Angela Y. Walton-Raji on October 14th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well greetings everyone, I am coming to you from Georgia this Friday morning, and in a few hours I will be in downtown Atlanta attending the 37th Annual Conference of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.

The conference today is unfolding at the Westin Airport Hotel in Atlanta, and it promises to be an amazing day. With conferences such as this one, there are always three things that capture my attention: 1) People  2) Content  3) Venue.

With this year’s event the people are amazing and come from all over the country. Last night, I was excited to see a good portion of those who attended the opening session with the State of the Society Address, delivered by national president Sherri Camp.

aahgs-conf-2016-state-of-society-addressIt was great to see old friends from Arkansas, and to also meet some new friends from other parts of the country as well. I was impressed to see a number of people from the state of Washington DC, and also from multiple chapters from many parts of the country.


Dorothy Sands of southern California was among many of the attendees who traveled quite a distance to attend the events. Many of us in the AfriGeneas family know Ms. Sands well, as she has been researching for more than 25 years. She was a regular in the old chats and known as “Bipsylou” online. It is always great to see her at major events.

aahgs-conf-2016-friends-in-lobbyMany gathered in the lobby for photos and paused to share a photo. (Left to right LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson (MD), Angela Walton-Raji (MD), Toni Carrier (FL), Vicky Daviss-Mitchell (AZ), David Nelson (VA)


The content of the conference of course resides in the workshops being offered, and there are quite a few. Take a look at the workshops that will unfold for today and tomorrow. They schedule can be found HERE.

Venue – Atlanta

One great thing about having this year’s conference in Georgia, and in particularly Atlanta is the fact that there is the opportunity to research at two archives. The National Archives has a branch here in Atlanta, and the capital of the state is also here, so the state archives of Georgia is also here. Both offer the opportunity for genealogical research and they are literally right next to each other. Many participants have had that chance to get some research done, and they have immersed themselves several hours of work while here.

This conference marks the end of the genealogical events for many. The next few weeks will offer opportunity to reflect, and plan for the coming year. I am already looking ahead towards Roots Tech in 2017 and of course–mark your calendars for MAAGI 2017 in Ft. Wayne Indiana July 11-13th at the Genealogy Center.

Well I am making this a short podcast, as I am off to attend events at the conference! Follow me on Facebook for more images from the conference throughout the weekend. Thank you all for listening and sharing your stories and I shall be back next week with with regular format coming to you from Maryland. In the meantime, have a great week and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

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.