African Roots Podcast Episode #243 November 29, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast

 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and are having a great weekend! If you are joining the crowds and beginning your holiday shopping, I hope that you will be safe as you venture out into the malls and shopping centers.

African American Blogging Circle has come to an end of the first project by blogging our way through the PBS Series, Many Rivers to Cross. Be sure to visit the various blogs of the members of the blogging Circle.

Today is the National Day of Listening! So what are your questions and who is your guest? Aunt, Uncle, elder close to the family? Or are you the elder? And if so—have you told your story?

Thanksgiving is a great time to do that and to create a new tradition—share memories of Thanksgiving holidays of long ago. These taped interviews can be just that. I thought of something yesterday when I took my own turkey out of the oven. How often have you taken photos of the meal? Of the family sitting down to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast? I realized that we never took pictures either when growing up, and perhaps it is time to start doing so.

And this is a great time to create new traditions! This is a great time to also re-visit older traditions long forgotten. And this is great time to reach out to those away from the family.

We have tools that we didn’t have at our finger tips not too long ago. Cell phones, digital cameras and social media have made such as difference—we are often a click away from our loved ones, and only have to touch base by making the decision to do so.

So—if the elders have gone—and you didn’t get to interview them—-then you become the elder and add another chapter to your own story. We know that life is complicated and your own life has had many twists and turns. So—how are you doing to outline what you have done in your lifetime. You know what was important and what it meant—is that the story to tell? You know of the people who passed through your life who are no longer a part—is that the story to tell? You know of the places that you have visited and used to frequent that once essential are now only memories—is that the story to tell? Go ahead and tell that story—and get it out there!

Today is also Black Friday. Enough said about that madness. But—do you remember Christmas shopping and what it used to mean when you were younger? Was there a certain day in which you went holiday shopping? For me it was always one day in particular. Was it an entire season where the message to buy and spend was not as prevalent as it is today? Before the Black Friday hype and the expected fights in the stores emerged—what was the shopping experience really like?

Also—who remembers the stockings—real stockings stuffed with gifts? I can recall all of the colorful hard candy and the big stick of peppermint and the apples and oranges in the stuffed socks. And the pecans—bigger than the slender ones that fell from our pecan tree in the backyard.

And how many of us know the origins of some of these traditions? So many things to think about and record and share—so go ahead.

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Did you catch Bernice Bennett’s show this week? She had a special broadcast on Monday afternoon, with guests who discussed the Wanderer Project. April Hynes who found a face jug and that opened some interesting doors for her, and Rev. Fred Morton and descendant of a survivor of the Slave Ship Wanderer was on. The story of the Wanderer has attracted my of attention for many years, and it is one of the stories where many of the survivors lived till the 20th century. I was surprised to learn how much has actually been documented about them. Great story—check it out if you did not have a chance. And also look ahead to hear line up for December. Sharon Battiste Gillens will talk about RG 105, a favorite topic of mine. Elaine Parker Adams will be speaking about the Rev. Peter Clark Preacher and Reformer. Michael Wiliams will discuss finding your Kinship Village, and Sarah Cato will discuss a project that she has devoted her time to—the history of the 56th US Colored Infantry and the effort to provide a respectful memory to 175 men from the Civil War.

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Well—the year is quickly coming to an end, but it gives us time to reflect and to plan. I hope you find the same value in slowing down and analyzing where you are with your genealogy, your goals and your skills. Let’s all use this time to prepare for the coming year, and to think about new ways in which we will be able to pursue that which we love, genealogy.

Again, enjoy what remains of this Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. I also thank you for being there and for allowing me to be here, to share some time and thoughts with you. I appreciate this genealogy community so much and can only look forward with enthusiasm to the months and year ahead!

In the meantime, until next week, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

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