July 8-10, 2014 I attended the second (my first) Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) in St. Louis Missouri. . It was held on the beautiful campus of Harris-Stowe State University, an historically Black public university.
The rallying challenge -- So What? -- was a real wake-up call. This question forces you to really dissect that printed page of a document. You have a document from your ancestor -- so what? -- how are you going to process that information, pick apart that information, what exactly does it mean, where else will it lead you?
There have been so many times that I was so proud of myself for finding and/or acquiring a document about an ancestor. But I never realized that it was just one step among many in genealogy research. That document is not the end all be all.
The Institute offered four tracks. Track 1: Fundamental Methods & Strategies for African American Research; Track 2: Technology and Social Media; Track 3: Pre & Post Emancipation Records Track 4: Genealogy As a Profession.
I took Track 1 which was coordinated by Dr. Shelley Murphy, who along with presenters, Thomas MacEntee; Judy Russell, and Bernice Bennett, kept the class spellbound with their presentations.
My brain is fried but I'm on a new genealogy mission -- So What?
|Sandra Williams Bush, top row, second from left|
I am proud to be a member of the second annual Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute -- Class of 2014. In the spirit of "Each one, teach one", I refuse to hold on to what I have learned. I will share information with my group, Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora, and others interested in genealogy. I look forward to MAAGI 2015!