African Roots Podcast Episode #244 December 6, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at

This is the last month of the year, and only 3 weeks remain, which is hard to believe, and of course the season for holiday parties and gatherings that remain. Some genealogy societies are holding their end of the year events, and compliments of the season to them, and to everyone!
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And today is a sad today for me. Last night the world got the news that a man who was a true warrior for human justice has died. Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. I had the chance to be present when Nelson Mandela and wife Minnie arrived in the US for the first time. It was amazing to be there on that day in June 1991, with my mother, and we were present when the world got to see him!

What joy and how moving that was on that day! For me he represented an incredible movement that was similar to the same movement that he had here in America. But for me,I was now an adult and fully understood everything that it was about! This was a movement from which we all learned so much—courage, conviction and purpose!! I was inspired by this man who gave up 27 years of his life and was willing to die for what was right. I should only hope to have such courage in my own lifetime. We should all be so courageous and we should also dare to learn from him.

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By the way, there has been some very severe weather from Texas, through NE Oklahoma, NW Arkansas, SW Missouri—and many places have been affected by very severe ice. I hope that everyone is safe and warm and dry. Some of the storms will drift eastward, and another storm from the west is expected to move into the same area again next week. So do be safe everyone.

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Registration is underway for Roots Tech 2014. Also pay close attention, because there should be an announcement coming out soon for Roots Tech 2015. For 2015 there will be a combination event—FGS/Roots Tech. And possibly by mid to late January a call for papers for 2015 will be released—so keep your eyes and ears open for it.

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Are you interested in Detective work? Well perhaps the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy might be of interest to you. They are hosting two events back to back in March of 2014 and if you have any interest in researching the living, or making connections of that nature—perhaps of heirs, then it might be worth looking into these two events. One is a 3 day introduction to Forensic Genealogy and the second event right behind it is an event for enhancing one’s skills in forensic analysis.

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I have heard some mention of a Civil War conference coming up in July 2014, but I don’t have much data to share. This is a national convention of the National Daughters of Union Veterans, to take place in Gettysburgy Pennsylvania in late July. However there are not many details about the program as yet and as soon as I learn more I shall pass it on to you.

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And there will be an African American Track at the Genealogy Research Institute in Pittsburgh, next July. This will not conflict with the Midwest African American Institute in St. Louis (MAAGI) nor with the Afr. American Track at Samford in June. So it appears that next year will offer some interesting choices for one interested in expanding their research skills in Afr. Ancestored Research.

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Many of your know that I like Record Group 105 at the National Archives–the Freedman’s Bureau records. Last night Sharon Batiste Gillens was a guest on Bernice Bennett’s radio show. She spoke in detail about the different kinds of records that can be found within this record group including Labor Contracts, Marriage records, Co-habitation records, and even lists of newly freed slaves. This was a very informative show and it can be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST, on Blog Talk Radio.

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As the holidays approach many will be practicing favorite family traditions. I am thinking about perhaps working on something not for this year, but perhaps leaving something for my nieces and nephews for posterity I suppose. We all should consider what we leave for the future generations and for those “beautiful ones, not yet born”, as writer and author Ayi Kwie Armah would say. What we do today and what we preserve today is for them. We should all give some thought to what information, and what treasures we want to leave as a legacy for those not yet born, as well for those whom we already know and love.
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In the meantime, let us all continue to pursue those tasks that we have begun, and keep ourselves focused on them. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

And let us carry one with the dignity and spirit of Nelson Mandela who left this world a better place.

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