Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 21st, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me HERE.

I hope you all had a great week. As you can tell I am a wee bit hoarse as I have had a cold all week and yes my voice is quite squeaky. Ok I am very hoarse today. Because of my laryngitis I will probably make this week’s podcast a bit shorter.


Well here is some interesting news. I am sure that you have all heard of the 19 Africans that arrived in 1619 in Virginia. And I suspect  you have heard that they landed in Jamestown. Well, there has been a correction in that historical fact. In fact A marker was dedicated  (or re-dedicated) yesterday afternoon in Hampton to change that historical fact and to actually mark the place where they truly disembarked.

Representatives from 5 African countries came to America to attend several ceremonies marking the landing of 19 Africans  on the present day Ft. Monroe. The marker was changed to show the actual landing place of the Africans, as it has been pointed out that the first Africans landed at Hampton and not Jamestown. The National Park service AND local historians believe that this is the case. So take note: the actual landing place is Point Comfort, in Hampton and not Jamestown. The first Africans brought to Virginia were taken from the village of Ndongo in Angola. King Sinkam Konchiod Sylvestre was also present.


New Genealogy Society

Congratulations to folks in Danville/Pittsylvania Virginia for establishing a new genealogy society chapter of AAHGS. Their first meeting was yesterday August 20, 2015 at 5:30 at the Danville Public Library Genealogy Department. Carice Luck is the new chapter president and Danielle Pritchell is the new Vice President. Best wishes to them and of course many of us hope to meet some of them in October at the National conference in Richmond.


Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s Blog Radio show featured Leslie Anderson who discussed the process of writing a prize winning family history!  Leslie is a noted genealogist and librarian as well. Her research began when she wanted to know where an ancestor—a great grandparent was born.  Here analysis was culminated when she wrote a 10,000  word article about her search, and it won her the NGS family history writing contest. The article was published in the March 2015 quartely edition of the NGS Journal. It was over 10 pages, 10,000 words and 200 citations. Such hard work. For me, the value in editing was so clear. As writers we must write and then re-write and trust editors who can tell us when our writing is clear.


Well, folks, my voice is telling me to wind it down a bit early. Please know that I appreciate you for being there and for tuning in! Your time is valuable and I know that you have many choices, so thank you so much.  Have a great week, and I look forward to chatting with you next week, and in the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 14th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, I hope that you are all well, and had a good week of researching! I have been quite busy myself with writing, in fact there are two major writing projects that have occupied my time of late.  Summer events are quickly winding down now with just two more weekends before the Labor Day weekend arrives. So enjoy the weather and the events as they unfold!

Black Belt Heritage Book

A New Heritage Book

Congratulations to the Black Belt African American Genealogical Society for the publication of their new Heritage Book. To my knowledge this is the second African American heritage book produced by an African American focused genealogy society. I have not yet seen the book up close, but hope to soon. I know that the AAGHSC from Chicago produced the first African American heritage book. Earlier this year at MAAGI Janis Forte talked about the entire collaboration process and what it took to coordinate. It is a complex process and there are many “moving parts” to get something like this done. But I am thrilled to see a second genealogy society develop a new community heritage book like that on the scene. So a warm congratulations to the society for their publication.



Looking a Vital Records – Presented by Char McCargo Bah Part 2

The second part of a tw0-part presentation on Vital records will be presented by Char McCargo Bah, at the Alexandria Virginia Black History Museum. We know how one record can point to other kinds of records for the researchers. For example, death records can lead you to explore other records. If parents are listed, then marriages can be pursued. If the residence of the deceased person appears on that records, then city directories can be explored. And of course the informant should also be studied to learn so much more.  Again, this will be the second half of the presentation on vital records by Char Bah.



New Database: Legacies of British Slave Ownership.

This new database is user friendly . This site is easily searchable. A simple entry of a surname can point the researchers to a number of countries. Yes, countries where people of a certain resided in various places in the British empire.

There have been a lot of things coming forth from Britain in the last few months. Last month there was a BBC documentary about forgotten British slaveholders. We often don’t see this, but it is only through accident of geography that we live in North America, and not in Jamaica, or Barbadoes or other parts of the Caribbean. I am glad to see that people are beginning to study slavery and its history in other Anglophone countries.

I am glad to see this interest on a global level. We often get caught up in our personal searches. But it is good to back up and look at the larger aspect of history. But macro history—the larger story is just as important. We often tend to be “domestic” in our search. Hopefully we will embrace our cousins, our brothers and sisters in other parts of the Americas and be supportive of historical preservation and genealogical pursuits from those communities as well.



Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s radio show last night featured Doreen Ketchens a talented woman who is a New Orleans native devoted to music and its history. She is devoted to the history that created the music and it was lots of fun to hear. There is a need to appreciate the history that formed the backdrop from which contemporary music emerged. What came forth was the need to preserve the culture from which jazz merged. Tune in to listen to get the message and spirit from which she emerged. We need to show a stronger interest in listening to preserving what was given to us. As you know, Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm eastern time, on Blog Talk radio.


Thom Reed Live Stream

A Charge to Genealogists:

Before taping this session, I was able to tune in and listen to a live presentation by Thom Reed to encourage others to join the Freedmen’s Bureau Indexing initiative.

Well–we not have a task ahead of us. We need to get them indexed. We will help the larger community as well. Let’s do this! We have a challenge and a charge! I urge you all to index at least 1 batch today! It won’t even take 30 minutes out of your day! After listening to this podcast—as soon as you can–devote 20 minutes to index a batch! I shall be indexing after I complete this podcast, in fact. Please get involved, pay it forward. I urge YOU to do the same!! We are 16% there—let’s get something done today–this afternoon—this evening!

Generations yet to come, will appreciate what you do today.



Time is winding down, I know that many of you have lots of things going on, and have several projects. I appreciate you taking town from your schedule to tune in. Thanks for being there and for consistently in showing your own interest in sharing history and asking questions. As summer winds down, know that you are appreciated. Please continue to do all that  you do, including, keeping researching, keep documenting, keep sharing what you find!