Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Proactive Response from AfriGeneas Chat

Every Sunday morning, on AfriGeneas, a group of African American focused researchers meet for our Sunday Morning Brunch chat.  All topics are open from latest genealogy finds, challenges, issues, concerns. Sunday's chat was similar and it was a lively one.

Many  members shared enthusiasm about the presentation on Slave era research on Blog Radio that aired earlier this week on the Bernice Bennet hosted program. 

The discussion then turned to upcoming events, including the NGS Conference for 2012. Of interest was the fact that only one speaker out of four presenting African American subjects, is actually African American. Much discussion arose asking why this was the case, and what the possible reasons were.

Some of the dialogue involved a good discussion of the actual presence of African American genealogists on a national level. 

Is there a strong presence of African American researchers? 
Are we submitting proposals as much as we can and should be?  
Is there an effort to overlook presenters who are persons of color?  
Is there a policy of inclusion or of exclusion?  If there is exclusion is this intentional or by design?

Discussion then turned to observations that on a national level that there are persons who are emerging as recognized "authorities" on African American research, who are not a part of the community.  But again,
is this an area of concern, and should it be?

Well before such question can be answered, self exploration has to be addressed.

The question arose then, where are we, researchers of color in the greater genealogical community? I must say that I was quite proud of the group and of the dialogue. The chat could have turned into a gripe session, but it actually became a truly insightful and a thought provoking one.

Questions asked:
How many of us, in the community support other researchers?
How many of us write?
How many of us teach?
And how many of us share?

When we see an article of interest, do we admire and just say, "how nice" or do we share the article with others or a large scale?

Do we make an effort to also acknowledge other researchers or do we simply speak or write (or tweet)  about ourselves?

Many of us are active on Twitter, Facebook, Genealogy Wise and other places. Are we actively sharing information that we glean from our colleagues?

Quite a few of us in the discussion mentioned that we are active on some of the social networks and it was noted that we could use them all more energetically. There is a possibility that we might be invisible to others because we are also indivisible to ourselves!

So, we made a decision to truly become active--to show support of all researchers, to re-tweet messages of interest to the historical and genealogical community.

Many admitted that they do not always re-tweet posts and fewer even used the hashtag feature. Few use the #genealogy group and fewer have considered creating a new group of their own.

So why not create a group for those who research persons of color?
This would include persons of African Ancestry as well as other backgrounds also of color.
This would/could include those who research persons from other communities, and countries.
The concept of inclusion means inclusion on our own parts, just as much as inclusion by others. And sometimes inclusion also means embracing those outside of our own small circles.

A hashtag group was formed as a result:  #POCGenealogy

Those who have data to share on persons in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and and elsewhere, are welcomed to place, queries, notices, articles and website in this group.

After several hours several dozen posts emerged on Twitter with the new hashtag group.

It is hoped that many will embrace the interest in posting African American focused genealogy and history posts!
We begin by sharing.
We grow by promoting
and We are empowered by each other.


Taneya said...

excellent idea to start a hashtag. yes!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

I think so too, and the response has been a good one!

J said...

Great post, and a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! An idea long overdue!
I'll be using that that hashtag from now on!

Peace & Blessings,
"Guided by the Ancestors"