This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome to the African Roots Podcast. You can reach me at
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! A new year is here and many things are underway.

This is the long awaited year—the census is coming. The National Archives has significant information for researchers on their website.

This is just a reminder that the AAHGS-Arkansas meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2012 at the Arkansas Studies Institute located at 401 President Clinton Ave., downtown LR, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 Noon. This is the first meeting of the New Year and elections will be held. If you can not attend the meeting, then you can cast your vote via email by contacting Deborah Hicks or Ann Wiley. I am excited to see that the Arkansas AAHGS chapter is encourage their members to sign up to attend online webinars. They are promoting them in their newsletters and if other groups or individuals are having them, send an email to their contact person for an announcement.

The Baltimore AAHGS chapter holds their first meeting of 2012 tomorrow also. They will meet at the Enoch Pratt Free Library at Cold Spring & Loch Raven. Special presenter will be Aaron Dorsey who will present a session on Slavery Era research.

PAAC-Preservation of African American Cemeteries
The PAAC, Inc. meeting is January 14, 2012 at Zion Hill Baptist Church located at 7612 Hwy 365 South in Sweet Home, Arkansas. Glad to see a strong interest in cemetery preservation.

New Website:
Black Loyalist This site is a repository of historical data about the African American loyalist refugees who left New York between April and November 1783 and whose names are recorded in the Book of Negroes. The site contains an interesting timeline, list of individuals identified as Runaways, list of slave holders, a fascinating map accessed through google earth, a category called groups—so those who have studied the years of the American revolution, will have a particular interest in studying the details about specific companies that were raised –military units, and just an amazing accumulation of data. This project emerged as part of the research conducted by Cassandra Pybus, for her book, “Epic Journeys for Freedom, Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and their Global Quest for Liberty. She is based in Australia and is a noted historical scholar.

Another website:
There is an amazing collection of African American Newspapers:
• The Christian Recorder (1861–1902)
• The Colored American (1837–1841)
• Frederick Douglass’ Paper (1851–1855; 1859–1863)
• Freedom’s Journal (1827–1829)
• The National Era (1847–1860)
• The North Star (1847–1851)
• Provincial Freeman (1854–1857)
• Weekly Advocate (1837–1837)

February 1, 2012 February 1 is the deadline for submission for papers for the IBGS in Salt Lake City in October 2012. The deadline is quickly approaching.

February 8, 2012
Black Families in Hampden County – Lecture and Book Signing
When: February 8, 2012 6:00PM – 7:00PM
Where: NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116
Author Joseph Carvalho III, as he shares his revised edition of Black Families in Hampden County, Massachusetts 1650-1865, recently published by NEHGS. The book presents genealogical, bio¬graphical, and historical information about Afri¬can American individuals and families who lived in the area now known as Hampden County in western Massachusetts. The lecture will be followed by a book signing.

February 18, 2012y
Selma, Alabama, Black Belt Afr Am. Genealogical Historical Society Conference in Selma Alabama.

St. Louis Missouri
Also on February 18 is the Annual Conference of the St. Louis African American genealogical society, which will take place at Harris Stowe State University. More information can be obtained by contacting Mr. Charles Brown the president of the St. Louis group.

I mentioned the Arkansas AAHGS chapter and how they are encouraging their members to become engaged with the online community and to consider webinars among their activities. I applaud this and hope that many more will
not just watch webinars, but will also become engaged as bloggers and writers. There is a vibrant online community where there are genealogists who are interested in the preservation of African American history, and culture, are gathering and exchanging ideas and telling others about their experiences. I have been following a good number of bloggers this week, and have made some new discoveries—well, new to me—of new sites to visit with great articles. There are some wonderful writers telling their own stories and frankly we need to know who they are and we need to know each other. They are telling wonderful stories and some are also sharing research methods with each other as well.

I like the fact that many are inserting history and an historical context into their writings, their research and even into their blogs. Research methods are important—but without historical basis there is a danger. If one has never read Carter G. Woodson—not just know who he was—but READ and STUDIED his work and his scholarship—does not make one an historian, or authority on the historical experience simply because we know HOW to find a document. We as family historians must bring forth history into our stories and merge the two disciplines, but also understand that historiography is critical as well.

If one only reads and cites only other genealogists in one’s works, and is completely unaware of Herbert Gutman, Ira Berlin, and others are—then one must ask—how complete is the job of telling the story? We have all embarked on a serious endeavor—but we must also appreciate those who have provided the proper historical context from which our family research comes. It comes not from others who have simply analyzed other genealogies and genealogists—it come from women and men who have studied those primary source documents and told the story from a larger historical perspective. But you are urged to join us an become engaged!

Thanks for listening, and please join me next week. In the mean time, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

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