Friday, September 28, 2012

So, Why Do I Blog?

A collage of my three blogs

A good conversation emerged today in one of the Facebook groups that I have joined. The question arose around the topic of writing and sharing. One participant admitted that she was not yet ready to blog and a bit nervous about it. I jumped into the dialogue and hope that I was able to encourage her to do so.  

I fully understood her point, she was hesitant and did not yet feel that she could blog. Then I thought about it-and I truly wanted to know why I have become so engaged in the blogs that I have. Now, I don't post in them all the time, and they each very different types of blogs. And though I don't post daily or weekly, they are still very important to me, and I decided to explain why. I realized why I have found blogging to be so special--it gives me the platform to share my stories.

As genealogists we all know that everyone does not share our passion.
Everyone we meet does not know the feeling of euphoria we get when we make "the big find".
Not everyone wants to hear how hard it is to find Mariah.  BUT---a fellow genealogist does!

We know the "rush" we get when we are on the trail, but we also know the emotion we feel when we find someone long sought. 

We all know how we felt when we first got started and we found the gr. grandparents in the early 20th century and we did the math when we saw their ages. We know the emotion when we realized that we were looking at someone who had been born enslaved. And when we follow that ancestor back in time to 1870---and we see the family a mere five years into freedom, we know how we felt that first time we saw that--and we want to tell everyone.

But---we also know that everyone does not share the passion.

But---there is comfort, because there is a family that wants to read about what you have found. 

There is a community that wants to read HOW I found Uncle Sephus, or WHY I was so captivated by Madam Martha Hockenhull. There are others who are excited to hear about my journey documenting a man called Spottswood Rice, and his journey to freedom and life as a dynamic AME leader. I even have a new friend whom I have never met, trying to locate the ruins of an all African American academy called Tushka Lusa Academy that thrived in the Choctaw Nation. And another friend---whom I have never met has also developed curiosity in a mysterious Black settlement that existed for several decades  in the late 1800s and early 1900s and then it disappeared. The new friend has himself become interested, and is visiting old courthouses to examine land records to see if he can also learn more.

I have tons of stories to tell and blogging allows me to share them.  

My hope is that in some way the people who were affiliated with these places will be known. 

I hope that in a small way that the names of these people who are ancestors to someone, will have their names called once again.  

My hope is that I can provide the platform so that  yes, we can call their names.

I guess that is why I blog.

"An ancestor never dies till there is no one left to call their name."
~African proverb~


Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,

I'm in the choir, for sure, and you already know that.

Sometimes we need to take the time to support and nurture the new converts to the genealogy and family history world.

I hope the new ones find your blogs and podcast. They will be treated to a gifted and brilliant mentor.

Keep doin' what you doin'!

Peace & Blessings,
"Guided by the Ancestors"

MesRacinesFamiliales said...

Very interesting your article. I'm sharing the same point of view.
twitter: @benetit92

Mariann Regan said...

Dear Angela, Thank you for this blog and for the inspiration I received in reading it. You make me realize that in addition to our bloodline families whom we research, we also can form families of readers, with common genealogical interests. I've blogged for only a few months, and I like the mutual nurturing that goes on between bloggers.

I just saw your youtube video about Homeplace, the magazine of the Old Edgefield District African-American Genealogy Society. Google Maps showed me that Edgefield District is west of Columbia. My ancestors, Frasers and Kirvens, were in Columbia, Sumter, and Darlington, and alas, some owned slaves. From our history, I'm fairly sure that I have relatives of mixed race. I've found a living relative, I believe, and am trying to contact him now. He is 85 years old.

Thank you for your well-expressed optimism!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Thank you for your very kind words! I appreciate hearing from you.

I also appreciate that you are reaching out to some of your "new" cousins, and I hope that your contact with the 85 year old goes well.