as Caucasian

“The darker the berry…”: An investigation of skin color effects on perceptions of job suitability

The racial attitudes of Black preschoolers: An exploratory study

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The is celebrating black history month by a offering a day long program for Atlanta residents to bring in personal artifacts to get advice on how to preserve their items. They will offer free preservation tips.

This will take place February 6 at the library on Auburn Avenue. Reservations must be made in advance to meet one on one with some of the specialists from the Smithsonian.

To have items reviewed one must make reservations by calling 877-733-9599 or by emailing

News from Gannett and

Footnote & Gannett partner to bring you “Civil Rights in America”. See a sneak preview full site will launch in Feb 2010

This is an effort to bring forth artifacts from the Civil Rights movement to the public. For example, we know of the March on Washington, but the site will feature a copy of the actual program and who the speakers were. So many are no longer with us, and to see that the presentation had such an amazing breadth of speakers. I did not realize for example that Daisy Bates was a speaker—she being from my homestate of Arkansas and the mentor to the Little Rock 9—.A. Phillip Randolph, Myrlie Evers, widow of Medgar Evers, and so many more. This feature on footnote will launch officially in February and it is something to look forward to.

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Eighty years after its founding in January 1930, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wilson Special Collections Library is inaugurating a program to digitize large segments of the collections.

The 8,627 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries. Visitors to the Digital Southern Historical Collection can view items that include:

Photographs of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, one of the most destructive in the nation’s history; The diary of Karen Parker, the first African American woman to attend UNC and a participant in civil rights protests of the 1960s; and so much more.

I cannot leave this podcast without mentioning the current tragedy that the world is currently watching unfolk in the nation of Haiti. This impoverished nation has come which provided the opportunity for the Louisiana purchase to take place, at what has amounted to a purchase of approximately 3cents per acres. This nation that defeated the French, that shares a legacy of enslavement and that survived to become independent now needs the help of everyone in the world. From afar there seems to be so little that we can do. If you can make donations to the RedCross, please do so, if your church or local charity is organizing a campaign of assistance, please join the effort. If you can provide some assistance in any technical way, please share those skills.
American Red Cross

Thanks again for listening to this week’s podcast. Talk to you next time.

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

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

African Roots Podcast #41 January 8, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back! Today is Friday January 8, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji & this is the African Roots Podcast!
You can always reach me at:

Hope you are staying warm this very chilly January. Some new events coming up this month:

January 10, 2010 in Norman Oklahoma The Cleveland County Genealogical Society is offering a beginning genealogy workshop. “Genealogy 101: Basic Genealogy Skills” will be from 2 to 5 p.m. in a classroom near the Cleveland County Genealogical Society Library, just inside the south entrance of the Community Service Building, 1183 E Main St. Registration is $15, if paid by Jan. 4, or $17 after that date. The course is designed to help beginners or near-beginners in their search for ancestors. Topics include how to organize what you know about your family now, where to find more information and how to use the Internet to further the search. For more information, call 701-2100.

From Mississippi, a new Oral History project is about to begin. This is a joint venture between The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Humanities Council. The Greenville Washington County Joint Historic Preservation Commission will soon begin collecting oral histories within the county. The group working on this project received a $1,500 grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council for the project. This is the kind of project that makes one look at one’s own communities and consider capturing groups of people to tell their own personal stories.

An interesting artcle about some individuals who located an old suitcase full of photos. It had been stored in the crawl space of an attic of an old house and the question was really who the photos belonged to, or rather what family they were connected to. The article is a wonderful story of how a long lost photo was reunited with a descendant of some of the individuals in the images. There is a lesson with this story—and one that we should consider as we do what we do.

I often go online on sites like Ebay and other auctions sites, and often see long lost photos where sometimes the individuals are identified. Among the many items for sale are often images of African American families as well, right there, on sale to the highest bidder. My question is have you ever considered taking some time to research the history of those inviduals—especially if data such as city state are included?

Of course I know that many of you are thinking—I have enough to do with my own line, let alone researching someone else’s line. But do you? I participate in a daily online chat and it is common for beginner’s to come into our lunch time chats inquiring about details on how to conduct their research. Several of us, who have subscriptions to Ancestry, get other details and there we are each living in a different state, trying to assist this beginner with locating his/her family, and giving them advice on how to get started.

My point is—-we often take time to research someone else’s line, and this is done in a spirit of generosity and encouragement.

Why not consider the process of reuninting photos with descendants as well? Or old Bibles?
Perhaps you might not be aware—there are hundreds of old family bibles on sale at antique stores, thrift stores,

You might see them, and think—wow how sad that somebody’s family Bible is here—but I encourage you to stop and think—-this might also be an opportunity for you to have a different kind of genealogical experience—and the act of researching and reuniting an artifact from someone’s family with a descendant of that family might provide you with a different kind of experience.

Just food for thought—-
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The state of North Carolina has launched a news paper digitization project.
In 2009, the North Carolina State Archives completed a project to digitize newspapers from its collection that were, up until that time, only available on microfilm. These materials include papers dating from 1751-1890s from cities like Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1798-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816) – a total of 23,483 digital images that are keyword searchable. The project was made possible by an LSTA grant provided by the State Library of North Carolina.

This is a good time for us to consider looking at our projects from the perspective of how we can learn about our ancestors, by studying what was taking place where they lived. Your ancestors don’t have to appear by name in those articles, but learning about their neighbors, their employers, and about others whom they knew—will also give you some ideas about their lives even without their names being in the publications.

Let’s try to ask explore our communities through those old papers, and publications and see the value of digitized projects such as the NC Newspapers.

Thank you again for listening and please join me next time.

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