This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well Happy 4th of July! I hope you are well into the holiday weekend, and that you will be enjoying yourself with the family, and cookouts. Do be careful with the fireworks, though. Better yet—why not go and watch the professional fireworks displays. They are always a pleasure to watch. So relax, enjoy family and friends, eats some good food,  and make some memories. Pull out the camera and have a great time!


A quick shout out goes to the folks in Charleston SC, who will be participating in the History Fair at Magnolia Gardens tomorrow. Thos with ties to the African American communities of the Low Country, especially in the Charleston area are strongly invited to come! This is a great chance to get some free genealogy advice from two well respected genealogists, Toni Carrier, and Ramona laRoche. This will take place at Magnolia Gardens from 9 am to 4 pm tomorrow.


Yesterday I had a chance to meet two folks from the Digital Maryland project. They have already put up several hundred African American Funeral Programs collection. They can always use volunteers and if you are interested in working with these folks who are putting up information to make it accessible to a wider range of people.



Out of Philadelphia more than 1000 digitized images of interest to African American researches can now be found on the website of the Philadelphia Public Library. Over 1000 digitized images will provide some rare glimpses into the lives of African Americans.

The Philadelphia Library Company has been collecting images since its founding by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, and scholars began collecting photographs, political cartoons and drawings for its African Americana collection in the late 1960s.
Read more HERE

From their website:

“Created from the Library Company’s acclaimed Afro-Americana Collection—an accumulation that began with Benjamin Franklin and steadily increased throughout its entire history—this unique online resource will provide researchers with more than 12,000 printed works. These essential books, pamphlets and broadsides, including many lesser-known imprints, hold an unparalleled record of African American history, literature and culture. This digital edition of one of the world’s preeminent collections for African American studies is available as a single complete collection, or in one or more of ten cohesive modules, organized by historic era.”


Last week I mentioned the History Makers project has now been preserved on a larger scale. Well this week I learned a lot more about it and was most impressed with the origin of the project—the effort of Juliana Richardson. This tells us what one single person can do. This is the largest collection of  interviews since the WPA slave narratives, and what a lesson for us all to pull out our cameras and to start with our own individual circle of friends family, and friends of the family and much more. Juliana Richardson is an inspiration and we can emulate her work. Her single effort has put so much more of this history on the historical map in a new way! Let’s learn from her lesson.


Do you have ancestors in Oregon or who moved west? There is an effort now to preserve Black history of Oregon, and the state’s preservation office is interested in learning more about the Black pioneers. This effort is covering the years from 1844 to 1984—so that’s a 140 year span. The goal is to Oregon Black Pioneers says it’s ultimate goal is to nominate significant African-American historic sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

I just learned about this which was just announced this week, so hopefully the word will spread about this noteworthy project. More can be learned HERE. 


Don’t forget that if you don’t have access to Ancestry, you will have full access till June 6th, so take advantage and see what you find!


Old Cawhawba Alabama is celebrating it’s history.  At one time, about 65% of the community was Black and though the history of the county for many years never reflected the majority population, the city is now celebrating this fascinating past. And their past is a very rich one. There are many historic sites in the area, plus of course the old estates and plantations were filled with untold stories of the thousands of slaves who once worked the land. The people and the county are now acknowledging this overlooked history, and I urge you to see what they are doing in that part of Alabama.

Old Cahawba Black History



Well it is the 4th of July yes. And in 3 days—-it is time for MAAGI!!!!! That’s right the MIDWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY INSTITUTE, is here! And yes, I am a wee bit excited!!!

And if you are curious and don’t know about MAAGI, take a look at the website.  And check out the speakers!


I know some of you will be attending a Family Reunion this weekend, and many of you are also planning reunions. Well if you are a planner, tune in to last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond. Last night her guest was Callian Jenkins. Ms. Jenkins gave good advice and tips on how to not only organize a reunion, but also how to avoid mistakes as well. She herself organized a very large reunion event in Maryland, and as a result, she has lots of tips for other planners. You can download the show, and you can always hear Ms. Bennett’s show every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.


Well, everyone have a great holiday–take pictures and turn today’s even into something to document. Remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and to keep sharing what you find.

Meet me in St. Louis!

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