Monday, March 4, 2013

Highlights of the Emancipation Proclamation Symposium and the March Genealogy Seminar

AAHGS Metro Atlanta chapter enjoyed another active Black History Month! On Saturday, February 9, in partnership with the National Archives, AAHGS-ATL hosted the Emancipation Proclamation Symposium at the National Archives - Atlanta. Over 200 attended and enjoyed a spectacular program that included a panel discussion and informative presentations by Hari Jones, Hermina Glass Avery Hill, Velma “Maia” Thomas, Anthony Baker, and Dr. Lisa Bratton. Exhibits showcasing African Americans in military service in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, and the Spanish-American War adorned the room with table displays of the Tuskegee Airmen, African Americans in the American Revolution, and other military-related materials.  A videographer taped attendees discussing their genealogy searches and how the Emancipation Proclamation's legacy impacted their family after slavery. Genealogists also displayed the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the lives of their ancestors. The program also included re-enactors from the 44th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops, Indian War re-enactors from the 9th and 10th Cavalry (the Buffalo Soldiers).

Hari Jones, curator of the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., lectured on “Addition of a Powerful Ally,” which analyzed Abraham Lincoln’s policy and the little-known impact of African American soldiers on the Union war effort.

Maria Marable-Bunch (center), Director of Education and Public Programs, National Archives, Washington, D.C.; and author-historian Velma "Maia" Thomas enjoyed the program.

Marvin Greer re-enacted and recited the words of abolitionist Major Martin Delaney of the 52nd United States Colored Troops (USCT).

Young genealogists Justice Cadet, Aleeza Cadet, Namilla Cadet, and Sydney Floyd (at podium) re-enacted “Watch Night” on New Year’s Eve 1862, when enslaved African Americans awaited midnight for the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect.

Panel discussion with panelists Hari Jones (speaking), Velma “Maia” Thomas, Hermina Glass Avery Hill, and Anthony Baker.

9th and 10th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers), Atlanta, GA

Dr. Lisa Bratton, Tuskegee University professor and AAHGS Metro Atlanta chapter member, presented "The Place for Which Our Fathers Sighed: Black Americans from Reconstruction and Beyond."

Gwen Napier re-enacted abolitionist Harriet Tubman, accompanied by USCT re-enactor and soloist Dan Moffat.

Michael Adams, community activist, read the Emancipation Proclamation.

Re-enactors of the 44th United States Colored Troops of Chattanooga, TN showed a representative bivouac setup in one of the Archives' rooms.

Anthony Baker, Professor at the John Marshall Law School, Atlanta, GA, discussed "A Sad, Sad Victory of the Emancipation Proclamation."

More pictures of the Emancipation Proclamation Symposium can be seen here

On Saturday, March 1, many AAHGS Metro Atlanta chapter members participated in “Genealogical Methodology: The Basics and Beyond,” a March genealogy seminar that was hosted by the Georgia Genealogical Society. It was held at the Russell Special Collections Library on the University of Georgia campus in Athens.   This seminar was led by Deborah Abbott, Ph.D. and covered (1) Going Beyond the Basics: Vital Records & Related Sources, (2) Using and Analyzing the U.S. Federal Censuses, (3) Using Libraries and Archives, and (4) Voices from the Past: Using Manuscripts.

Dr. Abbott is a past president of the African-American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio (AAGS) and is a retired professor of counseling from Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio.  She is an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University (Birmingham, AL). She has presented lectures at a variety of local genealogical societies, libraries, schools, and churches throughout northeast Ohio and the surrounding states.

This is a group photo with Dr. Abbott and AAHGS Metro Atlanta chapter members. Dr. Abbott is towards the right in the front row wearing eyeglasses. A few more members were there, but they left before this was taken at the end of the day.

All pictures by William Durant.

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