By Charles E. Wilson (SIG Leader)
Overview of 23 Sep 2023 Black Family History Presentations
Taneya Koonce’s presentation on researching Black family history from 1900-1950 emphasized key resources like newspapers, businesses, churches, and schools for understanding the vibrant communities our ancestors built during this pivotal era. She provided examples of specific archives and databases to search for insights into daily life and personal experiences.
KB Barcomb’s presentation on researching Black World War II veterans highlighted important historical contexts around military service and discrimination that shaped ancestors' experiences. She stressed creating a timeline and focusing on "service vitals" as strategies to search records effectively. KB covered diverse military collections, units, and resources to explore, from draft cards to casualty lists to transport arrivals in digitized newspapers.
Adrienne Whaley’s presentation on researching Black women from 1900-1950 spotlighted specialized resources like funeral programs, oral histories, organizational records, and photography collections that can provide rich details about female ancestors' lives. She encouraged using tightly focused books and articles to understand context, as well as looking beyond national organizations to local chapters and communities. Adrienne emphasized the diverse aspects of Black women's lives - from education and employment to religion, activism, and beyond - that historical records and repositories can illuminate.
Overall, the presentations provided an excellent introduction to key records, strategies, and contextual resources for tracing underdocumented African American experiences in the first half of the 20th century. By sharing research insights and supporting each other, our group has an opportunity to uncover incredible stories of resilience from this era and give voice to both individuals and communities. I look forward to our collaborative journey!
Black Family History Group: Questions for thought:
Tanyea Koonce’s Presentation
- What stood out to you most from the newspapers, publications, and other resources Taneya recommended? Were there any you weren't previously aware of?
- Taneya highlighted the importance of community institutions like schools, churches, and businesses during this time period. How might learning more about these local institutions help you fill in details about your ancestors' lives?
- Have you worked with any of the newspaper archives or digital collections Taneya suggested? What strategies or search tips would you recommend for getting the most out of them?
- Were there any particular time periods or geographical regions relevant to your family that you'd like to explore more deeply between 1900-1950? What resources might help with that?
- How much have you worked with census records for African American research? Any insights on using the 'Race' filter that Taneya mentioned?
- What are some ways we could collaborate or support each other in exploring these resources further?
KB Barcomb’s Presentation
- What key contexts or events related to Black military service during WWII stood out to you from KB's presentation? Were there any you weren't previously aware of?
- KB emphasized creating a timeline for your ancestor as an important first step. How might focusing on your ancestor's timeline help you more effectively search records and identify relevant historical events?
- The presentation covered a wide array of records like draft cards, enlistments, casualty lists, and more. Which of these seem most useful for your own research? Are there any you want to learn more about using?
- For those with ancestors who served, what are some ways we could help each other search for and analyze their records? Are there any formats, like sharing timelines, that could be beneficial?
- KB highlighted the Double V campaign and its significance. How might learning more about the Double V initiative help add context to your ancestor's experience?
- Were there any resources or strategies KB recommended that you found particularly helpful or want to learn more about?
Adrienne Whaley’s Presentation
- What types of sources or records from Adrienne's presentation most intrigued you or seemed most relevant to your own research?
- Adrienne highlighted the importance of using tightly focused books and articles to understand the context of our female ancestors' lives. How might this targeted contextual research help you fill in details about their communities, challenges, and triumphs?
- The presentation covered a wide array of sources like funeral programs, oral histories, manuscripts, photographs, and more. Are there any you want to learn more strategies for finding and using effectively?
- For those researching female ancestors, what are some ways we could collaborate to locate records and resources? Are there any formats for sharing our findings that could be beneficial?
- Adrienne emphasized looking not only for national organizations, but also state and local groups and chapters. How might casting a wide net help you better understand your ancestors' involvement in religious, social, and activist organizations?
- Were there any specific resources mentioned, like certain archives or collections, that you want to explore further?
- What are some ways we could support each other in piecing together the diverse aspects of our female ancestors' lives using the types of sources Adrienne outlined?