Angela Y. Walton-Raji on May 29th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

********************************************************************************************************

Well we started off this week with a holiday, and I hope that you had a wonderful Memorial Day holiday and that you were able to honor your loved ones, and those men and women who have served our nation. Taking time to honor those who have served the nation, and honoring all of those who have gone ahead of us. This is the time of the year when we do honor those who have paved the way for us and some who lost their lives for us, and I hope that you were able to be reflective and appreciate their efforts.

Bernice's Logo

Speaking of those who served the nation, last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show on Blog radio was timely. It was a rebroadcast of a show with two guests who spoke about the history of the 371st Infantry from World War I. Her guest was Sonya Hodges who is an authority on this all black WWI, regiment. Her second guest was Douglas Culbreth. Both were informative and provided little known details about this unit that wasa as distinguished as the Harlem Hellfighters. Most of the men in that unit came from South Carolina and they showed remarkable bravery and performed so nobly in France at that time. I urge you to listen and to hear about this often forgotten portion of history from the early 20th century. Her show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm Eastern time.

*****************************************************************************************************

JamboreeBadge2015

Next week, I shall be coming to you from Southern California. I will be attending the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree! I am honored to be speaking in an African American Track for the first time. The conference will start Friday and end on Sunday. I am excited to be in  a circle of amazing speakers, Nicka Smith, Bernice Bennett, Michael Henderson, Judy Russell, Crista Cowen and Anita Coach. I am speaking about Black Women in the Civil War, and then I have the honor of joining my other colleagues on two different panels as well. So if you are in southern California, let’s connect!! I would love to have a chance to meet friends in California, and I hope that many of you will make it to the  Marriott in Burbank next weekend.

Then after that I am on the way to Alabama for the Institute of Genealogical Research held at Samford University. I am excited that I will be speaking in the Five Civilized Tribes Track this year. Also as many know that next year will be the last year that IGHR will take place on the Samford University campus, so this is one of those traditions that has come to an end and we all look forward to the annoucement when IGHR finds a new home.

********************************************************************************************************

FamilySearchFBRecords

Later in June a big announcement will be coming forth from Family Search. They have digitized the genealogically significant records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. The call for action will unfold from Family Search, requesting that all persons become involved in the effort to digitize these critical records. This is actually a collaboration between Family Search, The Smithsonian, and AAHGS, to get all parties involved in the digitization of these records. The big announcement will be made on Juneteenth, which is, of course a very significant day in our history. As you know the 19th of June is Juneteenth, and this year will be the 150th anniversary of General Granger sailing into Galveston Harbor and reading the announcement that those in bondage, were no longer to be held in that state. Oh the joy and oh the celebrations! So stay tuned for that announcement forthcoming.

********************************************************************************************************

FPCLouisiana

A friend and colleague shared a great website with me and I have to share it with you. For those researching Louisiana, and free people of color in particular from that state. The site was funded by NEH to created an amazing database, from a multiple sources. Business recods, public records, and family public records and so much more. This is great because so many of the records are spread throughout the entire state in various repositories. So scholars, genealogists, teachers can all utilize this amazing database.  Free People of Color in Louisiana is the name of this digital collection.

******************************************************************************************************

AAHGSCallPapers2015

The fall schedule for the AAHGS Conference in Richmond Virginia is about to be placed online. I know that any day now we can expect it. Virginia is of course one of those states, where it all began and the conference in Richmond promises to ge an exciting event.

So my calendar if full and I know many of you have family reunions, and the institutes will be unfolding in the summer, and of course research time gets scheduled in as well. And I hope to be able to slow down after MAAGI, and take some time to work on writing projects. So summer is here, and I know you are equally as busy. I hope that our paths cross and that your summer events will unfold smoothly.
********************************************************************************************************

In the meantime, have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on May 22nd, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

Well this is Memorial Day weekend and I hope that you are all going to have a wonderful weekend with loved ones and friends and that you will be honoring loved ones as well. I also know that many of you will be visiting cemeteries this weekend to decorate the graves of loved ones and to see that they are remembered. They are the ones upon whose shoulders we stand today.

