This Week's Pod Cast


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


Well hello everyone! Compliments of the season! I hope you are well and are now in the midst of post-Christmas euphoria! I do hope that you had a good day with family and loved ones. A special hello and warm wishes to everyone from west coast to the east coast, to family and friends Florida to Freetown Sierra Leone. Special wishes to family and friends in Nigeria, and to a dear soul I know in Sierra Leone where they have had many health challenges as a pandemic has affected them so dramatically. Treasure that time with others, and also treasure that quiet time where one can be reflective and appreciate life.

I hope that many of you made some special memories took pictures, and enjoyed the opportunity to fellowship with one another as well.


Now–we are winding down with 2014 and we are moving quickly to a brand new year! What kind of projects lie ahead for you? Some of you are participating in a genealogy do-over, and for me, this is a great time to review all that we have. And now with digitization we can all try to trim down the excess. This is a wonderful time to review what we have. I also want to encourage people to take some projects in a new direction. This is a time to teach others how to conduct sound research. And for me, more importantly, to teach others that they have a story to tell, and encourage them to tell that story!


MAAGI 2015 SaveThe Date


This coming week, more details about MAAGI will be shared and info about the speakers and tracks. Go ahead and save the dates, July 7 – 9th. That is the week after the 4th of July holiday. There will be a new track in writing, and some assistance in getting the story told. I think that many genealogists have it finding a way to make the data that we find interesting enough for others to hear. Many of us have family that will not be excited that we have found something. I have found however, that many are excited, and to get their hands of “the family book” that someone has put together on the family history. But when they see the book what they find is basically a “directory” of photos and names, but not pieces that inspire or that touch the heart of the readers. So hopefully some will join us in the new writing track!


Emancipation Image Harpers Image by Thomas Nast,  Courtesy Library of Congress, Harper’s Weekly, 1863

Well, we are on the eve of the sesquicentennial of the  year of Freedom! 2015 will be the 150th anniversary of freedom that came to those once enslaved. We must understand that the nation changed! The Civil War ended, 4 million people were freed from bondage, and 4 million people became citizens. The entire country was affected. The most powerful nation in the world h had an economy based on a product–cotton–from the south and based on an unpaid labor force. We have never looked at the impact of what that meant. It would take years before change would take effect. But–for many of our families—they could marry who they wished, and they could now go and find lost relatives who had been sold away. They could walk on the roads. Imagine the shock of the local population that forbade the movement  of black people freely on the roads. And yes, they took to the roads!!!  What an incredible time! Record Group 105 contain millions of pages that reflect this freedom!

And this is an American record set–people of every color are contained in Freedmen’s Bureau  records. One will find people who were Black, white and also Native Americans from Indian Territory!

So yes, this is the time to honor that beginning!



It is imperative that I mention the Indexing Project. Please join that effort to index these records. The sooner we get this inexed we will assist genealogists, historians, preservationists and more. The NMAACH (National Museum of African American History and Culture) has partnered with Family Search to get these records indexed! Please assist to get the indexing completed.



How do you all plan to celebrate Freedom? I hope that the significance of this milestone year will be understood and honored throughout the genealogy community and that you will join me, in this endeavor to honor those who survived and those upon whose shoulder we stand.


As we wind down this podcast and wind down this year, please know that I have appreciated you all this past year, and I wish you the best for this coming new year!

Make a promise and commitment to keep sharing, keep documenting, and to keep sharing what you find!  Happy New Year everyone!


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