Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 4th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well it is the Labor Day weekend and yes, the last official weekend of the summer season! I hope you have wonderful things planned for your family and friends. Last BBQ of the weekend, later summer reunion and a fun-filled gathering for everyone. Schools are also now open, and I some are having family gatherings, so make some wonderful memories with family.AncestryFree

In the genealogy community–well its time to visit the subscription sites that have specials going on Ancestry has opened up their collections to everyone this holiday weekend. So if you have time, go and see what their new collections have to offer as well.


ReclaimingKinReclaiming Kin

Most events in the genealogy community are on the local level. Many society chapters are meeting next weekend, because of the holiday weekend. I know also that in Maryland the Central Maryland will host Robyn Smith author of Reclaiming Kin. As you know she hosts the blog of the same name, and she has turned her blog into a book and has decided to share her blog posts with the larger population by turning some of those stories into articles and chapters of her book, Reclaiming Kin. She will be a guest at the Septemeber 26th meeting of the Central MD AAHGS chapter at 1:00 pm.



A new database from Fisk University is available. This database reflects the history of the Rosenwald Schools. Well the Fisk database allows the user to search by name of school, by state, and by county. Delightfully the database is easy to use, it loads quickly and for me a special treat is to also see images of these schools. One can almost hear the voices of the teachers and students on the grounds of those old structures by looking at the images that are there. One person in the genealogy community found schools that her ancestors attended. If you have ancestors from those rural communities chances are high that they attended those Rosenwald schools.  Those old places are gone in many cases, and the images now reflect the ghosts of the past as they were many decades ago. Take a look at the database.



Next week—BE THERE! I am talking about the first episode of the season–the Black Pro Gen Google Hangout! The topic will be  the Freedmen’s Bureau. We will talk about the records and the indexing initiative as well. This record set has begun to open doors and to put a real crack in the “wall of 1870″, where many African American’s get stuck. The bureau helped freed slaves adjust to freedom, also to have their children released from bondage. There are also records where marriages were recorded, where labor contracts were negotiated, and so many more kinds of records. Contact Nicka Smith at who is nicka smith for more information.


HIdden Stories

I mentioned forgotten places like the Rosenwald Schools is a project that arose from an event in North Carolina at the North Carolina Museum of History. This is an exhibition called Hidden Stories of Abandoned Places. This is an effort to capture other aspects of history. I mention this because we all have a number of projects that capture our attention. But our quilts, our stories, the plays we write, or other dimensions of our history. There are so many options we have to reflect our histories and to extend our historical interests into different media paths. I like the facts that those who love old structures, old buildings have methods to tell their own story that go beyond the pen and paper that we often collect. There are many outlets for us, we just need to have the courage to listen and to tell.



I mentioned documents on Ancestry a few moments ago—I am delighted to see several generations of wills that have been digitized and now placed online! I just found an ancestor’s slave holder’s will, and I am excited to see that these wills are there. And remember–not only look at the will of the slaveholder, but study the will of the neighbors of the slaveholder. Some of the slaves that you expected to see, are part of the estate of the slave holder.



Researcher Char McCargo Bah will be speaking in Alexandria again. She had given a two part session recently and she now has a two part series again starting next weekend. She will be teaching about the two 1880s censuses. The population census and also the non-population census schedules. The non-population census consists of Agricultural census, the Industrial Census and the Mortality Schedules.


Well time is running out for me this week—thank you so much for tuning in to listen, and thank you all for sharing things that you have posted and also emailed to me. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 28th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

I hope that you are all well and are enjoying the last few weeks of the summer season. Schools have opened and next week is that final chance for summer break fun with the Labor Day weekend. I hope that you are still able to enjoy summer weather before the change comes for fall.


New Database Available!

SlaveRebellionSlave Rebellion Database

I am happy to share information about a new database. This looks like an interesting site as it includes a new interactive map on Slavery. The site is called Slave Rebellions. I find it interesting because it is pointing out acts of resistance that we seldom hear about in history. These rebellions reflect that fact that whenever the opportunity presented itself to resist their status, enslaved people acted. The fact that this has been mapped, presents another aspect of history. The map actually represents two centuries of information-reflecting uprisings from the 1600s to the early 1800s. This site was created by Professor James Holloway of California State University. Constructing the site took over 20 years and this is the first time that all such information about slave rebellions has been gathered and put in one single space.



Black Pro Gen Hangouts are Back!

It’s time for the Black Pro Gen Hangouts! This is a group of professional African American genealogists who gather to share, discuss and present issues that affect genealogy in general and the story and state of African American genealogy in particular. Here are the dates:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 – 6pm PDT/8pm CDT/9pm EDT
BlackProGen: Freedmens Bureau Online  Join us as we discuss the Freedmens Bureau Online project from the perspective of a novice, record set indexer, and also the researcher.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 – 6pm PDT/8pm CDT/9pm EDT
The Best of BlackProGen! This will be an exciting topic as we will discuss issues that researchers of color face in genealogy. From the researcher to the professional the dialogue should be quite interesting.

October 13, 2015 –  6pm PDT/8pm CDT/9pm EDT
The African American Online Genealogy Toolbox  What sites do you use all the time and consider essential. Tune in a join the chat as the group discusses critical record sets, websites, and more for African American genealogy online.

 October 27, 2015 –  6pm PDT/8pm CDT/9pm EDT
Tales from the Genome Yes—this is a discussion on DNA. More than 2 million people have taken genealogical DNA tests. While many are excited to get the results back, some encounter unforeseen emotions as they grapple with newfound information. Join us as we discuss these issues and more!

 November 10, 2015  –  6pm PST/8pm CST/9pm EST
Brick Wall Busters Have a brick wall? Need help getting past it? Send us your genealogical conundrums and we’ll try to help you get past them.

November 17, 2015 – 6pm PST/8pm CST/9pm EST
More Brick Wall Busters

For more information about joining the hangouts see Nicka Smith.


Community History Day in Brooklyn New York

Join staff of the New Lots Library and preservationists to learn how to preserve family artifacts, photographs, and other treasures, tomorrow from 10:00 to 5:00 pm



Slavery is one of the least mentioned topics in American history, yet the after effects of slavery are still felt in society today. A special lecture on Slavery and how to get more people discussing it, is offered in September at the Jack Morton Auditorium on the George Washington University campus in Washington DC. The event is open to the public.



EmmetTillEmmett Till Killed August 28, 1955

Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi and his killers freed. Let us never forget this young boy.
May he rest in peace.



March on Washington August 28, 1963
May the wisdom heard on that day heal our nation.



Well, I shall wind down this week’s podcast. Thank you for listening and tuning in, and please know that you are appreciated.  In the meantime, have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.