Category Archives: Genealogy & Research

Bundy, Sterling or Genealogy’s Whiteout: Racial Justice – Are We Systemically Aware?

Tonight AAGSAR returns to You Got Roots?!, our BlogTalkRadio series kick-started to encourage cross-culture dialogues on issues impacting the lives and research efforts of People of Color.

On tap this evening, You Got Roots?! will go-in on racism, prejudice and culture bias as experienced by People of Color — both on and offline. A discussion that includes examining dynamics within the broader Genealogy community? FOR SURE but not exclusive to it!

Race-issues swirling inside the Genealogy community thrive due to society’s acceptance of race disparities as they apply to People of Color in general. Racism persists because society grants a select few permission to perpetuate it — and to be fair, because the “select few” make conscious decisions not to acknowledge and change immoral artifacts inherited from our blemished history.

Mainstream Genealogy thought leaders, companies and groups [unfortunately] take their social/engagement queues from peers and the culture at large. The result? A prolific, familiar dysfunction where the interests of People of Color are at worse ignored and at best, tolerated.

If you haven’t already, you must (yes, MUST) checkout Jay Smooth of Colorlines as in 4:38 minutes he breaks down why we’ve made very little headway in having a productive discourse on race — Moving The Race Conversation Forward.

“When we constantly focus only on individual stories it distorts our sense of how racism works. It encourages us to see racism only as the product of overt intentional racist acts by individuals that can be fixed simply by shaming and correcting those individual defects.

And it encourages us to see individual stories of transcending racism as proof that there is no more racism. That if we have a black President and Oprah is a billionaire then there must not be anything else to talk about. And any problems that other People of Color face must be due to deficiencies on their part. It must be a problem with THEM instead of a problem with THE SYSTEM.” – Jay Smooth

Need MORE food for thought? No worries — read our dude Michael Twitty of Afroculinaria spitting Cliven Bundy TRUTH and Michael Skolnick of Global Grind on FIRE about the Sterling comments of earlier this week.

I’m with both Michaels — enough is enough. My patience and tolerance for the level of ignorance People of Color are subjected to — in ANY environment — is G-O-N-E.

GENEALOGY: Diversity In Black & White – The Problem (Part I) | Want to be heard? (347) 838-8307
Time: 6-7PM ET

Let’s talk Good People. It’s ON!

Luckie | #YouGotRoots

ESSENTIAL READING: Moving the Race Conversation Forward Parts I & II by Colorlines


You Got Roots?! Culinary Historian Michael Twitty’s Coming to School Us!

Michael Twitty - AfroculinariaI always marvel at brown/black folks who are at home in their own skin; so comfortable with self they shine BRIGHT in the presence of any audience.

For the American African-descendant that’s no easy task! In a culture yet to make peace with its deeply engrained race-hatred, brown/black children are often encouraged, trained and taught to be anything other than their naturally beautiful selves.

Embracing and loving you in America takes courage — and character. That’s why I dig Culinary Historian Michael Twitty of Afroculinaria so much!

Black. Jewish. Gay. Educator. Activist. Antebellum Chef, fighting for Culinary Justice AND sanctioning his own words too — BLACKIFIED?!

Unapologetic. Brilliant. Gifted. Michael. What’s not to admire?!:)

AAGSAR’s beyond excited to chat with Michael on this Sunday’s (3/9) You Got Roots segment!

From craving Michael’s Lowcountry Many Rivers to Cross fixins, to being moved by his gracious delivery of an Open Letter to Paula Deen, to being schooled on the exploitation of my Slave Ancestors skills and labor via his MAD Symposium lecture. EVERYTHING about Michael Twitty is unexpected, relevant, and authentic!

He’s exactly what a 21st Century Thought Leader should be!

So how does one create a Michael Twitty? Just ask Michael and his glorious Ancestors!:)

Happy Kwanzaa 2013: The Genetics of an American Cook

IGenetics of an American Cook - I
Genetics of an American Cook - II
Genetics of an American Cook - III
Genetics of an American Cook - IV
Genetics of an American Cook - V
Genetics of an American Cook - VI
Genetics of an American Cook - VII
Genetics of an American Cook - VIII
Genetics of an American Cook - IX
Genetics of an American Cook - X
Genetics of an American Cook - XI

You Got Roots. Sunday, March 9 at 6PM ET. Join us! It’s time for SCHOOL y’all!:)

Luckie

Image Source – Artwork by the talented and so sweet, Miyuki


Improve the World… One Real Talk at a Time! You Got Roots?!

13.09.05 Improve the World

You Got Roots?! | Sunday, 2 March 2014 @ 6PM ET | @AAGSARFacebook


#YouGotRoots?! Be Brave Enough…

13.10.18 Conversations That Matter

“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.” – Margaret Wheatley

You Got Roots?! | Sunday, 2 March 2014 @ 6PM ET | @AAGSARFacebook


You Got Roots?! We Do & AAGSAR BlogTalkRadio Too!

