This Week's Pod Cast


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

A post Happy Halloween to everyone! Hope the children in the household had a great time! I had early visitors to the door before sundown. I must admit that I am amazed at how many grown folks who get into Halloween. I have noticed this since college—I always thought Halloween was a time for children!

Well, November is here!! Most conferences are over! Something is taking place in Charleston this month—a genealogy day will unfold next week I believe. Most events have ended for the year. There are meetings of course unfolding. In Baltimore the Agnes Kane Callum chapter of AAAHGS will have Karen Sutton will be meeting, discussing free people of color.

A shout out to the folks in St. Louis—a successful trip to New Orleans took place. Nicka Sewell Smith spoke earlier this month in St. Louis, and Melvin J. Collier will be speaking at the StL-AAHGS organization this month.

A wonderful link was shared with me from St. Louis. The St. Louis Civil War Slave Compensation Claims have been put online. Actually it is a searchable index by both slave holder name and the name of any soldiers who enlisted in the Union Army. What is amazing is that each slave compensation made by a slave holder. The claim was made based upon the service of the specific man held as a slave who was allowed to enlist in the Union Army. There are a lot of records that reflect the slave holder and the names of the soldiers who enlisted. They have been transcribed and the searchable features.
Units resprsented:
US Colored Heavy Artillery units Represented in the index: 1st 4th, 8th 12, 13th
5th and 6th Cavalry units
4th , 7th , 18th , 19th Infantry units are represented.
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I hope you got to catch Bernice Bennett’s show on Monday of this week. This was a special broadcast and she had Cece Moore as well as Shannon Christmas discuss DNA. If you missed it, go and catch the archived version.

Also coming up on November 14th, the African American Blogging Circle will be presented. The 2nd episode of the PBS Show Many Rivers to Cross, Well 7 people have gotten together to blog our way through the series. The group is electric, and exploding with wonderful writing and beautifully written blogs. What a thrill to see the energy that is there. The only thing I can say is go and read them. This second episode just aired, that looked at history that we know—this side of the Atlantic. One of the themes for me that stood out, was the theme of resistance. I chose to write about resistance as it occurred in Indian Territory. George Geder—oh the age of slavery and its pain. His ancestor had 13 children—and 10 of them sold from her!! Yet, this woman chose to survive—yet knowing her heartache! His story will move you.

Vicky Daviss Mitchells’ piece, “Steal Away, Steal Away, King Cotton is Coming!” was so moving and how the misery of people came with the invention of the Cotton Gin. Nicka Smith also looked at the impact of the cotton boom.

So many of us have had a hard time to watch slave movings—Roots, Django, 12 years a Slave, these are all painful—graphic violence can shake you to your core. I prefer to read—and as result I need to watch no movies, they can sometimes be a descecration of that story. But I find that reading about the period is poignant. For me, I am honored to be a part of people telling their stories but I don’t want to see their stories depicted in movies—I want them to be taken to heart! As Dr. Brown said, and Terry Ligon reminded us “slavery is not a shame on me.” It is appropriate for us to address it, and we are doing that in our Bloggers circle. Bloggers, writers and story tellers, we are all doing something significant. All are a part of the human story.

I am thrilled to meet people from Austrailia, Peru and people are embracing their history and are not ashamed of any part of their past. Embrace who we are now, and acknowledge who the ancestors were and who is in our line. When we do that, we become better people.
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Keep your eyes open in the next 2 weeks—-MAAGI news will be unfolding!
Since MAAGI unfolded last year many are finding their new voice through their niche. Some are more disciplined researchers, some are into preservation, a few new writers, some telling their stories in unique ways. There will be a continuation of the same tracks in 2014, some with a Part 2 component.
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and links and databases with me this week. Don’t forget, Veteran’s Day is coming, pull out those stories of your ancestors who served. Thanks for listening as I appreciate your taking time out of your day to tune in.

In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

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