Monthly Archives: October 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #238 October 25, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com

Well it is truly fall here on the Mid-Atlantic coast—chill is truly in the air—and in western Maryland there was snow on the ground. I also understand that in upstate New York there was truly a full snowfall. I wonder what that means for us a winter approaches. Though I was born in the winter, I prefer warmer weather and hope you are all keeping warm.

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Well, the PBS series, Many Rivers to Cross is now airing. Regardless of the various opinions bad and good about the series, several genealogists have decided to tell our own stories from the historical context in which our own families come. In other words, we have decided to tell, through our own familial lens the story of our own family’s transition from life where they began in Africa, to North America, and how we came to be who we are in our own lines.

An invitation has been extended to the genealogy community and there are several of us blogging about those stories. I wrote my own piece earlier this week, and called it “Who Is My Priscilla” This was a look at, and a question about who my own female ancestor was who made the journey across the Atlantic during the Middle Passage.

With the help of DNA testing, I know my ancestor is said to have been from Nigeria and was a Yoruba woman. I know that her she and descendants ended up in Virginia. I traced a possible route that she may have traveled. She could have been taken somewhere near or through the town of Badagry a slave catcher’s village. Hundreds of thousands of people went through that small portal, and from there, lives were sent westward to a new and harsh reality.

My post can be found on my blog, My Ancestor’s Name. Other blog posts are emerging as the African American Blogging Circle is responding.

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Now, speaking of Priscilla, the young girl whose story has been documented by BBC and was also included in the series—you need to check out LowCountryAfricana. Toni Carrier created a wonderful article on her blog by sharing documents pertaining to Pricsilla’s descendants. Do you have SC roots? Could you possibly be related to Priscilla? Take a look at the Ball Family Records,. This is a great resource for those with ties to the Low Country and I hope that the link will be helpful.

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A piece of news—this has been unfolding for years. The Black farmers have finally won a lawsuit. Have you ever wondered why there are not many blacks in farming today? But 100 years ago, most black people lived in the south and most were farmers. Well they were choked out of the farming business having loans denied to them for decades—to simply get them out! This happened, and during the years that the Great migration occurred, a people once rural, became in a short time—urban.

This is truly something to think about and this migration has had a profound impact on the culture and the country. But those who persevered through three decades of fighting in the courts—have finally won a 1 billion dollar suit. Now this is really not that much when divided among the litigants, however, it is something that we should all be aware of. As we tell our stories–we must think of how we stopped being a rural people and became an urban people.

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Last night’s Bernice Bennett Show on Blog Talk radio features an interesting topic—from Barbadoes to the Carolinas. I am referring to Bernice Bennett’s show Research at the National Archives & Beyond. Her guest was Rhoda Green who works with the Barbados Carolina Legacy Foundation. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio.

AND—-a special show for those of you with DNA questions will take place this coming MONDAY. Cece Moore and Shannon Christmas will come on with additional information and will be there to answere additional questions about DNA and matches. So tune in on Monday afternoon, at 3 pm on Blog Talk Radio for that special broadcast

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As a blogger it is always nice to learn that sometimes a story has motivated others. Well, I got really good news this week, and I like to as if I am a participant in a small way. In 2011 I wrote an article about Pvt Lewis Martin, , a black Civil War soldier. He was born in Arkansas, but died in the 1890s in Illinois. You have seen his face—his photo is a famous one. He was gravely wounded at the Crater in Petersburg, and he is the black man shown with part of his right arm missing and part of his left leg. As a double amputee living in the 19th century life was going to be hard. In addition—he was a man of color. He would be dependent obviously on the help of others. He was said to have been known to be a heavy drinker. This is not hard to imagine, given his wounds and his circumstances. He died in 1892 in Springfield Illinois where he lived and was buried in the paupers cemetery of Oak Ridge Cemetery. Now—if you don’t know—Oak Ridge Cemetery is a famous place and one of the most visited cemeteries in the country. Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States is buried there.

And a few hundred feet away—Pvt. Martin lies buried—-with no headstone.

Well a woman contacted me after I wrote my article in 2011, and she shared with me that she knew where he was buried. It has taken 2 years—-but a stone is now forthcoming for Pvt. Martin. As a Civil War veteran it is strange that he got no stone form the beginning, but thankfully the effort has been made in Springfield Illinois to honor him. He paid for his freedom and the freedom of others at great cost. And now—150s after his enlistment his name will be seen by visitors to Springfield, at Oak Ridge. Rest in peace Pvt. Martin.

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Well thanks for listening, and I hope you know that I appreciate you my listeners. Keep you emails and announcements coming. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #237 October 18, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com

It is great to be back from the AAHGS conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was wonderful to see a lot of genealogy friends and bloggers and to make connections with some whom I have met online and to finally meet them in person. It was also a special treat to visit Wessyngton, Plantation.
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Well last week not only were members of AAHGS convening in Nashville, Tennessee, but genealogists in Chicago, had their 31st annual conference. Their keynote speaker was Kenyatta Berry whom we know from the Genealogy Roadshow. Tim Pinnick, Janis Minor Forte, Evelyn Nabors and many other researchers were presenting.

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This weekend, a special shout out to folks in Louisiana who are attending the 9th Annual LaCreole Conference at Xavier University. The Theme is “The Creolization of Old World Connections.” Among their many speakers, is Bernice Bennett of Blog Talk Radio.

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Tune in to last night’s episode of the Bernice Bennett show, if you missed it. This show featured several contributors to a new book about Alexandria Virginia’s black history. This is another collaboration effort and it has resulted in the book, African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century (American Heritage)
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Plainfield New Jersey there will be a special panel discussion on African American Genealogy which will cover personal research projects but also DNA. For more information contact: (908) 757-1111 Ext. 136 or contact localhistory@plfdpl.info

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Well a new series will emerge on PBS. I am happy to announce the African American Genealogy Blogging Circle. We will blog our own reaction to the series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. We will blog about our own family histories from the perspective of each of the time periods that will be covered in the series. We will be sharing our version of our family stories, and weigh in on each episode, and relate them to the time period presented and to our own family history.

The Bloggers:
• Melvin Collier – Roots Revealed
• George Geder – Geder Genealogy
• Terry Ligon – Black and Red Journal
• Drusilla Pair – Find Your Folks
• Nicka Smith – Who is Nicka Smith?/AtlasFamily.Org | The Blog
• Angela Walton-Raji – My Ancestor’s Name

So stay tuned—-I shall put a link to each blog for you, so that you may keep track. Follow us, share your comments, observations and insights—and yes, tell your own story.

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You know I had the chance to visit Wessyngton Plantation while in Tennessee. I recommend that all of you take the time to visit such an estate. It does not matter which—as all were part of an incredible system of cruelty to humanity. Walk around, listen to the ancestors and let their spirits whisper to you. I have no ancestors who were at Wessyngton, but I did feel the spirit of those who suffered, toiled, and died there, for they shared an experience that my ancestors experience. These places are sacred, and so much happened, and even if we tell only a few of their stories, our work has been worthwhile, for we stand on their shoulders. I had a moving experience, and even on the difficult walk over rough terrain to the slave cemetery, I know that my ancestors had no choice and that rough terrain was the only soil that they could tred. A moving experience indeed.

Thanks for listening again this week. Please continue to keep researching, keep documented and keep sharing what you find.