Go Hard or Go HomeIt never fails. Anytime an African American person takes a pro-active [vs. passive] posture in discussing matters of racism and cultural bias in a non-black arena, we’re quickly painted with a broad-stroke — race-baiter, fight-starter, antagonist, troublemaker. BULLY!

If you’re a plain-spoken black woman, go ahead and augment your derogatory “coloring” with aggressive, defensive, threatening and volatile too!

This reverse race-card labeling, delivered by the always undeserving accuser is as dependable as clock-work.

It is an unwritten social-rule in our fractured culture — at all times, African American people should apply saint-like passivity, patience and diplomacy when confronting matters of race. We should be stoic; always traveling along the “high-road”. We should implore those denying us the freedoms we deserve with insightful lessons on inclusion and diversity, right?

After 14 years of maintaining an online presence in the genealogy community, and 40+ years of being brown America, I’m rarely shocked by the swirl following one of my “Come to Jesus” Our Georgia Roots blog posts and/or Twitter comments!

Are not the contributions of my once enslaved Ancestors worthy of society’s acknowledgement? As the 21st Century living descendant preserving their legacies, do I not have every right to expect unbiased access to the historic records, resources and technology impacting my ability to successfully trace my ancestry?

As the Great Granddaughter of Ancestors who thrived far beyond the Jim Crow South they survived, and the Granddaughter of Ancestors who in 1963 Marched on Washington believing we’d live the American Dream, you can count on me raising cane about not being a full beneficiary of it in 2014!

The struggle to not weigh down the shoulders of my beautiful brown children with America’s persistent DNA memory of race hatred and fear is exhausting, and witnessing Mamas who look just like me grieve dead sons who look just like mine, leaves me enraged. Damn right I’m going to talk about it!

BlogTalkRadio - You Got Roots?!

When AAGSAR You Got Roots BlogTalkRadio goes live next Sunday evening on March 2 at 6PM ET, expect no less. I make no apologies. I don’t have another 15 years to willingly invest tiptoeing around racially-biased but socially-sensitive feelings.

EDUCATE. ENGAGE. ADVOCATE.

The goal of You Got Roots?! is to gather progressive like-minds [not like-races] in discussions about how we individually and collectively push the dial forward. Genealogy. Technology. Innovation. Education. History. Social Justice. Advocacy. Collaboration. Community. Community. Community!

It’s time to talk y’all! Let’s build TOGETHER.

#GoHARDorGoHOME

Luckie | You Got Roots?!


Mississippi State Legislature 1874-75

Mississippi Legislature 1874-75WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE.


Video: Michael Twitty on Culinary Injustice at…

Michael Twitty - MAD Symposium

EDUCATE. ENGAGE. ADVOCATE. –> Michael TWITTY of Afroculinaria #ENLIGHTENING

Afroculinaria

http://madfeed.co/post/68180788986/michael-twitty-mad3

THE VIDEO OF THE MAD SYMPOSIUM03 “GUTS” TALK IS UP!  Click link above to watch 🙂

Excerpt from the MAD feed blog:

The culinary historian Michael Twitty has dedicated his career to celebrating the people whose culinary and agricultural contributions to America have been misappropriated throughout history. In August, Twitty spoke at MAD, imploring the audience to take an honest look at our gastronomic past, so that we might be able to bridge “pseudo-boundaries of race”, as well as restore “the emotional and ethical tone” of the food that we make.

For Twitty, it all starts by acknowledging culinary injustice. At a time when the gastronomy of the American South is in the global limelight, for example, Twitty wants to remind us that there is culinary injustice in the fact that the slaves who made those food ways possible haven’t gotten enough credit. According to him, an even deeper…

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Rare Historical Find! Liljenquist Civil War Photographs Collection ~ Library of Congress

Liljenquist Collection - Unidentified African American soldier in Union Zouave uniform

If you haven’t seen the AMAZING collection of Civil War images donated to the Library of Congress in 2010 by the Liljenquist Family, you are missing a historical treat!

The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs contains 1220+ ambrotypes and tintypes portrait photographs capturing both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865), including many portraits of African American Soldiers!

The Liljenquist Collection Summary:

More than 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The photographs often show weapons, hats, canteens, musical instruments, painted backdrops, and other details that enhance the research value of the collection. Among the most rare images are sailors, African Americans in uniform, Lincoln campaign buttons, and portraits of soldiers with their families and friends.

Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the 620,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like. See “From the Donor’s Perspective–The Last Full Measure” for the full story.

The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010 and continues to add to it. In addition to the ambrotypes and tintypes, the collection also includes several manuscripts, patriotic envelopes, photographs on paper, and artifacts related to the Civil War.

Take your time and go through the collection. You never know when you might find a long, lost Ancestor.

