Angela Y. Walton-Raji on March 20th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Greetings from a snowy Maryland, on the first day of spring! Yes, as spring arrives we are greeted by snow. Thankfully this will be a brief one, and we shall have warmer weather tomorrow.


Well now is the time to register for MAAGI, the Midwest African -American Genealogy institute. This year there is a new track—a Writer’s track. Perhaps you have considered telling your story on paper–well this is the chance.  The tracks are:

Fundamental Methods and Strategies for African American Research
Genealogy Writing From Planning to Publication
Pre & Post Emancipation Era Records
Genealogy As a Profession
So check out the website and I hope that you will consider joining us in St. Louis!



Interested in Native American ancestry? Note that tomorrow at the Enoch Pratt library in Baltimore, an all day session for African and Native American genealogy. I will be the speaker, and I am so excited about the events.

If you cannot make to Baltimore, then try to make the presentations by Melvin Collier who will be presenting at the monthly meeting of the Central MD chapter of AAHGS.


Nicka's Projects

Who is Nicka Smith?
Well, you need to check out the workshops being offered by Nicka Smith and she is offering some interesting classes online. April 7, 9th, 14th, and 16th. These classes provide a good opportunity for beginners to expand their skill set. Her focus on technology is sorely needed. We know that many people come in to genealogy after seeing a number of ads from Ancestry. Well, I encourage to look at Nicka’s workshops.


Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was quite interesting. She had a primary scholar of the Lowman family. She has done almost all of the research on the program, and one could get a sense of the actual climate of the state of So. Carolina in the 1920s. The story was testament to the legacy of that family as well. Also a relative of the family was included, and it was a show that makes one think. Our legacy does not begin in tragedy nor does it end there. I was impressed to hear that their legacy and self perception was a strong one, that surpassed the lynching story. Not sure that the primary question of the young man was ever answered on the tv program, but it was fascinating to hear the family voice.

Some of the genealogy entertainment programs are interesting to watch. But as stories of tragedy should be told with compassion and respect. There are relatives who were affected by the tragedy. I watched another show where the story of a teenage mother was told. But though this happened 70 or 80 years ago, there are still relatives who remembered that person and who loved that person. They had not seen their beloved grandmother as a tragic teenaged mother looking for love. I wrote a blog post with more of the genealogy of the family that was never shared on air. I needed to write about the story and about her genealogy that was not shared. I have since heard from two of the lady’s grandchildren and one was a niece, all of whom were surprised and shock when their ancestor’s story was presented.

Genealogy for entertainment programs have to tread cautiously when telling a story and to remember that there are family members. The story was depicted in the national press, finding out about their beloved grandma. Had the producers looked for them? Included them in the story? And was the story of the young mother told with compassion? We are all treading new ground, but the genealogy should include more than just the salacious part of the story.  I do think that listening last night to the show, related to the Lowman family story. We should include the voices of those people involved. And they still feel some of the pain, and their voices deserve to be heard, not just the host of the show.

Well,  time to wind things down on this snowy Friday. I hope that spring comes where you are, and I look forward to warmer days with enthusiasm.

In the mean time, keep researching, keep documenting and please keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on March 13th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well I hope that finally all of you are now seeing hints of spring! I am thrilled that our winter seems to have passed and that we have had a good thaw in the weather as well. And I am in a pre-presentation mode. I will be presenting next week at
in Baltimore, and will be speaking on Native American genealogy.

And if you can’t make it to Baltimore, you are encouraged to hear Melvin Collier who will be speaking at the Central MD chapter of AAHGS. He is an excellent presenter and one whom you will enjoy.


AlexandriaGenealogyClassMore Info HERE

Tomorrow, Char McCargo Bah will be speaking at the Alexander Black History Museum in Alexandria VA. Char will be giving the first of two presentation on African American genealogy. The second session will be held next Saturday. (Yes, lots of things going on next Saturday! Ms. Bah has received a number of awards for her work and she has more than 30 years research experience!



Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was excellent. Her guest was Reginald Washington who spoke about the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Freedman’s Savings Bank and also the Southern Claims Commission! He shared information on little known records such as questionnaires that can be researched also. if you missed the show, you want to tune in and download the archived version of the show! So glad to see Reginald Washington back on the genealogy circuit, and thrilled that he will also be speaking at the NGS Conference in May in St. Charles Missouri.


The Barbados and Carolina Foundation and the College of Charleston is sponsoring an event on April 9th on the college campus. Sir Henry Fraser will be the presenter talking about that history. This is an interesting aspect of history and the tie between this Carribbean island and the state of So. Carolina.


Nicka's Projects

Congratulations to Nicka Sewell Smith who will be hosting a 4 part series of workshops for genealogists.

  • Genealogy Basics: More Than a Review
  • Offline and Online Research Techniques
  • Beyond the Surface: Analyzing and Capturing Genealogical Data 
  • The 5 W’s and the H of DNASpaces are limited to sign up early!                                                   For More Information


AL Digital Collections

A good Digital Collection from Alabama!
Alabama Dept. of Archives History Digital Collections
This is a link to the digital photo collections at the AL state archives! There are some amazing images in the collection and it is one to visit. Images from the post slavery years, through the Civil Rights era as well. In addition there are some images from popular publications of the day—some stereotypes and others less offensive. But worth looking at and exploring!
LDS Conference LA

Tomorrow there is an all day African American genealogy conference at the Los Angeles stake of the LDS Church. This will be the 13th annual event! I am amazed at how many of the Family History centers around the country have sponsored African American events, nationwide. And who knew that the one in Los Angeles has been occurring all of these years! I am excited to see that writing will be a part of the presentations! We all need to write more! And those in social media, take note that Yvette Porter Moore will be one of the speakers.

I noticed that writing will be a part of many upcoming events. Now is the time to put your research into writing and to share that story. But also remember to tell your own story! Blog about it, journal about things, leave the things that we wish our ancestors had left for us!  Note that this summer MAAGI will have a writer’s track, featuring nationally known writing coach–Anita Paul! So this is the time to take your data, and present it for the family and community to read!


Well everyone, I shall close for this week! Have a great week of research and do remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!