African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

USING ROOTSWEB: In Search of African American Root

One wintry February evening James ROBINSON decided to rent a DVD (Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) to watch. The weather forecast was for more than a foot of snow, so he decided on the mini- series "Roots." Based on the book by Alex Haley, it first appeared on television in 1977 -- before James was even born. After all, February is Black History month in the U.S. and James figured it would be a good chance to learn about the experiences of his ancestors. He knew the storm could result in his being snowbound long enough to warrant his investment of time in viewing the mini-series as opposed to a shorter movie. There was a strong oral tradition that had been passed down from generation to generation in James' family but until the night he gathered his young family together to watch "Roots," he'd never really considered attempting to supplement the family stories with actual documentation. The family watched the mini-series with intense attention and were deeply moved by what could have been their ancestors' life stories. To say that James was now motivated to learn the facts surrounding his own family history would be an understatement, but he didn't know where to begin. This looked like it might be a starting point but would there be any special help there for tracing African American roots? James suspected his search would not be an easy one. He knew he might be dealing with finding slave owner names and that he'd be attempting to trace a history when often only first names would have been used by his ancestors. Moreover, James really didn't know how his family had come to use the surname ROBINSON but he wanted to find out. James clicked on a link for African American information in the RootsWeb Guide:


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