Angela Y. Walton-Raji on January 28th, 2017

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well this is the end of January and we are almost going into February. And as you know February is Black History Month, but of course for me, every month is Black History Month. But—there are many events coming up all over the country and it is exciting to see that many of them are historical and genealogical events in particular. It seems like next weekend is the kick off for lots of societies and I am happy to share with you, some that were shared with me.


Well it is time for Roots Tech!! It is going to be wonderful and this year there is an African American roster of speakers—which is a big change from the past. Take a look at the array of speakers this year.


MAAGI Registration is Open and Filling Quickly!

Well one track is already filled– at MAAGI—-the DNA track now has a waiting list.
July 11-13th 2017 at the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne Indiana, the second largest genealogy repository in the country—so take a look, saver you space and register now!

Join BlackProGenLIVE will be hosting LIVE meetings every week throughout the month of February. Feedback has been fantastic, and we heard from a listener who found something after listening to the team talk about genealogy strategies. Let us hear from you if you want us to discuss something of genealogical interest. AND—we will be coming to you LIVE from Roots Tech—so join us in February and every week throughout the month. Here is a link to the most recent one.


You have heard me speak about the value of Civil War research. Well last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show featured Alvin Blakes who has had his family history opened in a dramatic way by obtaining a remarkable pension file. He was a guest on her show and he shared an incredible pension file that opened doors for him. I have found many of my own ancestors who were union soldiers and who served with the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. And Mr. Blakes has found his family’s historical doors opened by the file that he obtained. He shared how that file became a genealogy gateway to the past. You can catch her show every week live at 9pm on Thursdays and if you miss it live, you can hear it as a podcast after the broadcast.


The Annual AAHGS Genealogy Conference for Black History Month will be underway at the Family History Center in Laurel Maryland. 

The event is free but you are required to register in advance for the event. Of course there are many such events around the country–so check to see what is going on with your own local genealogical societies, or the ASALH chapters in your area.


It is time to expand your education. There also webinars and chances to get some training online. Check out upcoming webinars, there are speakers at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. And Family Tree Magazine is holding a special webinar on February 16th. Start to tune in to the amazing speakers and presenters online and at major events going on around the country. Put your antenna out for people like Shelley Murphy, Bernice Bennett, Melvin Collier, Janis Minor Forté, Nicka Smith, and other colleagues. Follow them, and catch them this month and throughout the year.


Thank you for tuning in, hearing from you has been a pleasure, and please let me know what kinds of things you want to have addressed here on the podcast. I appreciate your time, and in the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!

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.