Angela Y. Walton-Raji on February 19th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to episode #369 of the African Roots Podcast! You can reach me at Today is a special episode of the podcast! I am welcoming Dr. Shelley Murphy aka familytreegirl, and we are here to have a lively chat about a number of topics! 
Shelly Murphy

Today’s episode is a discussion between Shelley and myself of upcoming events. She is here for a conference tomorrow in Laurel MD. We are here today to chat about the Black History Month, the AAHGS Regional conference tomorrow in Laurel MD. Information on the conference can be found here.MAAGI 2016 New LogoMAAGI

We are also here to discuss MAAGI, an African American focused institute that is on its way to the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library. This institute is now in its 4th year and being at ACPL for 2016, will allow participants to take full advantage of this major research facility. We are more than thrilled and are sharing our excitement in our conversation about plans for MAAGI.

Well—this week there has been much discussion about this week’s episode of the PBS program Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates. We are discussing the LL Cool J episode with the DNA findings, the use of slave schedules and the need for responsible use of the slave document and the “same as slave holder surname” issue.

And stay tuned—withing the next few weeks we will be announcing “Digging The Roots” – a talk program where Shelley and myself will be discussing issues of the day from a genealogy perspective! You heard it here first, so stand by!

And thank you all for tuning in, and know that you are appreciated! In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on February 12th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


ViewFromThePlaneView from the plane before taking off from Salt Lake City

Well, it’s great to be back home, as this time last week I was busy in Utah attending the 2016 Roots Tech conference! What an invigorating  experience! I was honored to give two different presentations, and also to just be in an exciting environment! In addition, Salt Lake City was beautiful nestled in that valley surrounded by amazing snowy mountains. The cold and high altitude did have an effect, but I took my time walking and managed to get around fairly well. I also saw some people that I met last year again like Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, and I got to meet some bloggers from social media, like Roger Moffat and others. And I met some amazing new friends as well, such as Scott Fisher from Extreme Genes Radio, and blogger Amy Johnson Crow. Plus I met a wonderful lady with whom I chatted a bit, who was there from South Texas! Ann Roberts, told me about an amazing project of which she is supportive, and I am happy to share here. She spoke to me about the Bedford Historic Slave Foundation.

BedfordSlaveFoundationBedford Slave Foundation

This is a project that originated with the Lowry family out of Bedford, Virginia, and the goal is to preserve African American history, collect artifacts, and to tell the stories of the many families with histories tied to that area. One of the founders, David Lowry recently passed away, and Ann’s goal is to continue to support and follow Mr. Lowry’s vision and bring the museum to life. This is one of those projects that we all need to look at as a model to emulate. Their hope is to establish a viable museum in an old AME Church which is next to the county courthouse in Bedford.

I hope that they are not only successful in that goal, but that they will become a leader in  historic preservation in their part of Virginia, and a model to follow by countless communities throughout the country.

African American Genealogy Conference in Greater Washington DC

AAHGS Laurel Conf 2016

I am busy preparing for next weekend’s Black History Month celebration in Laurel Maryland. This will be an all-day genealogy workshop. The event is hosted by the Family History Center of Washington DC, and the Maryland and Washington DC chapters of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, (AAHGS). Speakers include: Chiquita Sorrels, Aaron Dorsey, Robyn Smith, Shelley Murphy, Alice Harris, Francis David Jenkins, Jacqueline-Lewis and Angela Walton-Raji. I am quite excited and am more than honored to present the keynote address for this event.

NEHGS & Fold 3 Offer Free Access During February


Two organizations are providing access to their sites this month. Fold3 has made the military service records for the US Colored Troops available for the month of February. And the New England Historic Genealogical Society has also made five databases available for the month of February, also. So take some time and visit these sites.


Althea Hurst Scrapbook now Online
Althea Hurst Travelers
Althea Hurst Scrapbook

A wonderful online collection from Cincinnati Ohio library, was shared with me this week about a scrapbook reflecting the travels of four African American women in 1938, to Europe. The trip was taken by four women who traveled to Nazi Germany, France, England, Switzerland, and so many more places.

What makes this so amazing is that these were not single women deciding to travel, but married women, wish to see the world. Perhaps their choosing to travel during pre WWII times were a bit naive, but their naivete apparently protected them, as they returned safely and shared their experiences  with their students for many years.

The entire scrapbook now rests on the library site and will remain there permanently!



Best wishes to friends in St. Louis who are hosting their own conference tomorrow. The St. Louis African American Historical and Genealogical society is hosting it’s 7th annual Genealogy Conference. They have great speakers on the program, including Melvin Collier, Thomas Macentee, Linda Bugg-Simms and others, so if you live in or near St. Louis, their conference is the place to be!

Well folks, it is time to wrap things up again for this week! Thank you all for taking your time to tune in, and to hear this week’s podcast! And please continue to do what you do–keep researching, keep documenting, and always keep sharing what you find!