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

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me AfricanRootsPodcast.


Today, I am coming to you from beautiful Salt Lake Utah! I am attending Roots Tech, and all I can say  is that this is an exciting experience! And it has been more than expected! I arrived on Tuesday and on Wednesday I spent time researching at the Family History Center. At first, I did not see hundreds or thousands of people as were predicted. But then Thursday, that changed!! Over 12,000 people are here at present. The opening session was so exciting–and after a wonderful VIP tour, I  got to sit in the special reserved section and was truly amazed! I was near the main stage, and got to see so much of it, all.

Since being here, I have met Facebook friends, whom I have met, plus people from Family Search. The energy being shown has been amazing. And they are talking about making this event even larger for next year. For those who are not here, I urge as many as possible to go to Roots Tech website, and watch the live video streams.

I have to admit–I thought that this would be a one-time experience. But I might consider coming back again for Roots Tech 2016.


This is a chance to be exposed to the cutting edge of technology. I have been impressed with the energy level of energy shown and hats off to the folks at Family Search.  I have been able to catch some good sessions, and one of the sessions that I sat in on was a session on self-publishing. Lots of good tips and ideas were shared by presenters Thomas Macentee and Lisa Alzo. I learned a lot and hope to try to apply some of the ideas that they shared. Being around those who are creative,  makes me want to create as well.


An announcement was shared this week about an historical exhibit underway. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, announces an African American Postal exhibit. Black America from Civil War to  Civil Rights. This is the very first postal exhibit devoted to an all African American theme. This exhibition will go on a full year and will end in February 2016. It will chronicle slave-transported mail, plus some of the original artwork from the African American heritage series. Civil War patriotic items are also going to be shared. I was excited to hear this as I am a collector. This is an exhibition that is truly unique.
******************************************************************************************Next week I will be coming to you from Atlanta Georgia. I will be speaking about the time that Freedom came and methods of documenting those days.  I will be speaking also at a local library in Atlanta, and on Friday, a webinar will be offered through Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Researching Ancestors in the Era of Freedom.

ShelleyDr. Shelley Murphy

My special guest today, is Dr. Shelley Viola Murphy who is sharing her feelings about the Roots Tech experiences. Listen to her observations and opinions about her experience here in Salt Lake City.

It has been a pleasure to be here in Salt Lake City as everyone has been hospitable and warm. It was also a pleasure to meet Tamu Smith, aka “Sister Beehive” on Blog Talk Radio. Meeting her was a delightful experience, and she has been a part of the community that has made several of us feel really welcomed here.
NewFriendsatRootsTechNew Friends at Roots Tech

So, I am winding down this week’s podcast from Salt Lake City! I  will be coming to you next week from Atlanta. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!

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Angela Y. Walton-Raji on February 6th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well it’s finally here–welcome to African American History Month, 2015. This is doubly important, for this is a milestone year. Let us keep in mind that it has been 150, since Freedom came to millions of people, and only 50 years since so many people gained other privileges of citizenship. So many things to commemorate and so many things to do. This also begins a marathon of speaking engagements that I have coming up.


Tomorrow at the African American Genealogy Conference will take place at the Family History Center in Laurel MD on Contee Road. The event will focus on Slavery Era, Cluter Genealogy Slave Index, Finding Maiden Names, Civil War Widows Pension and so much more.

Roots Tech is next week,and they are joining forces with the Federation of Genealogical Societies in Salt Lake City. More than 15000 people will be in attendance. This is quite exciting and I look forward to meeting people, and learning from them. Don’t forget the chance to catch some of the live video streams that you will be able to watch.

If you missed last night’s show produced by Bernice Bennett. Her guest Carol Hector-Harris has researched her history to a free person of color. She also took a DNA test and had a chance to learn that one of her lines came from the Ga-Adangbe people. She traveled to Ghana and had a chance meeting with someone who was Ga-Adangbe and she had an amazing experience. In addition, her ancestor from Africa was also a Revolutionary War patriot. She was so enthusiastic, and her explanation was almost an emotional one. It might inspire many others to look into their own history. There were also quite a few callers on the show, who wanted to share their interest and applaud her success. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the archived broadcast if you missed it.


The Call for Papers for the 36th Annual AAHGS Conference is now out! This a great chance to make a contribution to the genealogy community by presenting your work at this event. The dates are October 15th – 17th in Richmond Virginia. The theme is “Virginia, Where African American Roots Run Deep.” The deadline is due on March 15th.

Fold 3 is making the entire African American Collection for free during African-American History month. Take a look–data from all over the country, and you will be astounded at the vastness of this collection. Records that pertain to the slave ship Amistad, are in the collection. There are other records to explore–Civil War service records of the USColored Troops. Anti-Slavery records, emancipation records and so many more. So take a look at this collection.


New Film reflects the saga of Cherokee Freedmen
Last weekend, those in the San Diego area got a chance to the the new documentary, “By Blood” that depicts the story of the Cherokee Freedmen. The film was released at the Southern California Black Films Festival. This story reflects the vary complicated saga of the descendants of those once enslaved in the Cherokee Nation. Hopefully this film will be distributed widely.

Well, time to wind things down for this week. I am excited about upcoming events and hope to see some of you tomorrow, and some of you in Salt Lake City! Thank you for listening. In the meantime, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

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