Angela Y. Walton-Raji on May 1st, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well today is the 1st of May and we are almost at the half wary mark for the year! Hope you are enjoying the spring weather.
I do with to thank you all who have expressed their concerns to me about events here in the Baltimore area. I appreciate the calls and well wishes, and of course we were all affected by the violence in the city. Thankfully peace has returned to the community and I hope that we will all realize that there is work to be done. There are  young people who need to have more options so that they will not feel excluded, and will have hope in their lives. The issues are not unique to Baltimore, and we all should make a commitment to making the community, the country a better place. This is a new opportunity for us all and I hope we all commit to making a change.


Walking Tour of Parker Gray District of Alexandria

AlexandriaPhotoPhoto courtesy of

Well, as May has arrived, there are events occurring. Tomorrow in northern Virginia there will be a historic Walk Through Alexandria. Char McCargo Bah shared this information in social media yesterday:

On May 2, 2015, there will be a walking tour like no other tour you have had. The walking tour will provide genealogical information on selected sites in the Parker-Gray District. This tour will include the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM), and the Charles Houston Recreation Center’s Hall of Fame Exhibit; on North Columbus Street we will make stops at Saint Joseph Catholic Church and the late John F. Parker’s last known address; on North Alfred Street we will make stops at the late Jacqueline L. Henry Green’s house and the late Elbert Norton’s house; and lastly we will make stops on Pendleton Street at the late Henry T. White’s house and at the late John W. “Baker” Jackson’s house. The tour will start and end at the ABHM.

This lecture, with a $30.00 fee for adults and a $15 fee for children under 16, will be Saturday, May 2, from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA. Please RSVP through the ABMH at 703-746-4356.


CastinCallOldTimeyOld Timey Casting Call

As many of you know I am a Civil War enthusiast. I have a strong interest in the US Colored Troops, but also in the stories of women who served in the Union forces–not as soldiers, but as nurses, matrons, laundresses and cooks. These are among the many untold stories of the Civil War. I am thrilled to be able to study the records, that record their names. There is so much more to tell. There are those who devote themselves to part of this as re-enactors. Well for those who are interested in that kind of experience, I learned about an opportunity to appear in a film project and USCT re-enactors are needed. This is actually a casting call for an upcoming film. Here is a link to the project.


Bernice's Logo

Speaking of Civil War history, last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show featured Dr. Juanita Patience Moss who spoke about her book on Black Soldiers who served in white regiments in the Civil War. Dr. Moss explained how she became interested in the story–through that of one of her own ancestors, who was in a Pennsylvania regiment that was not a USCT regiment. Her work has now extended into a second volume and she spoke about what she was able to uncover. I have heard her speak and found her to be a delightful person and an intriguing presenter. Her book is available on line at Amazon, or from the publisher here.


St. Louis Mother – Daughter Reunion

ZellaJacksonPricePhoto: St. Louis American

Have you been following this story? Almost 50 years ago a woman gave birth to a child and was told that the child was sick and died. It turns out however that was not the case. The child lived, and was somehow adopted by another family. Since that time, other women have been told that something similar happened to them. The story had a happy ending, but it has opened the door to something else that may have been going on? More than 20 women have voiced their concerns that they two were victims of a newborn death. I am happy for the woman Zella Jackson Price, but I hope also the now grown daughter will be given more than a new family—but perhaps a history–a genealogy that she never knew was attached to her is part of her history. I hope to conduct some family history research on the family and to share it with the family. As genealogists we can hopefully give her and her family a new piece of her history. The story is one that touched my heart, and many of us are following the story.


Crestleaf Discusses African American Online Resources.
Take a look at this new site that has put together a useful list of African American Genealogy Resources.


Louisiana Plantations Address the Slave Community

I was happy to learn this week about a new trend in some plantation estates that now address the lives of the enslaved people who maintained those estates, and upon whom the wealth of the estate was built. In the past the lives of the slaves were never mentioned on historic tours. But I am aware that Dorothy Spruill Redford author of Somerset Homecoming changed some of that when she directed Somerset Plantation and its history. Well this week, I learned that plantation estates in Louisiana are now addressing their slave history. Oak Alley Plantation and others are now including tours of the slave cabins on the formal tours of the estates, and this trend is now spreading to other places as well. Read more HERE.

