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AUTHOR EVENT: Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery, Joseph McGill Jr. and Herb Frazier

June 11, 2024

In this enlightening personal account, a man steeped in our country’s history and myths tells the story of his groundbreaking Slave Dwelling project—his surprising mission to sleep overnight in former slave dwellings that still stand across the United States. His account reveals the fascinating history behind these sites and sheds light on larger issues of race in America.

LECTURE: Paths to Freedom: Tracing Enslaved Ancestors to Emancipation

June 6, 2024

Most famously, people used the Underground Railroad to escape the bonds of slavery, but other enslaved people turned to legal channels through “freedom suits,” paid for self-manumission. Join 10 Million Names Volunteer Coordinator Danielle Rose to learn about the many invaluable collections of historical records that provide accounts (sometimes firsthand) of formerly enslaved individuals.

LECTURE: Louisiana Research: Go-To Published Resources

May 30, 2024

Louisiana has a unique cultural history that has shaped its available record sets, and published resources are essential for genealogists navigating family history research in the state. There are treasure troves of resources including parish records and histories, genealogies, and published records relating to land, tax, military, enslavement, and more.

AUTHOR EVENT: Rachel Jamison Webster with Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family

April 2, 2024

Join us on an unforgettable genealogical quest – an author’s exploration of her family and its history, brought to life in Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family, named a Best Book of the Year by the New Yorker. Don’t miss Rachel Webster’s presentation and conversation with historian Kendra Field about her experience connecting with relatives across lines of color, culture, and time.

LECTURE: Introducing 10 Million Names: Recover. Restore. Remember.

February 12, 2024

There are at least 44 million descendants of enslaved individuals living today, but slavery separated families, erased names, and obscured facts. Hear from Dr. Vincent Brown, Dr. Kendra Field, and Dr. Kerri Greenidge, members of the 10 Million Names scholars council, as they share histories and legacies of slavery in New England, the ongoing research of the 10 Million Names project, and ways to get involved.

LECTURE: Finding Enslaved African American Ancestors in New England

February 1, 2024

Slavery in New England played a significant role in the region's early history. Cities like Boston and Newport were important ports for the transatlantic slave trade, with ships bringing enslaved Africans to be sold throughout the colonies. Join 10 Million Names Volunteer Coordinator Danielle Rose to learn more about the history of slavery and emancipation in New England, what records exist that detail the names and stories of these enslaved Africans, and strategies to help work through common research hurdles will also be discussed.

AUTHOR EVENT: Rachel L. Swarns with The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the Catholic Church

January 30, 2024

In this groundbreaking account, journalist, author, and professor Rachel L. Swarns follows one family through nearly two centuries of indentured servitude and enslavement to uncover the harrowing origin story of the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the saga of the Mahoney family, she demonstrates how slavery fueled the growth of the American Catholic Church and shines a light on the enslaved people whose forced labor helped to build the largest denomination in the nation.

LECTURE: Researching Black Soldiers in the Civil War

November 9, 2023

By the conclusion of the American Civil War, an estimated 179,000 Black men had served in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 in the Navy. In this online lecture, Researcher Jonathan Hill will provide an overview of the records and tools that can be used to uncover the stories of Black Civil War veterans.

LECTURE: Introducing the 10 Million Names Project

August 24, 2023

There are at least 44 million descendants of enslaved African Americans alive today, but slavery separated families, erased names, and obscured facts. The 10 Million Names Project, recently launched by American Ancestors and its partners, aims to restore their family stories to history.

LECTURE: Researching Black Patriots and Loyalists During the Revolutionary Era

July 6, 2023

Researcher Danielle Rose will provide a brief history of Black soldiers during the Revolutionary War and their motivations for joining either side, and discuss strategies for researching the stories of Black soldiers during the Revolution.

AUTHOR EVENT: Chad L. Williams with The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the First World War

May 8, 2023

Hear about the dramatic story of W. E. B. Du Bois's reckoning with the betrayal of Black soldiers during World War I—and gain a new understanding of that era, and of one of the great twentieth-century writers.

AUTHOR EVENT: David Waldstreicher with The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet's Journeys Through American Slavery and Independence

March 27, 2023

Hear about historian David Waldstreicher's new biography of the celebrated poet Phillis Wheatley, whose extraordinary work set African American literature at the heart of the American Revolution.

AUTHOR EVENT: Matthew F. Delmont with Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

February 2, 2023

Join civil rights expert Matthew Delmont for a discussion of his new work, which reveals the long-overlooked experiences of Black soldiers during World War II.

AUTHOR EVENT: Kerri K. Greenidge with The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family

November 14, 2022

Join author Kerri Greenridge in-person or online, as she reveals the history of legendary abolitionists Sarah and Angeline Grimke and their lesser-known Black family members.

AUTHOR EVENT: Annette Gordon-Reed with On Juneteenth

June 20, 2022

Combining her own scholarship with personal and intimate reflection, Annette Gordon-Reed's new work On Juneteenth explores the history and complex public significance of this national holiday.

LECTURE: Researching Enslaved Ancestors

June 16, 2022

Uncovering enslaved ancestors prior to the end of slavery in 1870 can prove challenging. This session will dive deep into creating a research strategy and organizing records found.

LECTURE: Researching African American Ancestors in New England

February 17, 2022

This online lecture will highlight useful collections for researching African American ancestors including court and account records, local histories, original manuscripts, rare documents, and more.

LECTURE: Researching the Deep South

June 10, 2021

Learn about researching your ancestors from South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and get tips and solutions for getting ahead.

AUTHOR EVENT: Skip Finley with Whaling Captains of Color: America's First Meritocracy

May 25, 2021

The history of whaling as an industry has been well-told in books, but few have shared the stories of whaling’s leaders of color, including those who joined the whaling industry as an alternative to life on the mainland and, especially, slavery.

LECTURE: Black Families of Revolutionary-Era Plymouth, MA

February 25, 2021

Plymouth’s Mayflower families have been well-studied, but the biographies of the Black men, women, and children who were enslaved by those families and their descendants are vastly under-represented in historical research.

AUTHOR EVENT: Anna Malaika Tubbs with The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

February 23, 2021

In this groundbreaking and essential debut work, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the stories of the women who raised and shaped three remarkable, heroic Americans: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

LECTURE: Jewish and African American Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed

December 1, 2020

Why do Americans tend to separate their dead along communal lines rooted in faith, race, ethnicity, or social standing? Join us for a presentation by Dr. Kami Fletcher and Dr. Allan Amanik, editors of the anthology Till Death do us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed (University Press of Mississippi/Jackson, 2020).

AUTHOR EVENT: Tamara Payne with The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

November 5, 2020

This comprehensive and historic biography paints an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, setting him against the larger backdrop of American history.

AUTHOR EVENT: E. Dolores Johnson with Say I’m Dead : A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets and Love

August 25, 2020

Say I’m Dead unwinds the secrets and explores the experiences of a mixed race family in 20th century America.

AUTHOR EVENT: Gretchen Sorin with Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

August 11, 2020

Author Gretchen Sorin and Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Deputy Director of the The National Museum of African American History and Culture discuss Sorin’s new book and upcoming PBS documentary by Ric Burns, “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights.”