This Week's Pod Cast
Hello and welcome back
Today is Friday February 5, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji
This is the African Roots Podcast.
Hello once again from western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Guess what? I got snowed in here in America’s heartland, and I ended up extending my stay so that I can present at the Black History conference at the University of Arkansas, Ft. Smith. I was to have presented last weekend, but everything was cancelled. It is on again, and will take place tomorrow February 6th.
I was going to go into a lot of detail about upcoming events, but many of the events that I was to have mentioned have been cancelled, including major events at the Smithsonian Institution this weekend. The reason? Another snowstorm. Actually the mid-Atlantic states are going to get over a foot of snow and some places almost 2 feet of snow. I do hope that everyone will stay safe, warm and dry.
I will share with you a great website that I did come upon. Actually it was recommended by someone on Twitter, and it is a site featured by The New England Historical and Genealogical Society They have a great site with emphasis on African Amerian genealogy. The site is AfricanAmericanAncestors.org
This is a great website, as there are resources, guidebooks, databases, and featured exhibits on their website. In addition there is a an introductory video to the site, and so much more. I was even fascinated to find a reference to black soldiers from the Kansas Colored, which is closer to my part of the country. Do not hesitate to visit this site, even if you don’t have New England ancestry. They have done a great job.
Well, I have to share this story with you. Yesterday I had one of those days that genealogists only dream of. Well African American genealogists. I had a more than fascinating 3 hour visit with the descendants of the family that had enslaved my ancestors in the Choctaw Nation. This was one of those experiences, where they sought me. I received an email many months ago, from a gentleman living in Oklahoma who saw my name in an historical journal. He noticed that some of my ancestors had been enslaved by Nail Perry from what is now eastern Oklahoma. He recognized the name and made it a point to find me. He is a descendant of Nail Perry, the slave owner.
This meeting was amazing, as when he arrived he came with bags of documents, and he brought another cousin, Dick Perry, who generously brought out old maps showing me where the family was buried. We talked for over 3 hours and our visit was a warm one, and I must admit that I was more than appreciative of the time that they took to come. We took pictures, talked, examined documents together, and also acknowledged that yes—there is a blood tie that we share as well.
The lesson that I have learned is the value of sharing your work, presenting your data for others. This man found me, I did not know he existed. The meeting was one that was a moving one, and left me with good feelings about human beings. We cannot alter the past, but it is important that we acknowledge the past and talk about it and grow from what we have learned. This has been an incredible week for me, and I have so much more now to do.
Thanks for listening, and let us learn the value of doing what we do—keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what we find.