This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
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Greetings everyone, I am busy these days as I prepare for the upcoming FGS Conference. Lots of wonderful tracks and I honored to be able to speak in the African American Track. David Dilts, Tim Pinnick, J. Mark Lowe are also presenting in the African American track as well. The line up of speakers and tracks is quite exciting. Also take note of the other tracks, Military, Immigration, Methodologies, British Isles and so many more! If you are in the midwest, then FGS should be a destination for you!

I received information recently online that there appears to be a concerted effort to recruit more African American women into the Daughters of the American Revolution. Karen Batchelor of Royal Oak Michigan has put her contact information out there for individuals who are interested to contact her. I recall when I was in California earlier this summer I had a chance to have an interesting conversation with the registrar of one of the southern California DAR chapters. She too was working hard to let others know about the DAR and their interest in inviting women of color into their organization. So if you have that interest, I have put her email address HERE.

I want to give some attention the genealogy community online especially on Facebook. We formed a MAAGI Facebook community There is a wonderful MAAGI Facebook community that I hope that you can join. Simply go to Facebook and type Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute. and ask to join.

Some good information about the oldest community of free African Americans has been located in Maryland, in the city of Easton MD. Well there is now an archealogical excavation unfolding in that area. This community is well over 200 years old nad there is a fascinating collaboration between scholars from the University of Maryland, and Morgan State University to tell the story of the community. I like to hear stories of collaborations and hope that this kind of combined effort will encourage scholars across the disciplines to study African American communities.

There is a neat story about Idlewild an African American resort community in western Michigan. This was a destination for many in the summer for many in the African American community who wanted to have a place to enjoy the outdoors. In the days of segregation, there were very few options for people, and Idlewild was such a place. The article documented a little known aspect of African American history—-the black resort communities. There is a small hamlet in Maryland and it is another black resort community called Eagle Harbor. These are fading quickly from the American landscape and their stories also need to be told.

I mentioned Civil War earlier and there was a story shared this week about a gentleman in Springfield Illinois who learned of an ancestor’s Civil War history, which he had never heard before. The story was one that many of us have about forgotten ancestors, whose names were never mentioned for decades and who became almost lost to history. Many of us have this missing story in our own line, and the story reflected how important it is to find those stories and learn more of them. The ancestor in this case was buried in the Civil War section of the local cemetery, so he ws not hidden, but the family memory was almost lost. An accidental conversation with his mother brought out the fact that the ancestor was right there all the time, Civil War markers reflecting his burial site. The lesson is to put the family in the right historical context. If something happened in their community during their lifetime they have their own version of that story. How did the ancestors survive during the enforced policies of the day. Do you know the family’s freedom story? Or is there a 20th century migration story? There may be several military stories. That is our goal to find more of those stories and to tell them. My own personal goal is to put more energy into writing my own stories and teaching others how to extract their stories.

Well thank you for listening and taking time out of your day to tune in. I hope to see some of your next month in Ft. Wayne at the FGS Center. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and always keep sharing what you find.

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