This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can reach me at

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day weekend. If you are joining the crowds and beginning your holiday shopping, I hope that you will be safe as you venture out into the malls and shopping centers.

Well last week I announced it, and today the Blog Carnival is now LIVE! The Preservinators–3 genea friends, Toni Carrier, George Geder and myself decided to promote a blog carnival, in honor of the National Day of Listening!

Well the response has been amazing–and multiple stories have been shared with the community. The theme for our blog carnival was “The Ancestors Told, The Elders Listened and We Pass It On”. Well Toni Carrier has compiled the posts from participants in the National Day of Listening, and them on her blog, “Low Country Africana.

The blog posts are amazing!!

Sandra Taliaferro wrote a wonderful piece about her discovery of family after remembering the real surname that she was to have had. An error in spelling had altered her life, but remembering the correct name, led her back to her family! Sandra’s piece is called Remembering Family Oral History Changed My Life.

Vicki Daviss Mitchell wrote a wonderful piece about how she was able to get information from a grandmother who often chose not to share family history. Of course there is the wonderful story of how the family kidnapped Grandma but there is also the story of how she learned the name of Mariah, the matriarch of the family. That was truly a Front Porch Hallelujah.

Sandra Taliaferro also shared another piece about Oral History. She points out that everything learned through Oral History, was not always a pretty picture. This second post is called “Family Oral History, It’s not Always Pretty.”

George Geder, one of the Preservinators, shared the fact that sometimes the elders leave us before we get to ask the questions. His piece is called Oral History or Bust, and it reminds us how important it is to ask them questions while they are here.

True A. Lewis on her blog Notes to Myself, reminds us of the urgency of oral history. As she said so well in her post, “When the Elders Also Grow.” Such truth came from True!

If you ever wish that you could go back in time and ask questions of the ancestors then you will enjoy Kristin Williams post called “Questions I Wish I’d Asked.” Stories of ancestors who were personal servants to slaveholder’s children, make one wish they had asked the names of those children as well as the adults. If we could only go back in time and ask!

A blogger whose blog posts are always fun to read, is a way to describe Andrea Kelleher. She shares the concept of how Oral History Brings the Family Together. Her posts are always enjoyable from her cliff-hangers to her observations of family facts.

I personally joined the blog carnival and wrote about how many of us learned the name of an ancestor when mentioning it was forbidden for decades. My post is called “My Ancestors Told, My Edlers Listened, and We Now Pass it On.”

If you are lucky enough to have a Natural Born Storyteller you will appreciate the brief post by Linda Rurr Rudd, as she appreciates her Aunt Rosie! Apparently Aunt Rosie would tell stories anywhere from the front porch to the kitchen. The task at hand now is to make sure that Aunt Rosie’s stories get passed on.

A beautiful treat rests on Robin Foster’s blog, Saving Stories. A touching interview with Robin’s beautiful mother can be found on her site. The video is called “Pearls of Wisdom From My Mother.” What a treat to listen to this grand lady and to appreciate lessons learned from her life. We now know where Robin’s sense of dedication, were nurtured.

Robin also posted a second piece honoring her father as she shared wisdom obtained from him. She turned this post into a video about her dad, called, “Voices In My Head. Dad Put There.” It is clear that he had a major impact upon her life.

Bernice Bennett, the one we know who hosts the Blog Talk Radio program, wrote a wonderful piece sharing information that she got from her mother as they were driving through Louisiana on the way to a cemetery. Such rich family history was gleaned on that ride. Her piece is called, “Wow We Are Just Passing Through.”

Yvette Porter Moore shares with her readers her joy at finding some of those oral history tapes that were made in the 1970s. Her piece called Family Stories Handed Down Through Oral Tradition. These are stories caught on tape, but were stories that her own mother got through her elders!

Shelley Dewese tells the story of an army nurse who served the Tuskegee Airmen. Her aunt 2nd Lt. Kathryn Bough-Nicols was a World War II veteran with a rich story. Her aunt was one of 12 African American nurses serving at the Tuskegee Airfield. This family with roots in St. Croix has a rich legacy that included remarkable service to a remarkable group of soldiers. Her post is called “Military Monday, Army Nurse.”

Tami Koenig wrote a beautiful piece honoring Uncle Frank a soldier in World War II, who died in action. She wrote about the impact he had upon her mother’s life and he is clearly someonone still missed in the family today. He was a true War Hero who paid the highest price. Her piece is called “Honoring Sgt. Frank D. Age”. What a beautiful piece honoring one of the members from America’s greatest generation!

Cherie Hudson Passey embraced the theme of the National Day of listening by honoring the men in her family who served from the American Revolution through the conflict in Vietnam. When she had no photos–she used documents reflecting the ancestor’s name. Her piece called Honor to Those Who Served is a great model to imitage for all of us who blog or scrapbook or share family data!

Dr. Bill Smith takes the concept of Oral history and turns it into an article ABOUT the value of oral history as well as the fact that so many people can be interviewed, not just the direct ancestors or elders. He reminds the readers that opportunities to ask and to learn are all around us. His piece can be found here.

Toni Carrier of Low Country Africana and the coordinator of this blog carnival also made her own contribution to the carnival. She talks about the French speaking grandmother who has so many pearls of wisdom that she shared. She wrote about the impact upon her life that her grandmother’s wisdom imparted to her. Her piece is called, “Lessons From My Grandmother, Taught By My Uncle.”

This project for the National Day of Listening has been amazing! I thank you all for listening, participating and for reading! And if you are reading this on November 23, remember that there is still time to listen and to talk to someone. Make this day a great one for recording oral history!

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

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