Monthly Archives: July 2012

African Roots Podcast Episode #171 July 13, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

It is so good to be coming to you again and this time with electric power. If you heard my podcast last week, you will recall that I was in the 7th straight day of living with no electric power after a major derecho storm took out power for over a million people. Well I was one of the millions and power did not return until last Friday afternoon. It took at least 2 days for the house to get cooled off and of course all of the food in the house had to be discarded. But it was an experience to remember, if nothing else.

Event- Little Rock Arkansas, July 21
Bass Reeves, noted US Deputy Marshall and first African American to serve on the western frontier in the 1870s will be honored in a special event sponsored by National Black Law Enforcement Executives NOBLE at their Annual Conference on Saturday July 21, 2012 from 4 pm to 6PM at the Peabody Hotel–Judge spears from Fort Smith, Professor Art Burton and Marshal Moore from Illinois will serve on a Panel that will discuss Bass Reeves life and Accomplishments.

Topeka Kansas August 3-5
For Civil War enthusiasts, a three day event is being planned to honor the 1st Kansas Colored on the 150th anniversary of the formation of the first unit of black soldiers to go into battle during the Civil War. This Civil War regiment was historic and was formed a year before the US Colored Troops, and was the first black unit to engage the enemy in the Civil War at Island Mound Missouri in 1862.

Census Update:

About 30 states have now been indexed on Family Search and are searchable. 1940 CENSUS UPDATE
At least 29 states have been fully indexed and are now searchable at Family Search. With the Family Search project they will be uploaded onto:,,,, and of course FamilySearch.

But I have been surprised to find out that I have had some interesting emotions while searching one of my lines. I was excited to find my parents and uncles and cousins, but I noticed that the patriarch and matriarch of my grandmother’s family were both gone. Both had been born slaves, and there was always something comforting about finding them each census year after Freedom. The were survivors and represented that survival to me and seeing them gone in 1940 just left with with a tinge of sadness. The family endured, but those who brought the family into Freedom were no longer there. An era was gone. I don’t have the same emotion for other family lines but for this one, I have felt that sadness that the wisdom that they gave and the strength that instilled had moved into the past

I hope you got a chance to hear Bernice Bennett’s show last night on Blog Talk Radio. Gwen Olson shared her journey of how she documented her enslaved ancestors from Orange County NC. She was articulate, enthusiastic and explained her process so clearly. Bernice’s Show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm eastern time.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #170 July 6, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

 Hello to everyone from the very hot and steamy Mid-Atlantic coast where temperatures have climbed up to the high 90s and in the Washington area even topped 100 degrees!

In addition, we have been under a major power outage in the Mid-Atlantic, when a “derecho” storm  hit the area last Friday evening. In my area the high winds and rain lasted only 15 minutes then blip—all power was gone. As of this moment on Friday morning—still no power after a week.  Hopefully we will get power later today as several power trucks are now on the street and working on lines and transformers.

I only have a few events to mention as I have not been able to collect much information about upcoming events as I have been offline, most of the time. This weekend in Colonial Williamsburg a special event honoring Patriots of Color will be held and tomorrow on July 7th a special program for young people will also be held. The focus will be looking at the impact that early African Virginians had on American life.

 There is an event in Maryland called Walk A Mile, Walk A Minute in The Footsteps of the Enslaved of Hampton Plantation. This is an historic plantation estate that has a unique program. The park ranger is Angela Roberts-Burton, speaking about those who were enslaved at Hampton Plantation. In addition to listening to her presentation they are offering a unique experience for visitors to experience the labor that enslaved people performed at Hampton. They are inviting visitors to use the tools, work in the fields, carry the buckets of water and feel the lives of the slaves. Also included at Hampton is The African Diaspora Ancestral Commemoration Institute, where there will be speakers, artists, drummers and a particular ceremony to commemorate those who lived, toiled and died at Hampton Plantation.  They are in inviting people to place upon the altar the names of anyone who were enslaved. For more information about all of the activities at Hampton Plantation, contact Angela Roberts-Burton, 410-823-1309 ext 208.

This kind of experience does also bring attention to the efforts of Joe McGill who is sleeping in various slave cabins around the south and who had chosen to put himself in the place of the enslaved. He has traveled to multiple states with this experience, and I hope there will be a book or documentary about what he has undertaken.  For more information about his project click here.

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A reminder for those in the Delmarva area a new organization is forming:

Delmarva African American Historical & Genealogical SocietyThere has been interest in forming an organization focused on Eastern Shore and regional African American history and genealogy as a means of networking and sharing information. They are still seeking more interest and input. Their website has been created, at One can also contact Linda Duyer at 443-366-2451.

Well this past week of being in darkness and heat for the past week which has made me to realize what our ancestors went through and even what my parents went through. They grew up in the 1930s without electric power when they were children, and they had no life with the gadgets that keep us entertained and that keep us comfortable.

I am grateful that this power outage took place in the summer and not the winter. The situation of having no power has made me appreciate time with friends, with family. Neighbors are pulling up chairs in each other’s yards and talking and getting to know each other. I appreciate having the chance to know people whom I never knew other than a wave. And this time has made me see the value of slowing down and appreciating people as well as taking time to write and communicate in a meaningful way with those close to us.

In the meantime, I do look forward to getting back to the swing of things again, and to hearing from all of you. Thanks for taking time to listen, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.