African Roots Podcast #186 October 26, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

Well, it’s great to be back after attending the International Black Genealogy Summit last week in Salt Lake City Utah. People came from the east, west, midwest, south and all over the nation! It was great to witness so much talent on so many levels. Now it’s time to wind down the season of travel and conferences.

Now that we have returned from the many conferences of the fall season we return to the many projects that have captured our attention. Many of these are projects where we have embarked as the sole researcher, and we walk down paths without guidance, without mentors and without much direction—yet still we engage. Last week’s speaker, Isabela Wilkerson inspired us all on how important it is to take our time and do the research. It took her 15 years to complete her project—and she has unlocked a truth about how the country changed, thanks to the act of self removal from the south to other places. The act of removal of millions of people from the caste system of the south, changed the nation forever. The message of her book was there—but also I picked up on the lesson of how important it is to pursue one single idea and go down that path. We are often loners in what we do–but we should also sense the need to share and put “out there” what we have found. Others can grow and learn so much.

Let’s all embark on our own journeys to tell the story. Joseph McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project is a good example of one who is taking time to preserve the history of the enslaved people. The works of David Lynch who was a guest on Bernice Bennett’s show last night has taken his work on the Virgin Island and has taken it to the public to share it with the world. How inspiring!

I also applaud the people who are busy with taking their genealogy energy and putting it to work. At the Family History Center in Kensington MD, there is a weekly African American Special Interest Genealogy Group. In Baltimore MD there is a free genealogy class offered the first Thursday of the month at the Historical Society of Baltimore County. And new groups are emerging such as the Delmarva African American Genealogical & Historical Society.

Here are some of the groups that have a strong presence on Facebook as well.
African American Genealogy Forum
African American Genealogy Society of Ft. Wayne
Noxubee County Mississippi Afr. American Genealogy
San Diego African American Genealogy Research Group
African American Genealogy Society of Northern California
St. Louis African American History & Genealogy Society
AAHGS -Afro American Historical & Genealogical Society
AAHGS Arkansas Chapter
AAHGS Central Virginia Chapter
AAHGS – Memphis TN Chapter
AAHGS Metro Atlanta
AAHGS Greater Richmond

How exciting to see so many groups on Facebook and taking their events, and projects to the community and reaching out to others as well. Let us be inspired to share what we do on a much larger scale and to embrace and support each other as well.

Thank you for listening and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

2 Comments

  1. Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanx muchly, Angela!

  2. Posted October 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear Angela, Thank you for this post. The words of encouragement from the IBGS are very important. So many people feel like “loners” in this area. I am currently reading “Gather at the Table” by Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf, and I am learning how many people steer away from researching descendants from the slavery era, especially from figuring out the blood relationships of whites and African-Americans that extend to us, today. So many are related directly from slavery times! In trying to find my biracial cousins, I am doubtless alienating some people, but others in my (white) family are with me. Sharon and Tom were lonely in the path they pursued, and their contact with Coming to the Table was vital in keeping up their courage. Thank you for your wise message.

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