This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well I hope you are all keeping warm as single digits temperatures are blanketing the country. But even through the cold things are underway.


Cancellation: This just in–tomorrow’s meeting of the Central Maryland AAHGS chapter has been cancelled. Low temperatures, high wind and expected snow have forced the board to cancel tomorrow’s meeting. It has been rescheduled until February 22, so stay in tomorrow and stay warm.

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ANCESTORS UNKNOWN. A special congratulations to a new initiative taking genealogy to young people. Dana Saxon is working hard to get young African American and young Latino students interested in their own history and genealogy and is working to have some pertinent exercises incorporated into the local curriculum. Her story is highlighted on her website called Ancestors Unknown. In an interview conducted by Thomas Macentee of Geneabloggers, and Hack Genealogy Dana discussed her unique project and how her goal extends beyond even the local level, but is going across international borders. Her work is to be commended, and she seems to be having some real success!! Take a look at this fascinating interview with Ms. Saxon!

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I am very happy to share some genealogical activity coming out of Texas.  This is from Waco Texas! A month from now—February 15th there will be an all day African American Genealogy workshop. This will be from 9am to 5 pm at the West Waco Library and Genealogy Center. African American Genealogy Basics,  will be presented by Franklin Smith, author of the book A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African American Ancestors: How to Find and Record your Unique Heritage. Using Social Media will be presented by Mary Evans, Deed Research by Edith Smith, and Oral Traditions will be presented by Vivian Rutherford.  For information call 254-750-5945.

Don’t forget to take another look at the Texas Slavery Project that I mentioned last week. Lots of useful information here for Texas scholars and researchers. The database is searchable by county and other variables.

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I recently learned about the Statewide Mississippi Death Index! I was excited to hear about this and took a look and this useful database covers the years 1912 – 1943. This is an odd span of years, however, it is still useful because it was during those years that many who were born enslaved possibly died, so this might prove to be very useful for Mississippi researchers.

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Here is some interesting news coming out of the UK. Quiet a few documents reflecting years going about to the 1600s and the slave trade have been discovered in the Foreign Office. Apparently the Guardian newspaper indicated that the British Foreign Office has had a secret archive for centuries reflecting British Merchants and involvement in the African slave trade.

Historic image showing how slaves were chained and stacked in the cargo hold of slave ships.

 We are talking about over 1.2 million hidden in a vast archive that the Foreign Office has kept at Hanslope Park,  in the Buckinghamshire countryside north of London. This is quite hard to imagine, but it is truly hoped that something will be done in coming weeks to allow archivists and historians to examine them. Of course this means also that it will be a few years before these will ever get in the public domain. But—can you imagine the magnitude and the implications? New texts, new analyses, and some data could/should alter the paradigm of historiography. There are also records that extend beyond the Atlantic slave trade—so many people from various academic sectors will be anxious to get into this hidden archive. But this will be a story to follow. Read more HERE.

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More News From Ancestry: announced once again that there is now an extension of their collaborative efforts with FamilySearch. The result is that now more than 1 billion additional records from 67 countries available on This will be particularly useful for those whose ancestors migrated from the West Indies to the US so this will be interesting to take advantage of over the next few years.

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 African American Resources from Kentucky

 Linked Through Slavery

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From Bernice Bennett’s Show: If you missed Bernice Bennett’s show last night—-tune and and listen to it today.  Have you ever wished that you genealogy society had undertaken some kind of long lasting projects? Well—-a Heritage Book might be the right project for your society to undertake. Now this is an involved process—but I urge you to listen who how this was done in Chicago with the Afro American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago. They produced a beautiful Heritage Book, and I saw the book last October when I was at Ft. Wayne at Allen County! It is beautiful and well done.  Under the direction of Janis Minor Forte, the group did publish an outstanding Heritage Book. Last night, Ms. Forte was on Bernice Bennett’s show, and she discussed the various stages that the book undertook!! Tune in  you will learn a lot. Also Ms. Forte will be going into detail about the various stages of producing this kind of publication at the Midwestern African American genealogy institute.

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Speaking of institutes, registration is now open for the Samford Institute of Genealogy & Historical Resaerch. This year there is an African American track, so if MAAGI is not on your calendar, take a look and see if Samford will offer what you need.

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And speaking of MAAGI—I want to announce that Genealogy Institute that will take place in St. Louis in July.  As last year, Evolution Consulting is offering one scholarship for a participant for Track 1, Basic Methods and Strategies for African American Genealogy. For more information visit this link.

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OBA Meet up in Washington DC  January 12, 2014 Photo courtesy of Melvin J. Collier

OBA MEET-UPS are taking place around the country. This is neat to see and I participated in one last week in Washington DC. One is being planned in California and I understand that folks in New Jersey/Philadelphia area are also planning one. OBA is an acronym for Our Black Ancestry and a group on Facebook. There are several thousand members of the Facebook group and it was suggested that some of the folks who live in the same city meet each other. So the first one was in Washington DC, and now others are stepping away from their computers to meet each other. Hopefully many other gatherings will take place in the future.

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By the way I have mentioned AfriGeneas and the new community on Facebook. I want to encourage you to also look at the AfriGeneas website and fan page on Facebook. Beautiful images and amazing biographies of lesser known people in African American history. Re-visit the AfriGeneas FB page and explore it.

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Well thanks for listening for another week. I appreciate hearing from all of you, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

2 Responses to “African Roots Podcast Episode #251 January 24, 2014”

  1. ProfessorDru says:

    Angela, I love the new look of your podcast site. The addition of the graphics livens the site up.

  2. Renee Moore says:

    I so enjoyed this podcast and am excited to meet all of you. I was not aware of your organization earlier and will be completing a membership application soon. I am also interested in having the NY contingent attend and present at the upcoming [July] 16th annual Solomon Northup Day: a celebration of freedom. Thank you, Renee Moore, Founder.

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