Angela Y. Walton-Raji on July 22nd, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, we are smack in the middle of everything for the summer and I hope that you are enjoying you warm summer weather. We all know that 6 months from now, things will be quite different as we will be buried in snow and ice and shoveling our way out of inches of snow drifts! So get out and garden and go the beach and have a cook out and enjoy this time of the year!


Casting Call Family SearchFor Info Check HERE

Well another reality show is on the horizon and this time the focus will be African American genealogy. Do you have a brick wall, or research challenge? Or are you simply curious about your history?

Well a casting call is underway for African American participants in a new show being planned. Take a look at the project and the application spearheaded by Thom Reed at Family Search. If you are interested, complete the application on the link above.

Bernice's Show Logo

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was quite interesting! Her guest was Bill Doggett an archivist and music historian. (And yes, he is related to the well known jazz musician by the same name!) His focus was early African American music and portrayals of African Americans in the recording industry. From “coon songs” to the old minstrels he revealed many aspects of American culture that are rooted in efforts to mock people of color. It was most enlightening and the discussion also featured some actual early recordings. They were painful to hear, including one that actually portrayed a comedy about a lynching. Such pieces of American culture clearly explain the racial climate of today. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

Registration for AAHGS 2016 is Open

The schedule is now up and registration has opened for the 37th annual conference of AAHGS, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. This year the conference will occur at the Westin Airport Hotel in Atlanta Georgia, October 13-16th. There are over 30 sessions to choose from and the conference is a great way to network with your colleagues.



Don’t forget to tune in on August 12th to hear Bernice Bennett in a webinar hosted by Legacy Family Tree. Her topic is the Homestead Act of 1862 and Following the Witnesses.



And we are about 6 weeks away from the International Black Genealogy Summit that will occur September 1-3 at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington Virginia. The schedule is up and a fascinating group of speakers are planned as well.


Thinking about giving a presentation next year? The Southern California Genealogy Society Genealogy Jamboree is now accepting proposals to present at next year’s conference.  Click HERE for more information.


Well time to wind things down for this week! Thank you all for tuning in to listen. I appreciate hearing from you all, and I know you have choices on how to use your time. In the meantime, enjoy the summer, stay cool, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on July 15th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well it is always good to be home and I am just back home from a wonderful week at the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute, that took place in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This was an amazing week, and this kind of experience brings about so many opportunities for great dialogue, asking questions, and wonderful stimulation.

On Monday evening, the Ft. Wayne African American Genealogy Group hosted a beautiful meet and greet event and it was beautiful!

Meet and GreetRoberta Ridley inspecting the food

I was so excited because the energy and enthusiasm at events such as an institute are quite different from a regular conference!

Classes got underway on Tuesday, and it was 3 days of work. I coordinated the writing track, and there was a very content-high workshop with each session.

MAAGI Track Sign(Sign reflecting classroom for writing track)

The chance to get away and have a genealogical experience was a much needed break. It was also great to be in the company of other presenters and other genealogists. This experience allows people to slow down and get to know each other. Plus everyone brings something to the institute experience. I  personally feel that I was stimulated and encouraged to get back to my own writing projects. We were blessed to have Anita Henderson, a noted writing coach. The classes let us all know that it is time to make a commitment and get it done.  We also had Thomas Macentee who gave two presentations to the MAAGI group, and they were wonderful. I especially enjoyed the webinar on E-books!

Thomas 2016 WebinarThomas Macentee presented a webinar on publishing in the Writer’s track


A shout out to the Ealy family that is having a major reunion this weekend. Genealogist Melvin Collier has a tie to that group, and is there celebrating with that line.

A special thank you to the staff of the Genealogy Center of ACPL. The facility was wonderful and the staff was beyond courteous! They assisted  us in so many ways and we could not be more delighted! Thank you Curt Witcher, Melissa Tennant, Robert Ridley, we could not have made it without your accommodating us so graciously. Again, thank you.

Now that things have slowed down, I can take my numerous projects to the next level-referring to my writing especially. But I also encourage people to take their crafts and other interests and to blend them. And sometimes, it is great to incorporate them into events with the family. I also hope that you are going to include children with the reunion. I am a strong advocate for inter-generational projects. As you plan those reunions, incorporate children into the process. We saw Nicka Smith with all of  her confidence teach a 4 year old how to take pictures. He ended up taking the official MAAGI group photo,for 2016. We loved watching her interact with the child and he was a natural! Some of us praised him for what he did and we gave him a dollar. He was so amazed that we were giving him money for what he had done. It was a heart warming moment.

Nicka and Child PhotographerNicka Smith instructs child how to take the official photo of the entire group

Well, I am still on a MAAGI high–and need to shut things down for the week. New things are going to become projects for me this week and I look forward to working on them. I appreciate your taking time to let me talk a bit about my experience of the past week, and I want  you to know that I appreciate you for doing so.

Spend some quality time with the family, but always stay focused on the work that has to be done, so remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.