This Week's Pod Cast


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

Hope you are all thawing out and maybe there is a hint of spring in the air. At least we have had a slight thaw in the mid-Atlantic area.

Genealogy News ! !


Deadline Extended for MAAGI Scholarship

Scholarship Information Here

 There is still time to apply for a scholarship to attend MAAGI to July. It is always great to consider expanding your education. MAAGI is the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute. The deadline has been extended to March 15th.

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Speaking of education, I just learned about an online class that is offered out of the University of Pennsylvania. It is called the History of the Slave South. This is an amazing class offered online and it goes throughout the entire academic semester. This looks like a very impressive and thorough class, and for those completely unaware of the complexity of American slavery, this might be an excellent foundation course. It is too late for this one, as they are half way through the semester, but I shall make a point to follow them to see future classes.

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Hope you were able to catch Bernice Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond. She has two broadcasts this week. Karen Sutton was a guest and spoke about her massive Funeral Program Collection. She went into great detail about her collection of documents from the extensive booklets to the small prayer cards. A lot of good information.

A second broadcast occurred when Robyn Smith came on and shared her work on looking at Brick Walls and whether or not they are artificial or self-imposed brick walls. This was a wonderful re-broadcast of this episode and the live chat unfolding was full of good links being shared by listeners as well..

And coming up next week—the live dramatization of the play by Drusilla Pair, whom we know as Professor Dru, “Flight to Freedom”. This play grew out of the research that she conducted when studying a historic house in Virginia and the family that lived in that home, the Fields Family. She combine her interest in history and research with her passion for writing. This is a great example of how one can combine their interests. She shared much of this when she spoke in St. Louis, and many also witnessed something similar through researcher Konnetta Alexander. Ms. Alexander combined her passion for research, story telling and art, and presented the story of Matilda, and ancestor whose story she has also presented in a unique way. Sometimes we should allow our stories to come forth in new ways, and both of these ladies are providing perfect examples of thinking outside of the box.

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Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting, Ft. Wayne Indiana is coming up next month on April 5th, and J. Mark Lowe will be the featured keynote speaker. Ft. Wayne of course is always a great place because the Allen County Library is there, and for me a neat place to conduct research.

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Fairfax Genealogy Society Annual Conference on March 28th and 29th at the Marriott Hotel, Fair Oaks.
I have attended this event in the past and have always enjoyed it! This year they have many tracks which look so exciting! There is also an interesting African American Track as well, so take a look at it and perhaps we will run into each other there!

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Do you like photographs? Are you intrigued by old 19th century and early 20th century photos of African Americans? Well take a look at sites such as DeadFred, Forgotten Photo Project, but don’t forget to look at There is a set of images called Precious Photos. Take a look there. Also, on Facebook there is a group called Vintage African American Photos. Beautiful images and elegant portraits and astounding images of children. And also some interesting images do show up on Ebay as well.

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My word this week is collaboration. I mentioned the work that Drusilla Pair collaborated with a colleague Adjena Rogers. Well we have been awaiting it’s arrival and it will be out in the next 1-2 weeks we will  have a chance to own the book, and to hear them on Bernice’s show as well.  But their is a story of collaboration, and it is time for us to consider collaboration as a method of getting our own stories published. Their book is called Our Ancestors, Our Stories, There are many avenues out there, and for those who want to write, perhaps joining forces with others of a similar interest might be the avenue to follow.

And as budding writers, let us also remember that to be a good writer, we must also be a good reader. We need to have models and to read not only for content, but for structure, and to tell our story well. So include the Memory Keepers book in your library. But you need to also have Finding a Place Called Home, Somerset Homecoming, Black Roots, Black Indian Genealogy, the Washingtons of Wessyngton, and more, in your library.

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Well thanks for listening to this week’s podcast! Stay warm and I hope you have a great week of research. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

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