This Week's Pod Cast


Today is Friday October 1, 2010. Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

Good to be back home after a very busy week. Last week I attended the Five Tribes Storytellers conference in Muskogee Oklahoma. I was blogging from the event and you can read about some of my experiences on my blog.

I am looking forward to seeing lots of old friends next weekend at the University of Maryland in Adelphi Maryland. I am referring to the AAHGS conference.

The Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation (AAAHRP) is accepting proposals for topics concerning Black history, culture and genealogy for its one-day Black History Conference which will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), 2300 South Massachusetts Street, Seattle, Washington. Proposals of 250-300 words are being accepted until October 15, 2010. They should be sent electronically to with “2011 Conference Proposal” as the subject.

Some good things are out there for folks from South Carolina. Don’t forget to join the indexing project with LCAfricana, and gain as a result free access to To join the effort, go to

Speaking of SC resources there is a great article on the Examiner site by Robin Foster of Saving Stories. For those who need information on how to find an ancestor who does not have a formal birth certificate, this is a useful article.

Lot’s of things are underway now that October is here. By the way, October is Family History Month and has been declared so in many sectors.

And over on AfriGeneas, there is a celebration of Family History month with several challenges to unfold on the site! There will be six (6) challenges this time, one very 5 days. One AfriGeneas prize pack (t-shirt, backpack, mug) will be awarded for each of the six winning entries. The GRAND PRIZE winner chosen from the six challenge winners will take home $100 !!!!!! CHALLENGE #1 will be published tomorrow, Oct 2nd and end on Wed, Oct 6th. Stay tuned! Keep your eyes focused on Facebook, and message board.

As my own way of celebrating Family History month, I shall put up some suggestions to help you either jump start, or enrich what you are doing to tell that family story.

1) Start a new line. What about that long lost line on your grandpa Henry’s second wife? Since they did have children, you do have cousins that connect to you. They may not have any idea on how to conduct genealogy—but you do—why not explore that line? Or—make a commitment to pursue the line of your newly found ancestor—whose maiden name you just discovered. She might be the gr. grandmother you have long sought, you now know her name—well, her ancestors are your ancestors—so commit to exploring that line.

2) Create a family cookbook! This is the time to capture that favorite homemade rolls recipe or Aunt Pat’s peach cobbler. Before she is gone—this is the time to get them recorded. A fun way to put the family history together is to include photos of the person whose recipe it belongs to.

3) Planning a trip back home this year? While you are there—why not take the camera and make a tour of the town —of the landmarks that are important to you. Your childhood home, the old family church, the old school (and the school yard), mainstreet or downtown. That is a part of the lives of most people from small towns—downtown, and for many of us—downtown has been replaced by the mall. Don’t forget to visit the cemetery, the childhood homes where your friends lived as well—those sites are part of your history, also. Don’t forget your old favorite tree—the fruit tree or the old walnut tree—these are also parts of your history that will add some fabric as you tell the stories. I recently visited my hometown of Ft. Smith Arkansas, and I was able to point to a small grove of pecan trees on the Oklahoma side of the river—a grove of trees that my dad pointed out that when he was a small boy, he helped to plant those trees. That was in the 1930s. I am the only one in the family with that story, now.

4) Engage the children. I got an idea from a good friend who was at one time organizing a series of projects for a family reunion. She took some images of the several elders and several ancestors, and duplicated them, and then made picture puzzles out of them. The task for the children was to re-assemble the images like most jigsaw puzzles require. Because it was a family gathering, they had an additional task to find out something about the person whose photo they had assembled, and upon completion, were also given a prize. The children enjoyed it and learned something as well about the family.

5) This is a good time to create something for the extended family. I know everyone does not have a website, or a blog, but there is an easy way to share family data by uploading images to some of the online resources. Do you have photos, or artifacts that you can share? Put them online for the family. I know many people have a concern about family data being online. You can make groups private—for family only. And you can choose to not include images or names of living people—but only of persons who are deceased. Tribal pages is an option, as are sites like Picasa, Flikr, and even Facebook—form a family group and share what you have.

Well thanks for listening. Have a great week. I hope to see some of you next week in Adelphi Maryland at the AAHGS Conference.

in the meantime, please keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find!

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