This Week's Pod Cast


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


Wow—the countdown to Christmas is here! In a week’s time the big day will be here, and I only wish you all a safe and heart-warming Merry Christmas!

The year is winding down, Christmas is almost here and there is still a lot to do. Time to slow down a bit, and plan for the next year and put down on my many lists all of the things that I want to do as well for the upcoming months.  There are conferences, and institutes coming up and a chance to also go back to Virginia when AAHGS takes everybody back to Richmond!



I see that some are planning a Genealogy Do-Over. I am planning a Go-Over—where I shall be looking at some of the many pages of paper documents that I have. Is it time to simply digitize, or are they perahaps so abundant that I may not need to keep those copies that I have. So decisions need to be made there. Plus I have been busy journaling and even recently bought a “Smash Book” style journal, and have had a lot of fun with that. Why do I journal? Well I believe in blazing our own trail and leaving our own clues to those thoughts and reflections. We all need to record where we are in this time and space, and journaling, for me is a great way to do that.



So as we make our way through this holiday season, with family this is the time to put things in writing, and recording how we spend that time, Even the mundane daily activities can tell us a lot.


Photo credit: © Christopher Futcher/iStockphoto


The genealogy community has been busy and discussing many things, in social media, much discussion on where we are today, about inclusion and exclusion. And there has been much discussion about race, which can be sensitive in this nation. Having a man of color in the White House has brought out strange behavior from many who have had to have a shift in their mindset. We are recording what is taking place in our lives, and we have opinions about the things that happen. We need to discuss them. Some are compassionate, engaging, sincere, and some are down right mean. But most genealogical community discussion has been respectful.


Changing the subject—this is the time to explore those technological options to preserve history. How do we preserve data? Time to ask whether we need to hold on to things that are already in abundance and digitized. The question is when do we separate those things that have sentimental value, from those things that might not merit being kept or retained in my space. I am referring to paper, and clutter. Do I have it for a reason, or have it just to have it? Maybe it is time to review and to “go over” things.



Have you thought about expanding your knowledge base? Well two Ivy League institutions are offering college level credit and these classes are free. Those with an interest and a specialty in African American genealogy–perhaps it is time to study African American history, formally. Who knows? It may take you into a new direction.



I hope  you listened to Bernice Bennett’s show. Last night’s show featured Dr. Edward Baptist author of The Half Has Never Been Told. What a powerful book about how the nation’s economy was built on such an intensely cruel system. The discussion is a serious one, as is the book itself. But it is still important for us to tell the story. I find that it is enriching while learning about slavery, to find the stories of resistance, and resilience. The human spirit was not killed by the system of slavery, and it that resilience that must be celebrated. American culture came from that resilience, and American music came from that resilience. We need to celebrate the ability to emerge with human spirit intact! Four million people became free, four million people became citizens, and millions got the right to vote. The beginning of the dismantling of slavery and its hold–we have so much to talk about, research, learn, and stories to tell. When we look at those topics, we become better and our own nation and society becomes so much better!!


Well—this time, next week–Christmas Day will have come and gone—but try and find some of those old Christmas pictures and bring them out. Bring forth some of the traditions that our ancestors practices. Throw some nuts and fruit in the Christmas stocking as well–this was a big deal for our grandparents. And bring a bit of the old spirit into the family.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Chanukah, and thank you all for being there! In the meantime, keep researching keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!


Sharing my favorite Christmas story with you!
John Henry Faulk’s Christmas Story


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