Angela Y. Walton-Raji on October 7th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Deadly Hurricane Approacheshurricane

Well before anything, let’s offer our thoughts and prayers for friends in family in the southeastern coastal States. Hurricane Matthew approaches, and we hope that everyone will be safe. And if you are part of a church or organization that is involved with charitable donations—please make a contribution any way you can for the people in Haiti! They have suffered so much in the past several years. Six years ago they had the terrible earthquake and now this hurrican has brought about so much destruction. Hundreds of people have lost their lives, and they need our help. Let us not forget them.


AAHGS Conference Unfolds Next Week


Lots of things going on and this time next week it will be happening! The AAHGS Conference is about to unfold! This is the oldest African American genealogical society and the 37th annual ocnference will occur in Atlanta. Visit AAHGS website. Hopefully next Thursday many of you listening will be there! Workshops will follow all day on Friday, with a special luncheon. Great speakers are on the program and so many more. For the list of speakers check the conference booklet HERE.


writing-roomIf you did not get a chance to watch Anita Henderson’s webinar last week–you still have a chance to watch it. Are you an aspiring writer? Perhaps you may have an interest in writing, and just need that extra push to get going! Well, last week Anita Henderson–a well respected writing coach offered a webinar entitled, “Don’t Get Mad, Get Writing” You can still catch it online and perhaps this might be just the push that you need to get started with your writing projects. We all need that extra push from time to time.


I have been learning so much this week by following some amazing people on Social media. Plus I have been exposed to groups of individuals whom I never knew before-and more significantly the existence of libraries and archives and more. On Twitter, I use Tweet Deck which allows me to follow a number of “themes”–or hashtag topics i.e. #AskAnArchivist, or #genealogy, #POCGenealogy and many more. And I encourage you to look at #BlackProGen. That is an informal group of professional genealogists that meet and share articles, calls for papers and much more, with each other. I am also finding some amazing articles, and blogs and links to the various facilities. It opens up another world. Social media is opening up another world, and though it is fast moving, I find myself learning so much.

And tune into the various podcasts and events online. Radio programs, podcasts and so much more. A new generation of millennials are coming into genealogy. They are asking questions, and beginning to explore their history differently. We have to go where they are, and work with them, mentor them, and teach them about the records. And their root is not through genealogical societies. They are putting their DNA reveal moments on YouTube and they are saying that they want to know more. We have to be prepared to meet them, and teach them about the records.
Bernice's Show Logo

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show featured Mary Tedesco, of the Genealogy Roadshow. It was fun to hear how complex it is to produce a show like that, and to hear Mary talk about her experiences. Bernice Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm eastern time on Blog Talk Radio.


Well we have had an interesting week in the online genealogy community, that has brought about some good discussion about the need to bring transparency and opportunity into our midst. The discussions have been filled with passion and frankness, and they have addressed some issues that have gone on for many years. Accomplished researchers have submitted numerous proposals (4 or more) to speak at national events but have had them turned down for year after year, after year. Thankfully the community has become involved in a respectful discussion about bringing about change and hopefully we will all become engaged in making things better. To follow the threads, explore the threads of Nicka Smith, Shannon Christmas, Thomas Macentee and others, and let’s commit to making our community more engaging, and more inclusive for all.
“Remember you dont’ get  a harvest until you first stir up the soil.”

Well, it is time to wind things down again. I appreciate sharing what has been shared with me, this week, and I also want to let you know that your being there as part of the listening audience means a lot to me, and I thank you for your being there.

In the meantime, please remember friends and family in the southeast, and please contribute to donations for the people of Haiti. Let us keep them all in our prayers.
Have a great week everyone and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 30th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well can you believe it—30 days have September, and this is it–the last day of the month and we are moving in to autumn full speed. Tomorrow is the 1st of October, and we are two-thirds of the way through the major events of the season that began in September. The IBGS event was amazing, to start off the month. Then came last week and the opening of the new Smithsonian Museum! Finally, we are now looking ahead to the annual conference for AAHGS – the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. It will unfold in Atlanta in about two weeks and it promises to be a successful event as well.

Last week–I was there! I stood in line for 2  hours and then had the incredible experience of visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture. What an experience I had. I was glad to say that I was there on opening day, and truly it was worth it.

Mississippi Death Index Now Available
ms-state-indexThe Coogan Research Group has now made the Mississippi Death Index available for the years between 1912-1943 online. This is exciting because many of us have ancestors who lived there, before migrating north or west, so take a look and explore this amazing database.

Social Explorer Presents Info About Census

How well do you know your census records, and do you know what the instructions were for enumerators? If not, then think of exploring this site and take a look at the guidelines, and see the actual questions that were used when collecting data. This is a go-to site to become familiar with the most used, but frequently under-studied records that we all use.


Story of a Missouri Soldier and a Fascinating Regiment


I had a chance this week to learn about a fascinating soldier and regiment from Missouri. In fact
I ended up writing a blog piece about the regiment, and am thrilled to learn about the 62nd US Colored Infantry. This is one of the more unique stories coming out of the western theater of the Civil War. Visit the blog and learn about this literate man and his regiment.


This week the Virginian-Pilot Newspaper featured an article about the database from Virginia
called Virginia Untold. The African American Narrative. The piece begins with the story of Rachel who sued for her freedom in the 1770s. It is a fascinating case, and only one of many other stories found in that amazing database. More can be read HERE.



Well this weekend, there will be a new program to hear—African Ancestry Radio airs tomorrow at 2pm eastern time. The broadcast will take place on Saturdays at 2pm Eastern Time


Bernice's Show Logo

Bernice Bennett’s show last night was quite interesting and if you missed it tune in HERE to catch the podcast. Her guest was Victoria Gregg, who is making a film about her DNA and genealogy journey. She shared her journey inspired by her testing of her ancestry, and there was a lot of fascinating conversation. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.



I was there! But, there are no words, only feelings and emotions! The images and artifacts were quite powerful, and I admit that I got chills when I saw the slave cabin.


As I stared at Harriet Tubman’s shawl, I was in awe.


I was truly mesmerized to see Nat Turner’s bible.


And at the coffin of that sweet boy, Emmet Till, I cried. So heartbreaking, and a life stolen, so cruelly.


There were so many more emotions, but not enough words. I can only say that this is a place that we must all see. Plan your trip. I am blessed to live so close, for I shall return again.

Winding down for this week, thanks for listening, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.