Projects

History Unscripted: Profiles in Racial Justice PT1

A 10 year old boy. A pregnant woman. A man executed for an alleged rape. All denied due process and justice. All dead. All Black. Let the stories, context, documents, and family histories be the guide to unearth the truth. “This isn’t us.” No, this has always been us. Tune into the premiere of episode 121, History: Unscripted – Profiles in Racial Justice, Part I on Tuesday, September 29 at 6pm Pacific, 8pm Central, 9pm Eastern at http://bit.ly/30m8Wo2

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New Updates Coming at AncestryDNA!

Nicka Smith shares some new updates with AncestryDNA

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Online Database for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Property Records

I’ll probably do a more in-depth post, video or even both on property record research using this database, but I just wanted to share with you all one site that has been really helpful for me when searching for property records for my Baldwin County Alabama ancestors and relatives. With Delta Computer Systems (deltacomputersystems.com)  you can search two Louisiana Parishes, 12 Alabama counties, 48 Mississippi counties and two Mississippi cities. I am only focused on Baldwin County right now so I am not sure what information the other areas provide, if there are any fees for accessing records or how far they go back in record search. I know the Baldwin County site goes back until the early 1900s and some of the records on the site are free to search and download.

I find the Baldwin County site is pretty easy to use, I just put in the last name of the person I am searching for in the search box,  in return I get a list of names, type of record, file date and the actual record in a PDF or TIF version. I can narrow down the list of names but I keep it broad so I can browse others in the area with the particular surname I am looking for.

I do not live anywhere close to the state of Alabama so accessing these records would either have to be done in person when I take my research/road trips or by having  someone search for me. Having free access to this site makes it 10 times easier, I know the Baldwin County records are constantly updated so I am sure to check the site at least once a month. If you are doing research in Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi in these specific counties or cities definitely visit Delta Computer Systems to see what property information you can find for your family over the internet.

 

 

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Black Female Cyclist

Keeping with the theme of black female cycling, I found three articles about black cyclist in the 19th century. If you didn’t know, newspapers are like a goldmine, jammed packed with some much useful information when you are embarking on your research journey.

 Anyway take a look at these interesting clips (all from newspapers.com)

 

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Five Black Women Cycle 250 miles in 1928.

 

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Photo: Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, 1928. Addison Scurlock, photographer. Photographcourtesy of the Smithsonian Institution. (

Have you heard about the five black women who biked from NYC to D.C. in 1928?  Don’t worry if you haven’t, I didn’t know about them either until I started doing some research.  

Last year I posted an article about scorchers click here to view that post. Within that post, I posted a picture of myself in my black Girls Do Bike cycling gear. I have been cycling as an adult for the past three years and I love every bit of it. From the freedom I get from riding long and short distances to the comradery among the other cyclist.  I truly enjoy it.  “You are one ride away from a good mood.” -Sarah Bentley. 

Anyway, I wanted to find more article and stories about black cyclist in the 19th and 20th centuries. So I went straight to google and came across a podcast episode of The Bicycle Story,  which featured Historian Marya McQuirter, she spoke about uncovering this story of the five women. After listening to the episode I went to newspapers.com to see what I could find about the ride. 

Easter Weekend, 1928 in New York City five ladies; Marylou Jackson, a student at Hunter College, Velva Jackson, a nurse at Gramercy Hospital,  Ethyl Miller, a public school teacher, Leolya Nelson director of Physical Education for the Y.W.C.A (Young Women’s Christian Association ) and Constance White a student at Sargent School of Physical Training (The New York Age 14 Apr 1928, Sat) embarked on a 250 mile bicycle journey to Washington D.C.  in three days.  According to The New York Age newspaper article from April, 14 1928 I found, the group left Manhattan at 6AM on Good Friday, April 6. The first day of their trip they rode 110 miles to Philadelphia and were able to stay at the Philadelphia branch of the Y.W.C.A. This first destination could have taken them anywhere from 10 to 16 hours depending on how many times they stopped and how long those stops were. Saturday, April 7, the ladies rode a much shorter distance to Wilmington, Delaware, that ride could have taken them anywhere from 2 to 5 hours again depending on frequency and duration of stops and location.(google mapped hours and distance) The shorter ride from Philly to Wilmington gave the women an opportunity to rest and recharge. Easter Sunday, April 8, the ladies rode about 10 or so hours give or take to Washington, D.C. (google mapped hours and distance).  According to the article the ladies reached D.C. about 9PM  and once the ladies arrived they visited sites like the White House, Potomac Park  and the campus of Howard University.  According to Historian Marya McQuirter, the women stayed the night at a Y.W.C.A in D.C. and took the train back from D.C. to New York with their bicycles. 

Marylou, Velva, Ethyl, Constance and Leolya were brave, they didn’t let their fears hold them back from going on a great adventure and doing something they enjoyed. According to the article the ladies challenged any women 21 years or older to take the same trip and do it in less time. 

I definitely feel inspired to go on a similar adventure 🤔

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The New York Age
New York, New York
14 Apr 1928, Sat  •  Page 6

 

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BlackProGen LIVE! Ep 116: 2020 Midwest African American Genealogy Institute

 

MAAGI goes virtual, “Take a bird’s eye look into the 2020 Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) from the perspective of the students and alumni.”

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BlackProGen LIVE! Ep 114: In Case Stuff: Using Insurance Records in Genealogy Research

“There literally has been insurance for just about anything and that means there’s also a lengthy paper trail! Learn how you can utilize insurance records to trace the enslavement of ancestors, track occupations for ancestors, and get a bird’s eye view into the everyday lives of the family members you’re researching.”

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BlackProGen LIVE! Ep 112: The Count: Behind the 1920 and 1930 US Census

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BlackProGen LIVE! Ep 110: Court Records for People of Color Family History Research

In case you missed the episode 110 be sure to watch the video below.

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Ancestors Binder

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