Monthly Archives: July 2011

African Roots Podcast #119 July 15, 2011

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well—this weekend is a big one in terms of Civil War history, commemoration and celebration! The official grand opening of the African American Civil War Memorial is underway. Well I hope that if you can this weekend, take in some of the many activities underway in Washington.  But beyond that—this is the opportunity to truly embrace our own civil war history.

This weekend also marks the anniversary of two important Civil War battles:  the Assault at Ft. Wagner, and also on the western frontier, the Battle of Honey Springs. Most significantly were the actions of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry. This unit was the first black unit to engage the southern forces at Island Mound, Missouri.

There are so many opportunities for all of us to celebrate, and commemorate the actions and the impact of the Civil War. Soldiers can be researched, cemeteries can be documented, civilians and their involvement can also be honored. Women like Susie King Taylor were active as nurses and women worked as contrabands, and let’s not forget the children who served as drummer boys and musicians in the war.

There is ample opportunity for us to commemorate this history in our own way.  We can find the soldiers in our own community and tell their stories,create a blog. I have a USCT blog, as do others, but you can also document a cemetery with US Colored Troops, we can adopt a soldier and study his history–we can also tell the stories of the community—the first teachers in the many contraband camps, tell the stories of the camps as well. I point out the efforts of Professor Dru who has also created her own Civil War blog. But you can do so much more—visit a national cemetery and note the US Colored soldiers buried there. Learn how to identify the headstones of black soldiers.

What an opportunity to document this history.

Anyway—with this being the time of the sesquicentennial, is the time to engage in new and stimulating projects to tell this rich history!

A reminder tonight for many to tune in to the Geneabloggers Radio program tonight to hear the efforts of how you can also teach your love of genealogy to the next generation. Professor Dru aka Drusilla Pair will be featured along with Elyse Doerflinger and Jari Honora, both young people who are the facess of the next generation of genealogists! Also featured will be Nicka Smith, who also is making strides with the next generation.

Well once again, thanks for listening and thanks so much all that you are doing as well. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast #118 July 8, 2011

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast. My name is Angela Walton-Raji and you can always reach me at

Sunday, July 10 – Little Rock ARKANSAS
Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary Commemoration
2:00 p.m.

In celebration of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the Institute on Race and Ethnicity and the Department of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a commemorative event with the City of Little Rock and the William J. Clinton Foundation on the grounds of the Old State House Museum. The event will include the dedication of a plaque to honor the Freedom Riders stop in Arkansas, at the corner of Markham and Louisiana streets?the exact location where the Freedom Riders arrived. The afternoon will also include a performance by the United Voices of Gaines Street Baptist Church Choir.

This year’s honorees include the Freedom Riders who came to Arkansas, several activists who participated in sit-in protests in Little Rock, and former President Bill Clinton. Find more information on UALR’s website. Admission is free.

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A Question—Would you like to have access to 100 years of a single publication? Then I want to direct your attention to the online publication of the National Medical Association Journal. In case this does not hold your interest exactly—note that the National Medical Association is an African American association of medical professionals. Well, The journal of this historic association is valuable to both historians and genealogists because of the personal data about medical professionals that appear in the journal, in addition to the wonderful articles about health issues that affected the black community. Take a look at this wonderful resource—over 100 years of articles are there for you.
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I like to take a look at databases online to see if they are still viable tools. One that I visited some time back was worth looking at again, and I am referring to the Illinois State Archives website of Database of Servitude and Emancipation Records.
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I was recently surfing the web and came across an interesting index. I was happy to see that there was an interesting database of Kentucky black marriages. The data came from Record Group 105—the Freedman’s Bureau, and it is a good index. The information captured in includes the names of the parties getting married, the page where the info appeared, the declaration date, by whom they were married, and the date they began living together as man and wife. It is not a link to original images, but it is a very good index. It appears to be one of the old Rootsweb sites that now rests on

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Looking Ahead—-
Fall will be busy—There is the Black Genealogy Summit, the National AAHGS conference, and note—our friends in the Midwest are also very busy. The Chicago AAGHS Inc, always has an annual conference, and so does the Indianapolis American Genealogy Group. The Indiana group has their event scheduled for October 8, and I know that Mark Lowe—nationally known genealogy speaker will deliver the keynote, and Dr. Deborah Abbott will also be presenting. More I am sure will be revealed as time passes. Their conference date is October 8, 2011

So as you plan the fall—these are critical dates:
September 22-25 –AAHGS National Conference, Little Rock Arkansas
October 5-9 ASALH National conference, Richmond VA
October 7-8 – Chicago Ill, Annual African Am. Conference
October 8, Indianapolis AAGG Annual Conference
October 20-22 Black Genealogy Summit, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

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I urge you all to take a look at the work of Sharon Morgan’s site, Our Black Ancestry. She has some unique features such as data on the largest slave holders in 10 states, information on surnames of slaveholders and also a unique reconciliation project. There is info on slave holder descendants seeking to connect with descendants of slaves once held by their ancestors. This is something different and I think you will appreciate her work and her energies. Hats off to Sharon for her work with this site!

Thanks for listening and have another great week! In the meantime, always, keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find.