Luckie

References:


King’s DREAM. Sandra’s HOPE. A Community’s WORK. #DREAMFORWARD

Dr. Martin Luther KING Jr. On Wednesday January 15th, 2014 the world will pause in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 85th birthday.

As a Nation, we will never forget Dr. King’s life and civic legacy.

As a person of color, whose southern-born Grandparents vested in the hope of the Civil Rights Movement, I can never detach from King’s Dream.

A multi-hued, non-violent army [that included my Ancestors] marched, rode, stood, sat, walked and suffered for a shared Dream. Dr. King gave his life fighting for the People’s Dream.

As beneficiaries of The Movement, we’re often viewed as the fulfillment of King’s Dream. But I ask, are we really?

Are we the fruit of the Civil Rights Movement if we’ve dismissed its most fundamental principle – service to our community? In 2014, are we living or merely reciting Dr. King’s Dream?

What are we doing to help others?

On January 15th 2010, historian Sandra TALIAFERRO penned her favorite blog post, A Friend Of Friends: Lessons From The Underground Railroad.

Sandra’s Roots The Gift narrative is one of hope for descendants on either side of a blemished history to rise and work collectively beyond it.

AFoF sparked in all of us. It was a catalyst leading to racially-mixed discussions on the research responsibility of slavery’s descendants, black and white.

AFoF prompted me to create the Carnival of African American Genealogy (CoAAG) and host its 1st Edition Restore My Name – Slave Records & Genealogy Research, a cross-cultural sharing of slave-related records.  And with CoAAG’s success, we went further to keep the exchange flowing with the launch of A Friend of Friends, a repository of slave documents researchers could contribute to and access online.

We knew oft times overlooked and/or dismissed historic documents, are the key to our research-challenged Slave Ancestry. We hoped our efforts would make a lasting difference.

King a world changer. Sandra a culture changer. Both Dreamers in a society capable of self-correcting its flaws.

Be true keepers of King’s Dream and Sandra’s hope, today. Accept the truth, we must change the world from where we stand. The work is OURS.

On January 15th for the 6th Edition Carnival of African American Genealogy, we’ll pledge dreams for the future via our #DREAMFORWARD Tumblr. Dreams big and small we’ll marry with ACTION in the days and years ahead.

Sandra friends will carry her community hope forward by reblogging her A Friend Of Friends: Lessons From The Underground Railroad wish and continuing the work of fostering a research community where Ancestors of all descendants are acknowledged and respected.

Please join us for BOTH!:)

All RACES. All AGES. One PURPOSE. #DREAMFORWARD


Thanks To You AAGSAR’s #BLOGFEST2014 Was EPIC!:)

Dora KOONCE & son, James HARDY(EN) KOONCEI’d searched ALL DAY for the word to sum up my feelings regarding our first New Year’s #BLOGFEST – We Call Your Name event. Then after the tweets died down and we were all descending from our Ancestors clouds, Bernita (still a NEW KID herself) of Voices Inside My Head nailed it, “BLOGFEST was epic!”.

It was indeed. I’ve never in all my years of researching genealogy, felt more connected to a body of work, than I do today. I never planned on it, have frequently complained about it, and sometimes [almost] get up the nerve to question the Ancestors why they have me doing it. But I know this work is Divine, and I’m so thankful to be a part of bringing not just my, but MANY Ancestors out of the dark. They are SHINING. BREATHING. REJOICING!

I’m hard on you NEW KIDS because I need you to embrace fully the responsibility [and joy] that rests on your shoulders. And should the day come I take hiatus, I want you equipped with EVERYTHING you need to push your Ancestors, and our collective Community FORWARD.

NEW KIDS your work will bloom and spread. Many will follow your lead. If you call them, Ancestors and newly connected Cousins will come (in my best James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams voice). You’ve shifted the landscape and narrative of our genealogy research FOREVER.

I thank you AAGSAR for tolerating, listening to and supporting me. You’ve been the vehicle my Mama sent to keep my heart beating.

Thanks to Kristin of Finding Eliza for penning the BEAUTIFUL Ancestor Homage, We Call Your Name and sister, Pearl CLEAGE for the poem contribution from We Speak Your Names”.

Thanks to the genealogy community for continuing to champion our Ancestor work!:)

If you have ANY doubt about the significance of this time and work, spend a moment reading the We Call Your Name comments and visiting all the remarkable Ancestor Blogs introduced.

A New Year. A Fresh Start. I’m clear now.

No complaining about the weight of the work or worrying about who understands [or supports] the effort. Just enjoying the gift of being able to help descendants and Ancestors find their way, while they help me to find mine.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

Yeah, 2014 is going to be EPIC!:)

Luckie

P.S. Please make sure to visit Ms. Dora and her son James KOONCE via Stones, Rainbows and Doves. Our girl Joanie worked EXTRA hard to afford her Ancestors their rightful time to shine! Well done Joanie!:)