This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back. Today is Friday May 7, 2010. My name is Angela Walton-Raji and this is the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

First things first I hope that we all keep the people in Tennessee in your prayers as severe flooding has really devastated that are. Several lives were lost so our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones. There was also some major damage to records, but hopefully some will be saved, but after precious lives are saved first and foremost.

I have a major correction to make! As you know I mentioned an event coming up in Arkansas in two weeks. I want to correct the dates—-There will be a two-day genealogy event taking place in Little Rock Arkansas at the historic Mosaic Templars Cultural Heritage Center. May 21-22, in downtown Little Rock, genealogists will have a wonderful treat—Tony Burroughs well known genealogist, and authors, and Lisa Arnold from will be featured in this 2 day event. This is an African American Genealogy event! The best news is that the entire experience is free of charge! I know Tony personally and know that he will draw a crowd and I also have had the pleasure to meet Lisa Arnold at Ancestry! You will not be disappointed by any means. This will be a great time to learn how to use the African American filter at, and to find out what additional features rest on Ancestry for African American researchers.

This event is sponsored by the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the African-American Historical & Genealogical Society Little Rock Chapter, the Curtis Sykes Memorial Grant Fund, and the Preservation of African American Cemeteries. This promises to be a wonderful event, so if you are within a 2 to 3 hour driving distance of Little Rock, by all means make this event! Pre-registration is required, so do contact to register in advance. The conference brochure will also have some more details for you.

Speaking of, I am impressed with the various efforts that they are making to supply information for African American genealogists. As you know they have partnered with the National Archives for major databases such as census records and military records—but they have also partnered with small entities. One of them is the African American Genealogical & Historical Society of Chicago. I have to congratulate the Chicago Society on this wonderful collaboration. Now many of your know that I have long admired the efforts of this organization and how they can become a model for other groups to follow. Well, they have partnered with Ancestry, and they will be participating in some indexing projects. More information is found in their press release.
They began in February of this year to index the slave narratives, and even people from the outside can join this effort. This is wonderful to learn about and much success to this organization.

I also want to mention that they have 8 study groups, including a new study group on Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. Visit their site and perhaps your organization can get some new ideas to emulate as well. I also want to mention that the Heritage Book that was announced last fall, is almost ready and they are now taking orders for copies of the Heritage Book. Information is on their website.

Ok—the word is out folks!!! The AAHGS Conference 2010 is announced. It will take place at the University of Maryland in Adelphi Maryland, October 7-10th. And the official CALL FOR PAPERS is announced.

The AAHGS Conference endeavors each year to provide the premier opportunity to explore standard and innovative methods, resources, and strategies centered around African-American, Caribbean and Native American genealogy as well as the expansive history of the African in the Diaspora.

Among the suggested topics are:
The following focus areas are offered as suggestions for session topics
• African American History
• Caribbean-American Research
• African American Migration (varied)
• Periods of War: Revolutionary War; Civil War; WWI; WWII;
• African Americans in New England, Pre-Civil War
• Use of Technology in research (Not product sales presentations)
• Church/Religious History in the African American Experience
• The Civil Rights Movement
• Research methodologies (various levels)
• State Specific Research Resources; Adoption Records
• Local history, i.e. town histories; institutions; industrial history as it relates to the African American experience
• Native American/African American experience
• Blacks in the West;

I hope that you will consider submitting your own proposals and consider presenting at this year’s conference. The deadline for proposals is July 30, 2010. More info can be found on the AAHGS blog.

Do you have a library card? Do you live in a large city with a college or university library? Well, if you do, there is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage with of the wonderful offerings through ProQuest. This was at one time UMI and has expanded it’s databases to offer an impressive African American collection. In addition, ProQuest has parterned with and this has become a wonderful new portal for information for African American researchers. Well, if you have a library card, then you are probably eligible to use their wonderful databases. If you lived on a community near a college or university then they probably have subscriptions to ProQuest. Phone the university library and ask to speak with a reference librarian. If so, a wealth of data awaits you.

I want to also make a pitch for the concept of blogging. Now this podcast site rests on a blog, but it was not till this year that I came to appreciate the true spirit of blogging and what that can really do. In the past several weeks I have come to appreciate the personal benefits of genealogy blogging in particular. I have come to have a platform to share my own genealogical data, and my own genealogical stories. I have learned so much by following others who are also blogging and from them I have come to see the fact that change can also come through a combination of networking and blogging. We all know the lessons of the Jena 6 and how their lives were possibly saved through blogging and online networking. We see the results of a presidential election that also came from internet fund-raising, networking and communication. In the genealogical environment, I have come to appreciate another community as well. I urge you all to become a part of this world as well. Take a look, it’s fun, it’s enlightening and there are personal benefits from those who join the blogosphere.

Hope to see you all online.

Well enough for this week. Thanks for listening. Keep doing what you do.

Keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

One Response to “African Roots Podcast #58 May 7, 2010”

  1. When we talk about African American History in America it is important that we know the origination and landing place of the first 20 and odd Africans to set foot on British occuppied territory in what would become the United States of America. For too long the truth has been disquised as a fictional book or hollywood movie. The first Africans to arrive in America were captured from the Kingdom of Ndongo, Angola Africa, during the Portugeese raids on the Bantu villages in 1619. In 1619 350 captured Africans were loaded on the Sao Joao Bautista in Luanda, headed for Vera Cruz, Mexico when the ship was pirated by the Dutch ship White Lion, and the Africans were taken to Point Comfort, todays Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA. The Africans did not land at Jamestown as we were led to believe. Go to for more information. We are raising awareness and funds to erect a National Monument in Hampton in 2019 to remember their arrival 400 years ago.

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