Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 14th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, I hope that you are all well, and had a good week of researching! I have been quite busy myself with writing, in fact there are two major writing projects that have occupied my time of late.  Summer events are quickly winding down now with just two more weekends before the Labor Day weekend arrives. So enjoy the weather and the events as they unfold!

Black Belt Heritage Book

A New Heritage Book

Congratulations to the Black Belt African American Genealogical Society for the publication of their new Heritage Book. To my knowledge this is the second African American heritage book produced by an African American focused genealogy society. I have not yet seen the book up close, but hope to soon. I know that the AAGHSC from Chicago produced the first African American heritage book. Earlier this year at MAAGI Janis Forte talked about the entire collaboration process and what it took to coordinate. It is a complex process and there are many “moving parts” to get something like this done. But I am thrilled to see a second genealogy society develop a new community heritage book like that on the scene. So a warm congratulations to the society for their publication.



Looking a Vital Records – Presented by Char McCargo Bah Part 2

The second part of a tw0-part presentation on Vital records will be presented by Char McCargo Bah, at the Alexandria Virginia Black History Museum. We know how one record can point to other kinds of records for the researchers. For example, death records can lead you to explore other records. If parents are listed, then marriages can be pursued. If the residence of the deceased person appears on that records, then city directories can be explored. And of course the informant should also be studied to learn so much more.  Again, this will be the second half of the presentation on vital records by Char Bah.



New Database: Legacies of British Slave Ownership.

This new database is user friendly . This site is easily searchable. A simple entry of a surname can point the researchers to a number of countries. Yes, countries where people of a certain resided in various places in the British empire.

There have been a lot of things coming forth from Britain in the last few months. Last month there was a BBC documentary about forgotten British slaveholders. We often don’t see this, but it is only through accident of geography that we live in North America, and not in Jamaica, or Barbadoes or other parts of the Caribbean. I am glad to see that people are beginning to study slavery and its history in other Anglophone countries.

I am glad to see this interest on a global level. We often get caught up in our personal searches. But it is good to back up and look at the larger aspect of history. But macro history—the larger story is just as important. We often tend to be “domestic” in our search. Hopefully we will embrace our cousins, our brothers and sisters in other parts of the Americas and be supportive of historical preservation and genealogical pursuits from those communities as well.



Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s radio show last night featured Doreen Ketchens a talented woman who is a New Orleans native devoted to music and its history. She is devoted to the history that created the music and it was lots of fun to hear. There is a need to appreciate the history that formed the backdrop from which contemporary music emerged. What came forth was the need to preserve the culture from which jazz merged. Tune in to listen to get the message and spirit from which she emerged. We need to show a stronger interest in listening to preserving what was given to us. As you know, Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm eastern time, on Blog Talk radio.


Thom Reed Live Stream

A Charge to Genealogists:

Before taping this session, I was able to tune in and listen to a live presentation by Thom Reed to encourage others to join the Freedmen’s Bureau Indexing initiative.

Well–we not have a task ahead of us. We need to get them indexed. We will help the larger community as well. Let’s do this! We have a challenge and a charge! I urge you all to index at least 1 batch today! It won’t even take 30 minutes out of your day! After listening to this podcast—as soon as you can–devote 20 minutes to index a batch! I shall be indexing after I complete this podcast, in fact. Please get involved, pay it forward. I urge YOU to do the same!! We are 16% there—let’s get something done today–this afternoon—this evening!

Generations yet to come, will appreciate what you do today.



Time is winding down, I know that many of you have lots of things going on, and have several projects. I appreciate you taking town from your schedule to tune in. Thanks for being there and for consistently in showing your own interest in sharing history and asking questions. As summer winds down, know that you are appreciated. Please continue to do all that  you do, including, keeping researching, keep documenting, keep sharing what you find!


Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 7th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello, and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me at

I hope that you have all had a good week and that the weekend promises to be a good one for you also. I know that family reunions are going on all over the country and if you are having one, that you make wonderful memories and have a joyous time with family and loved ones. And as summer is beginning to wind down and school will be starting soon I hope you get those many things done that preparation for a new academic year brings.

Noted Researcher Presents Two Part Genealogy Event in Alexandria Virginia


This Saturday and next, a two part series on using vital records will be presented by noted genealogist Char McCargo Bah, at the Alexandria Virginia Black History Museum. The event is open to the public and will unfold at 11 am, till 1pm. As you may know, Char Bah has done extensive work on northern Virginia history and Alexandria and its rich history.


Bernice's Logo

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show with Linda Nance of the Annie Malone Historical Society. Annie Malone was a pioneer in the African American hair care industry. But her legacy extends beyond that. Much fascinating history of this amazing lady was shared with listeners. It was as uplifting as Annie Malone herself was. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm eastern time, on Blog Talk Radio.



If you missed the Family Tree Webinar last week with Melvin Collier, I hope that you will have a chance to go and catch it. This was the third in a four-part series on the webinar channel called The Freedom Series. This was an outstanding presentation that was made. His focus illustrated how he was able to put together data that re-united descendants of one slave whose family was separated by slavery. It was outstanding.

FreedBureauFSMLaborContracts(sample labor contract from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands)

What are “Black” Records? A Discussion

Lots of energy unfolding this weeek in social media. Good questions, good dialogue and great interaction among researchers has been unfolding. Well this week on Facebook, a good discussion occurred this week. One member asked about records for African American genealogy and wanted to ask about why there were not more “black” records. Her concern that records were being “withheld” by sites such as Ancestry. It was pointed out that there are no records that can be called “black records”. It was an interesting discussion. I began to think after reading the thread I began to ask what kinds of records are out there that are uniquely African ancestored records, or records that were generated mostly by people of color. Of course vital records reflect people of all backgrounds. But there are some unique records that describe mostly African ancestored people. For example the Freedmen’s Bureau records were generated by people of color. But on those records are people of other background as well. Employers, bureau agency staff also have their names reflected as well.

But then, what are those unique records? Among some of the African-ancestored created records created by formerly enslaved people, one will find, 1) Labor contracts, 2) Co-habitation records 3) marriage records 4) Contraband camp rosters 5) Freedmen Hospital records, 6) Transportation records 7) Child recovery records, and so much more, 8) Slave bills of sale, 9) Freedmen’s Bank Records and also there are 10) embedded records which are large records of Black people embedded in other groups. US Colored Troops can be considered black people-generated records, also Oklahoma Freedmen records can also be considered a large record set, reflecting 14,000 records of once enslaved Oklahomans and their children.

Well time to wind down, thank you for taking time from your schedule to tune in and listen this week. I have a writing project in which I am immersed. I am impressed with the large number of people who have committed to on-going writing projects that they have started since this summer’s MAAGI. Thank you so much for being here, and of course without you, there would be no podcast.  Remember to join the indexing project. Again, thank you for tuning in once again. In the meantime, have a great week of research, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.