It is time to wind it down for this week. Don’t forget the other spring events such as the Grand Review Parade, Juneteenth, and more.

Thanks for listening, and have a great week of research. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on April 24th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

It is good to be back home in Maryland, after a wonderful time in Arkansas for the Arkansas History Civil War Sesquicentennail Commission. For me, being there was a true celebration of Freedom, and of the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. A special thanks to Archie Moore for taking time to show me some things I had not seen before, and also to introduce me to some amazing people also. Thanks to Mr. Moore, I met some of the movers and shakers in the historic community of historians, preservationists and researchers. I was so excited to also tour the Mosaic Templars Museum and to see the wonderful Civil War exhibit. Many of you know that I explore the histories of various benevolent societies and being at the Mosaic Templars Museum was a treat!


Saturday was a real experience. I spoke at the Old State House Museum, where one of my favorite historical images was captured. I am referring to the Harper’s Weekly image, “Mustered Out.” Well that was where I spoke last Saturday! Being inside of that historic building was a real treat!

Mustered OutHarper’s Weekly, May 19, 1866

What an honor to be there.  I had a chance to see and visit a historic black community of College Station, just outside of Little Rock. I ended my trip with a Sunday service at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, on State Street in Little Rock.


So thank you to everyone for making this a special trip!


As May approaches quickly, I hope some of you are preparing for the Grand Review and Parade! All groups of reenactors of the US Colored Troops are invited to join the six to ten thousand participants expected. There will be a parade, a forum at the US Capitol, a candlelight vigil at the Civil War Memorial, a prayer breakfast, and the Officer’s Ball. What a wonderful way to bring the celebration of Freedom to light. I hope that you visit the Memorail and Musuem and look for your ancestor’s name inscribed on the wall.

Bernice's Logo
Last night’s guest on Bernice Bennett’s show featured Dr. D. Ryan Gray, who spoke last night about historic Holt Cemetery in New Orleans Louisiana. This discussion covered the origins of this burial ground, and damage that occurred after Hurricane Katrina, and also the efforts to preserve it today. This is particularly unique as it is one of the few below ground burial grounds in New Orleans. The show as you know her show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.


Speaking of Bernice Bennett, don’t forget to tune in to hear her webinar today on the Civil War Widow’s Pensions! This will be on Family Tree Webinars and is part of the Freedom Series. If you are unaware of the content of the amazing Civil War pensions, then this webinar will be most enlightening! The webinar will take place today at 2:00 pm eastern time. If you miss it,  you will have 5 days to catch it for free!


Speaking of Civil War—this is the time to find out if your ancestors served in the Civil war. Fold3 is opening their Civil War collection to the public for free until the end of April. That’s right April 30th you have time to check those service records to see if you have ancestors who were US Colored Troops, or if they filed for pensions and so much more! What a great treat as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and the beginning of Freedom!


Don’t forget to register for the Juneteenth celebration of Freedom hosted by the Prince George’s County chapter of AAHGS. Their event which is free will take place.

And don’t forget to register from MAAGI–there is till plenty of time for that as well. Speakers from all over the country, so take a look at the tracks and submit your registration for a 3 day experience.


PAAC 2015

Those in Arkansas and Oklahoma will want to attend the preservation conference with PAAC, the Preservation of African American cemeteries. This year they will be in Quapaw Oklahoma, and will talk about the preservation efforts there. This group is really expanding and I think it is wonderful!


Are you excited to see the line up for the AAHGS conference? We are all anxiously awaiting the official presentation of the speakers and hope that everyone will be excited to see the program. The conference this year will be in Richmond Virginia this year and I understand that rooms for the hotel are quickly filling up, so make those reservations early as well.


This week I got a lot of research done as I was at the National Archives. If you have not been there recently, the research area has truly changed. Some areas are much smaller. Digitization has really affected the research experience. I still enjoy it as a place to conduct research, but it is interesting to see how digitization has affected travel. Have you had a similar experience and been able to alter your travel plans to conduct research. Have your methods changed over the years?


Time to wind things down this week, and while I get some rest and prepare for upcoming presentations. Thank you for taking time out to tune in to this week’s podcast! You are greatly appreciated. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find.