This Week's Pod Cast
Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com
Only a week to go till Christmas, and I hope you are all preparing for a great holiday with your loved ones.
The nomination has been fun and has introduced me to a number of excellent blogs that are out there. I hope you take the time to vote and to visit the wonderful sites that have been nominated. And yes, if you are so inclined, you may vote for my blog HERE. You have until December 20th to cast your vote!
An interesting follow up to a story from my blog. I recently told the story of Thomas McElroy on one of my blogs and have received great feedback since that story was published.
Since that time many have become interested in Arkansas in following up on the story. Several genea-buddies visited a local museum where the McElroy’s once lived. Unfortunately the depiction of the story was no presented in quite the same light. Thomas was shown as a young boy in a grey Civil War uniform, and holding a rope or noose in his hands. This is depicted in a region where sundown towns were prevalent and it is known what that suggests.
Other depictions also reflect images of slavery, and nothing of people who made a contribution of any kind to the community. Sadly—this must be how the community is perceived, for it is surely how they are depicted.
BUT—-this is also an opportunity to begin to tell the story, to begin to take responsibility of seeing that our history is reflected, and to tell the stories of the men, women and children who lived as dignified families during incredible years of hardship and adversity.
It is time to do the research of the families, time to document and to preserve the cemeteries and time to present our own history accurately and thoroughly. In a land where they are perceived to be “mere” slaves, with no history—-by taking an assertive role in our own preservation, caricatures will not be possible in today’s society.
I am optimistic that families of Central Arkansas will become aware of their history and go after it and tell the stories. I am hopeful that the descendants of Old Tom will tell the stories of his life and family and that the descendants will also learn the history of the battle of Jenkins Ferry—and learn of the Union soldiers with the US Colored Troops who fought. Yes, many lost their lives—but there is no nobler cause than that of men who fought and died for their freedom. The people were not “mere slaves” waiting for others to set them free—-many fought the battles and paid the price of freedom. Knowing this history is an empowering thing.
Well, enough of my ramblings this week before Christmas. Thank you for listening. Have a great holiday week, and in the meantime, keep doing what you do.
Keep researching, keep documenting, and yes, please keep sharing what you find!!