Monday, January 31, 2011

Watch as Vanessa Williams discovers Civil War record and photo of ancestor on WDYTYA

Many of my Twitter and Facebooks friends are tweeting and posting about the next episode of WDYTYA.  The first show of the new season kicks off with Vanessa Williams when will make great discovery on NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are,” which premiered February 4th at 8pm/7 C.  Watch her discover the record and photo of an ancestor who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  He was never a slave.

This is quite exciting for those of us working to document and tell the stories of ancestors from this time period.  







About Road Trip! Through SC Civil Rights History

This is an awesome resource for SC Civil Rights history shared on Twitter today by @Knowitall, South Carolina Educational Television's educational web portal, a collection of interactive K-12 websites for students, teachers, and parents.

Some of my extended family had family who actually signed the signed the Briggs v. Elliot petition!
Road Trip!

"Road Trip! Through South Carolina Civil Rights History is an interactive Web site designed to help teachers and students learn about the people, events and importance of the civil rights movement in South Carolina from the 1940s to the early 1970s." About Road Trip! Through SC Civil Rights History
My favorite part of the site are the interviews with people who participated in the Civil Rights movement.  This interactive website is a definite 10!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 National Black History Month Theme: "African Americans and the Civil War"

I just came across the announcement that according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History who founded Black History Month, the theme for 2011 is "African Americans and the Civil War."  I am so pleased that the ASALH, will also focus on educating everyone about the contributions African Americans made as soldiers in the Civil War.

Association for the Study of African American Life


It is equally wonderful to see they are already counting down to Black History Month on Facebook and Twitter! I have connected in both places so that I will be able to keep up with the great information and resources they share during February.







Hopefully we will make great strides toward correcting all the misconceptions out there such as:
  • African Americans did not participate to a great extent in the war that won their freedom Wrong!
  • A significant number African Americans willfully fought on the side of the Confederacy Wrong!
  • African Americans were not able to understand the concept or principles of freedom. Wrong!
  •  President Lincoln entered the war for the purpose of ending slavery. Wrong!
  • African Americans were not involved in fighting for liberty before the Civil War.Wrong!
These are all fallacies.  We will work to correct them and the other untruths which are prevalent today.  We must work to restore our own stories so the correct version of history is told.

Countdown:  3 DAYS until Black History Month!


Restoring African American contributions to Civil War memory

Well we are nearing the end of January!  Already do you say?  My sentiments exactly, but we are not procrastinating by any means with commemorating the war that one our freedom.  We will also be examining other related topics:

  • Slavery
  • North vs South
  • Fugitive and Freeman
  • Politics
  • Emancipation
  • Reconstruction
  • Find Your Ancestor
  • Abolitionists
Just follow the links at the top of this page if you are trying to keep up.  I am so pleased to have been able to write about some of the first troops and regiments in the Civil War section of this site and to encourage those who have been struggling with documenting ancestors on Find Your Ancestor.

As I scope the current topics in the news, I realize we still have a long way to go when it comes to restoring African American contributions to the collective Civil War Memory.  We are absent from too many historical discussions, and far to many untruths are yet being perpetuated.

So what is the solution?  It is up to us to research our ancestors during the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras.  We can combine our family's oral history with those findings and tell our own stories.  I hope that everyone finds a renewed desire to do the hard work of finding and sharing.  We are waiting to celebrate with you.

By sharing your findings, you will be helping others.  I salute you for your recent efforts.  Be sure that you tweet your blog posts or share them here or in the About Our Freedom Facebook Community so we do not miss your great contributions.  Your history is our history!

We announced our first About Our Freedom Award for 2011!  Angela Y. Walton-Raji has contributed volumes to educating others who are researching.  She therefore was awarded an About Our Freedom Medal for Education instead of the badge.  You can read about her remarkable ancestor, Sephus Bass: 

Notify me about your post on a Civil War or Reconstruction Era ancestor whom you documented and wrote about.   We are looking for our second entry to present a medal or this badge:

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