Angela Y. Walton-Raji on January 14th, 2017

This Week's Pod Cast

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

New this week:

Bernice Bennett’s Show–Research at the National Archives & Beyond

Tune in for her recent guest–Dr. Eve Semien Baham. She spoke at length about her work to document the African American history of Covington Louisiana. This was a fascinating dialogue and much to gain as genealogists by hearing of her work.


Schomburg Declared National Historic Landmark

The Schomburg Research Center for Black Research has been recently honored with the distinction as a National Historic Landmark. This research facility based in Harlem, is a major repository and place to conduct history on African American history, and culture. I have researched there and have found it to be an amazing repository. This was announced along with 23 other places given this honor. A second site–the home of Medgar and Erlie Evers was also designated as a national landmark.


New Index For Mississippi Researchers: Black Marriages of Tate County 1873-1900 

A great tool is now available for Mississippi genealogists. If you have an interest in Tate County, particularly in those years after the Civil War up to the 20th century, then a new index will interest you. The index to Black Marriages of Tate County has now been digitized and uploaded for researchers. This might give you an exact year of marriage for many ancestors based there, so take some time and examine the index.


National Parks Service Gives $7.5 Million for Civil Rights Sites

Many sites that impacted the lives of people throughout the 20th century have been marked as historically significant. The National Parks Service has committed itself as an agency that honors many landmarks, including those places where demonstrations or historical event occurred. As as result some funds have also been set aside to mark many of those places.  See the recent Press Release HERE.

Also note that this is a great time for us all to look at our own communities and write about those places where dramatic change for good occurred. The site might not have national significance-but it is still important nevertheless.


Georgetown 272 Descendants Form Organization
I frequently speak about the need to document the community of our ancestors. We also heard Bernice Bennett’s guest speak about her own work to mobilize a community to document its own story also. Well–many of your are familiar with the story of the sale of slaves by Jesuit priests who needed money to expand Georgetown University. Well the descendants of those who were sold, are now organizing to take control of their own story. This may be something that other communities may wish to undertake as well. Take a look at their website–this may be a model to follow for others that share a common history.
Well, thanks for tuning in again this week for the podcast. You are appreciated, and I am grateful that you took some time to spend here.  In the meantime, icy and snow is moving across the country this weekend, so stay dry and safe. This is a great time to stay home and do some work. So remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on December 30th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!!

Well I hope your Christmas was a wonderful one, and I also hope that you are getting ready for the coming New Year. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve–and Sunday–well 2017 will be here!

As I reflect on the past year and look towards the new year approaching–I realized that there has been a dramatic change in the genealogy community. Having started in the late 1970s interviewing my grandmother and occasionally trying to construct family trees, my interest in family history grew. I became a part of the genealogy community in the early 1990s, and now 25 years later–things have changed in a major way. We have opportunities to get information without leaving home, we have the chance to also share information in the same way, and there are tools that did not exist even 10 years ago that we now use. Yes, things have changed!

We have had the books that have stimulated us from Roots, to Somerset Homecoming, where the authors shared with us their own genealogical journey, for years our only additional resource was the occasional conference. Now we have greater options, and can learn something throughout the year, and many times from the comfort of our own home. Technology has allowed for that, and because of it, the genealogy community now has more options than ever! A mere 10 years ago we did not have what we now have, and I am going to close the year out, by looking at some of these changes.



Years ago we did not have the opportunity to tune in and get genealogical information on a regular basis or on a weekly basis. But now there are a number of podcasts out there and I am thrilled to be a part of that community. This podcast¬†did not exist 10 years ago, and is still going strong. There are many of them, and there are two options for genealogy podcasts in the African American. My colleague Bernice Bennett’s show which airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio has become a staple in the genealogy community. Her shows once they are aired, are available as a podcast immediately. ¬†And now, with this podcast—I have moved to a bi-weekly schedule, so the African Roots Podcast continues now going into it’s 7th year. As the year progresses, we will have some guests over the next few months and hope to bring new topics to you in the community. These podcasts are part of the new arena for genealogists.



Thanks to a few genealogy societies and to a new platform, we can both get and give information with a new method of delivery–webinars. Legacy Family Tree Webinars offers genealogy presentations for listeners and viewers worldwide. And societies like SCGS and ISGS, and GGS. Information is being delivered and received differently. We need to take advantage and enjoy them.

You can watch events as they happen. Conferences and live chats are there for genealogists to follow. We have BlackProGen offers bi-weekly chats. We have two new features—Ask Mariah—a brick wall feature to solve your questions. And there are the Ancestry Makers, who will work to share your genealogy with you. The event is hosted by Nicka Smith, and has a wide variety of genealogists from all over the country. Among the members of Black Pro Gen are True Lewis, Shelley Murphy, James Morgan II, Bernice Bennett, Linda Buggs-Simms, Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, Renate Yarborough Sanders, Felicia Addision, Toni Carrier, Teresa Vega, Tasia Coc, Willie Russell IV,¬†Linda Buggs Simms,¬†Alex Trapps-Chabal, Taneya Koonce


Of course this event has changed the flavor of events in the genealogy community. Thousands of us will be gathering in Salt Lake City in February to attend the largeest genealogy event on earth, and we are anxious to participate once again at this exciting gathering. Several of us from the MAAGI faculty as well as the BLACK PRO GEN team will also be there, and we are thrilled that we will be able to Live-Stream from there in February. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there, as well.


MAAGI – Midwest African American Genealogy Institute–is now entering its 5th year! Participants will have a chance to choose from 4 tracks, and take 12 classes over 3 intense days of research. We have two special guests–Hari Jones, author, curator, lecturer and teacher will join us this year. And also ¬†Beverly Jenkins the award winning novelist of historical fiction will be joining us for MAAGI this year.


There are literally hundreds of genealogy communities on social media platforms. Facebook is the active platform, and Twitter is a great tool to find others who share your interest. Follow the #genealogy and #BlackProGen hastag groups and find new friends and make new communities.

There is a brand new world in genealogy! Podcasts, Webinar, Live Streaming events, Roots Tech and MAAGI–these are the events to look forward to. As things have changed our world has expanded and opportunities to grow and learn have also increased! Let’s look towards the future with enthusiasm and commit to become a part of it all.

Thanks for listening. Your continued presence inspires me, and encourages me. I wish you all a Happy New Year, and look forward to seeing you all at various events in the coming New Year! In the meantime, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

Happy New Year!