This Week's Pod Cast
Hello and welcome back. Today is Friday April 30, 2010 My name is Angela Walton-Raji and this is the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com
Greetings to everyone enjoying themselves in Salt Lake City this week at the NGS Conference. I hope everyone out there, is having a good time. I have read some of the blogs and have enjoyed them, so please bloggers keep it up as you are our eyes and ears.
Tomorrow May 1st, I am preparing for a presentation at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum in New York City. Gustave Heye Center, at 1 Bowling Green Place, in Manhattan. I am looking forward to the event and this will be the first time I will speak in New York, so I am excited about that.
This is a busy time as events are piling up quickly—-
Samford is coming up—a solid week of genealogy. I am referring to the Samford Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research. This will be the first time for me and I am quite thrilled to attend. There will be so much to learn.
I came across an interesting site which provides a wonderful database for researchers: This site is for those who have an interest in Liberia and those who emigrated from the US to Liberia.
The site is callled Liberian Repatriates. The site also contains data on more than 15,000+ African-Americans who emigrated to Liberia between 1820 and 1904 are now only a mouseclick away. This site should prove a boon to scholars and genealogists on both sides of the Atlantic, according to its founder, Prof. C. Patrick Burrowes of Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. I know that several thousand emigrants to Liberia left Arkansas and this should prove to be a very interesting site for those exploring history from a different perspective.
I wanted to make a notation that I have learned so much in this past year, and have been exposed to a number of new people, new places, new resources and new methods of obtaining information. This has come through contact with people who have become listeners to my podcast, but have also become persons from whom I have learned a lot by merely following them and interacting with them in the social media.
I use Twitter quite often a social networking site, that I use mostly for genealogy. A majority of the people whom I follow are other genealogists, who tweet about their own projects, blogs, travels, genealogical findings.
This has opened many doors for me as a researcher, and also just as one who enjoys reading as well as writing. I have found others who have thrived by creating their own genealogical community on sites like Facebook, and I have also learned a lot from them. One neat thing with Facebook, you can join other communities and post images and share interests. I have really learned the value of seeing what is going on in the larger community.
Interestingly many of the people that I have met in the past year have been individuals whom I might not have met at an annual conference, because there had not been any kind of genealogical connection, nor had their been any kind of personal interaction. However, I know now that I will go out of my way to actually look for people in the future at events.
Most significantly I have learned the value of blogging—a concept that has taken me over a year to wrap my head around. I have never understood why one would put up a “diary” online for all of the world to see. I had no desire to go public with my private thoughts, endeavors, projects. I did notice however, that I was gaining so much knowledge by reading the accomplishments that others were making as they were reaching, and I loved reading the stories about how the found what they found. I realized—I have stories too. I record the stories and data about my ancestors, and have dusted them off for family gatherings, but there were also other lessons to be learned —- that could be shared with a wider audience. And the surprise for me—–I began to think—-I could make a blog.
Thanks to people who have encouraged me to do so, I have some to appreciate that a blog can be anything. Blogs go beyond some notation of the day to day mundance activities. The blogs that I follow hold no such trivia. I began to follow those who were telling not only the stories of their families, but also the story of their story. They began to tell HOW they were able to craft their stories, how data was presented to them, HOW they constructed the solution to genealogical problems, and more importantly, they have shared what they have found in wonderful ways. This has taught me so many lessons. These days with technology—we have many opportunities to present our own stories in many ways to our families and to the community at large.
We need to open ourselves to new methods of presenting this story to the word. There are some new communities that are there for us to explore and hopefully more from the Afr. Am genealogy community will join this community and more from outside the community will read our blogs and join us in the quest that we all share—to tell the stories of our ancestors.
I have seen this emerge this year with the creation of A Friend of Friends, and I am seeing others who were early on bloggers, emerge into roles of assisting others to come into the community as well.
This is such an interesting time in which we are blessed to live.
That’s it for this week, folks, and thanks for listening again. Please keep doing what you do–
& keep sharing what you find.
(For earlier podcasts, click on the date of that episode.)