This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back
Today is Friday February 26, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji, and this is the African Roots Podcast.
You can always reach me at

I am back in Oklahoma this time for the first Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedmen Heritage Conference and Reunion. Langston University campus in Tulsa—in historic Greenwood district. The weekend promises to be an exciting one.

I am in a reflective mood today and feel compelled to talk about the experiences of this past month. As you know for African American genealogists every month is Black History Month and this is a time for others to join in appreciation of the history that we study every day.

This year, even with the challenges that a very harsh winter has brought us—I have been encouraged and inspired by what I have seen and people that I have met from the community.

In spite of the many changes brought to us with winter weather, we have continued to adjust to schedule changes and press forward.

Last week I mentioned the actions of one blogger—Luckie Davis and her bold appeal to the genealogy community, from her own blog (www. This has resulted in a wonderful response and brought about the 1st Online Carnival of African American Genealogy. I spoke about this in last week’s podcast.

I have been inspired by the 4 bloggers who met last week at an event in Savannah. They each have their own blogs and have written beautiful pieces on their respective blogs about their experience. (See them at,

Last night after arrival in Oklahoma I met with several colleagues for an interview with a local television station. Afterwards two men approached us expressing interest in learning about their own histories—one rather young in his 20s and the other gentleman in his mid 40s.

The young was shy and almost embarrassed to talk and was rather uncomfortable saying that he did not know his history and wanted to know if it was possible for him to learn how. The older man had a similar request, and was so interested in our sharing the local history and wanted to know if he could follow up with us—as he knew others who had a similar history and who were lacking information on how to document his own past.

Both of them, plus the response that I have seen on so many levels have demonstrated to me that what we are doing is very important. The sense of wonder to make a young many pause to ask strangers if we would help him learn about his own past, moved me. The older gentleman wanted to get us to talk to others whom he knows who also want simply to know.

I have been inspired by these individuals—strangers who are telling their stories and who are also so moved to know that they CAN research and extract more stories that pertain to their own history.

I have learned so much over these past few weeks and all of these experiences are confirming for me the fact that what we do is important and why we must continue our work.

Therefore, we just keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what we find.

Thank you for listening to me today have a great week.

(For previous podcasts, simply click on the date of the podcast to hear earlier episodes.)

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