********************************************************************************************************

Shankleville

I wanted to give a hats off salute to some people in Texas who are celebrating their history! I am referring to people with ties to Shankleville Texas! This is an historically Black settlement in Newton County Texas! Someone shared the efforts of the Shankleville Historical Society this week and I was impressed! The society has been around since about 1988, and this history has a fascinating past! Also did you know that the annual Purple Hull Pea Festival takes place in Shankleville TX? I love it that this historic community is embracing its history and celebrating their legacy. If you read their website and their history you will be so impressed! What a truly beautiful story of resistance, and resilience and the descendants of this community should be truly proud of their history. They are also  having a Homecoming event in August of this year. Their story is one that hundreds of communities should imitate, and their story is truly one of inspiration!

********************************************************************************************************

Henry Johnson to Be Remembered at Last With Nation’s Highest Honor

This Memorial Day weekend I will be remembering my own ancestors my grandfather served in the 809th Pioneer Infantry and my uncle John Louis Bass who is buried in France. They will be remembered. But I was happy to hear that Henry Johnson of the 961st Battalion will finally get the Medal of Honor. He served in the Harlem Hellfighters. This is a unit of Black soldiers most of whom were from New York. He served in an army that did not respect him, nor other men of color. Yet he was a hero. He saved lives, he was wounded, and continued to fight and after running out of ammunition, he engaged in hand to hand combat. He received the French Cross, but never received the full American highest honors. Now 97 years later, he is being honored. He was never given a Purple Heart, after 21 wounds. He died young, in his early 30s and there is no one in the family to carry on his legacy, and he received no benefits from his bravery. But finally after all of these years, he will be honored. Such lack of gratitude was shown to him. He is an American hero, we need to remember him among the many whose names we will call this weekend.

Also remembering Dorrie Miller

Likewise, let us call the name of Dorrie Miller, another under-represented hero of World War II. This man was a man of courage, never trained in arms, because still the military did not see men of color as worth to be trained in the use of arms, and so he was made a cook while in the Navy. This man however, when his ship was attacked at Pearl Harbor, he took a gun and was able to bring down some of the enemy planes as they attacked his ship.

*************************************************************************************************

Bernice's Logo
Are you committed to telling your story? Or has your research stalled? We need the researcher, but we also need the recipient of our research. It’s time to research and re-focus, then this might be a good time to ask if are ready to extend and expand our work. Perhaps we need a shot in the arm, well pull out those old documents, look at them and ask, “so what?”  Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was a good shot in the arm, when Dr. Shelley Murphy was her guest from central Virginia. This is the time to revisit and see where we can go. Every document can lead you to so many more documents. Are we committed to going in those directions that to which the documents point us?  If you are not aware of the “so what” concept–then tune in to her interview which aired last night. As you know Bernice Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio.

******************************************************************************************************

GrandReviewCollage

Oh by the way, last Sunday I had a wonderful time at the Grand Review Parade. I have quite a few images to share, and I enjoyed seeing the USCT re-enactors, as well as the ladies as well. I think that there could have been more spectators if the event had been more widely publicized. But I did enjoy the event, and thankfully the weather was great, and it was an impressive thing to see. In honor of my own USCT ancestors, other Union army soldiers, and even women in period dress.  But if you missed the parade, still go to and visit the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum.

********************************************************************************************************
Well, thank you all for listening this week. I hope that you will have a good Memorial Day weekend. Also take some time to learn the history of Decoration Day, which has African American origins. Many people are unaware of this tradition, of soldiers buried at this old race course. Fascinating roots from Charleston, and do honor all who have come before us, as well.

So have a great week, I appreciate you all for being there. Have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!
*******************************************************************************************************