February 5, 2004, the African American Genealogy Connection, Inc., requested that the City of New Orleans Proclaim February 8th - `4th as Genealogy Awareness Week. In honor of Black History Month, Antoinette Harrell and Karran Harper Royal host of Nurturing Our Roots Genealogy Educational Talk Show would like to encourage African American families to study their own family through self-discovery.
Genealogy can help a person who is researching their family history look at the local history, the community their ancestors and family lived in. What kind of occupations did they have? Did they attend school? Where did they attend church? Certainly not omitting the local politics and business matters of the community your family lived in.
Sharing photographs, memories, and family stories can strengthen and bring the family closer. This week in Honor of Black History, I would like to honor my own family and extended community in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana by blogging, sharing photographs, conducting new interviews and lastly placing new information in the archival collections. Some families still have the original photographs from the early 1900s in their collection. Almost everyone that I have interviewed has a funeral program collection. Several people family member passed away and they inherited all the photographs and other records. Let me just say that I'm glad they are sharing them with me.
This year is the fourteen year anniversary since this Proclamation was proclaimed Genealogy Awareness Week. How quickly the time went by! My youngest son was twelve-years-old at the time. The Florida Parishes was home to my ancestors and family on my paternal and maternal side of the family. Because I lived in the Florida Parishes it makes my search very easy for me when I need to travel to the genealogy library and courthouse to research records. I want to also point out that helping others in the community understand the importance of preserving their family history is vital to the history of the Florida Parishes from an African-American perspective.
|New Orleans City Council Proclaimed|
Feb 8th-14th as Genealogy Awareness Week
The history of African-Americans in the Florida Parishes is at large an undocumented history. We can't have the history of the Florida Parishes without the history of African-American people who history is interwoven in the history of Florida Parishes.
Hard working men and women who faced the many challenges of oppression to triumphs during slavery and Jim Crow. Many who knew the faces of segregation and its effects on them and their families. Some left the Bayou State of Louisiana, leaving the agricultural fields in search of a better life up north in the 1920s. Many returned after retirement and some never returned. When it was time to come home to visit, they looked forward to coming back south to visit their family members. One thing I learned during this journey of self-discovery is that it never ends. I spend countless hours in my home office researching and preparing photographs and other records for electronic archiving and the university.