This Week's Pod Cast
Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast.
I hope everyone is doing well now that April is here. Spring is here, but we are expecting a frost tonight, so stay warm wherever you are!
A couple of shout outs to say hello one to a “new” and friendly DNA cousin-match, Monica way down under in Australia! Been enjoying hearing from you!
Also a shout out today to James Morgan III, for taking time to share with me some wonderful aspects of the history of the African American masonic lodges and the Prince Hall affiliated lodges nationwide.
What an amazing history that these groups have had for over 200 years, but also the fact that some of these fraternal organizations were forefathers of the Civil Rights leaders of later years. If you have a chance to meet James in Washington DC, and to visit the Corinthian Lodge library. He shares a lot with our online chats and his knowledge is amazing, so thanks James for sharing knowledge.
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Speaking of Black Pro Gen, I hope you caught this week’s chat on African American history and participation in the military. Every conflict since the American Revolution. We have well over 200 30 years with amazing history. We discussed resources for military history and this is the 100th anniversary of the US history in World War I–the Great War. I have two World War I, veterans who served in Europe during that time. We had a wonderful conversations about resources.
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Georgetown Slavery Archive. This website looks at the history of the slaves sold by Georgetown so that they could expand the university. This story came to light about a year or so ago, and the response from the community has been amazing. Finally the university is responding to the issues brought to light. We have to thank the students- the young people of Georgetown who have responded to this issue. There is now a major project underway to find descendants of those who were sold. Did they survive and make it to freedom? Many questions to answer. Anyway, take a look at the website.
Unknown No Longer. This site was a collaboration between historians, genealogists, anthropologists, archaeologists to bring about the names of people enslaved in Virginia. I am impressed that people from different disciplines have worked together to create this website. It is a great database of Virginia Slave Names.
Slave Era Insurance Registry. This site looks at the names of slaves who were insured and if anything happened to the enslaved person, the slave holder would be monetarily compensated. This is something to take a look at.
And here is a video to watch: Finding the Slavery and Slave holding in the Family . This is an interesting video on tracing slavery in the family. It was made at an FGS conference in 2011 and quite good. And speaking about videos—I am happy to share with you a documentary about the Freedmen’s Bureau indexing project.
The video addressed the amazing indexing project, and the effort to address the enormous record set of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, which reflects the incredible efforts made by thousands of volunteers who successfully got the records indexed and fully uploaded and searchable. Congratulations to Thom Reed and the staff and volunteers of Family Search.
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I want to mention, last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was quite revealing–the use of black bodies that were used in medical colleges. Many bodies of African Americans were used throughout medical colleges in the south, dead bodies were taken from their graves and students had bodies to dissect and learn the human body. Her guest was Dr. Shawn Utsey, who produced an amazing video called Until the Well Runs Dry. A tragic and gruesome story, and the fact that most were poor blacks used for white medical students. Dr. Utsey, the filmmaker was one who noted a black man who assisted the medical schools to obtain the bodies. We know the use of African Americans for science is not a new story. We know of the Tuskegee Experiment, the story of Henrietta Lacks, and other experiments over the years. Tune in by clicking on the above link if you missed the shoe.
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New Genealogy TV Show
Congratulations to Shamele Jordon for her new TV program, “Genealogy Quick Start TV.” In her opening episode, she worked with a young man, Tory, and how to use certain filters on Ancestry to find the ancestors! It was fun to watch and she was quite at ease as she explained how to use filters on a huge database like Ancestry to find ancestors. For more info, click on the link above.
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A Look at the Old Fraternal Societies
I mentioned the fraternal organizations, the Prince Hall Grand Lodges, the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, The Mosaic Templars, Knights of Liberty and others–these groups have amazing history. These were people who protected the community, to protect each other. They saved lives of community leaders who may have been lynched, and they assisted them in other kinds ways. These groups formed organizations to offer health benefits, burial benefits. These groups are amazing, and we should include asking about these groups when conducting oral history! We need to look at these groups more closely and include questions about these groups when speaking to the elders. I look for Civil War soldiers at black cemeteries, but I know now to look for benevolent society stones as well. We should start to include these groups in our lists of places and groups to explore as we tell the family narrative.
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Well, it’s time to wind things down this week! Thanks for listening and sharing things with me. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and always keep sharing what you find!