This Week's Pod Cast


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

I hope summer is going well for each of your, even though it is winding down and schools are beginning to opne in the next few weeks. Enjoy what remains of summer and make some new memories.

Well a special shout to friends in St. Louis who are honoring 175 men ofthe 56th US Colored Infantry, who are buried at Jefferson Barracks today. These men are being honored in a special way and let’s join in good wishes for a special and dignified ceremony that is long overdue these men who were tossed into one large mass grave. I posted information about these soldiers in a blog post from my Civil War blog. Today I have a special guest–who is helping to honor those men. I also hope to add some news footage from the ceremony when I update the blog.

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Well as you know, I am getting ready to travel day after tomorrow. I am on my way to Ft. Wayne Indiana to attend the FGS conference. I have been working on presentations all week and am excited about the opportunity also to do some research at the Allen County library.

If you are pre-registered, you have already had a chance to see the syllabus. I do hope that many of you will be enjoying some research time, next week and will be joining us at the Grand Wane convention center in Ft. Wayne, next week.

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September is quickly approaching some events in the Carolinas are coming up. The first is a special event at Historic Stagville Plantation. By the way, to learn more about this event, I am going to simply urge you to tune in to last night’s blog radio show with with Bernice Bennett. Her guest was a href=””>Michael Twitty, a culinary historian, and he will be participating in the Harvest festival on September 7th. He is in addition to being an historian, he is also a master chef, historical culinary chef. He will be cooking on the plantation, in the methods used by the ancestors there at Stagville. This will be a celebration of the African American influence on American food traditions. And if you missed the show—catch the archived version of her show. Last night was quite special as Michael spoke and he was more than impassioned.

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Next month in Charleston SC a special heritage and legacy day will occur on September 15, 2013 at the historic Brattonsville Plantation, from 10-3. I understand that there were over 130 people enslaved at Brattonsville in the 1840s and now 150 years after freedom, the descendants of those enslaved families will gather to honor their ancestors. The event costs $6 and many will have a chance to hear historian Joseph McGill of the slave dwelling project share his insights and wisdom from his experiences. Brattonsville is located in McConnells SC and is one of the few southern antebellum estates that had African American interpretation. Call 803-329-2121 for more information.

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By the way—have you thought about next year? We are less than a year away from next year’s St. Louis Institute—I am talking about MAAGI. And here is a tip for you—-you are free to pre-register now with a $50 deposit. Check out the MAAGI website and see what I mean.

Speaking of MAAGI, Congratulations to a MAAGI alumna who has recently created her own blog. Ms. Rose Hill has a new blog. Give her some support and follow her blog, and welcome her into the blogosphere!

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! Today at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, the names of 175 Black Union soldiers will be read at a special ceremony of rememberence. That’s right—as you are listening to the show, know that at 10:00 am central time, men who were buried unceremoniously in a mass grave will finally be recognized. These were freedom fighters, men w ho saw battle, and who after the war was over, still were serving the nation, where they were not even yet recognized as citizens. Sadly, while in Helena Arkansas, towards the end of 1866—they were not yet mustered out of service—many became ill. An epidemic of cholera hit the encampment. They were quarantined, but later died from the outbreak. Buried at the time on Coke Island they were later moved to the national cemetery, and put in one mass grave. A lone military marker simple said “unknown soldiers”—but their names were known. But to shorten a long story—they are being honored today. So as you listen to this podcast, I want you to be aware of the fact that their names are being called, bells are being tolled and a gun salute will be released in their honor. I had a chance to speak with Ms. Sarah Cato an attorney based in St Louis and one who is part of the committee to honor these men. I am going to play some of this clip for you. (The audio is a bit hollow in sound, but the content of the dialogue is audible and important for you to hear.)

Well, on that note—-let us have our own moment of silence sometimes today on our own, time to honor those men, and appreciate their service, their history and their legacy.

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In the meantime, I thank you for listening. I always appreciate your being there. I will be coming to you next week from Ft. Wayne Indiana. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and please keep sharing what you find.

Be well and be safe, have a great week. Talk to you next time.

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