The Birmingham African American Genealogy Study Group (BAAGSG), a special interest group of the Birmingham Genealogical Society, meets the second Sunday of each month (ex. May and November) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are welcome!
Next meeting: Sunday, August 8, 2010, 3 p.m.
Speaker: Roland Barksdale-Hall, MLS, MLLS, MA
Program Topic: Tracing Slave Ancestors
Details: Josephine Martin (205-901-6387) or contact us via e-mail
Mr. Barksdale-Hall has performed his one-person act, “Wilson’s Ashes,” based upon the life of his enslaved ancestor across the country. He is president of Jah Kente International, Washington, DC. He is founder of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) and past executive director, has been researching the black family for more than 25 years.
Barksdale-Hall was a guest expert in Safe Harbor: the Underground Railroad and consulted for Donna Beasley’s book, Family Pride (Macmillan 1997). Chosen by the American Library Association as a top ten resource for Black History Month, the documentary was produced by Mainstreet Media and aired on PBS. He has taught history at Butler County Community College and is the author of African Americans in Mercer County (Arcadia Books, 2009). He is a national interactive storyteller and author of the children’s picture book Under African Skies (Nefu Books, 2010). He has also been interviewed on the news and many local broadcasts. He recently appeared on WKBN TV-27 First News Interview along with illustrator Bill Murray about his children’s picture book (for interview, visit: http://www.wkbn.com/content/features/interviews/story/First-News-this-Morning-Under-African-Skies/8oWgjHZb90eNkt-T0e0vuw.cspx). The “Stories by Brother Barksdale” Series promote valuable life lessons.
Barksdale-Hall’s book, African-American Family’s Guide to Tracing Our Roots: Healing, Understanding & Restoring Our Families (Amber Books, 2005) was selected for the National Archives’ Ethnic Heritage Bibliography and is now in its second printing. His chapters, “The Black Family,” “Slave Status and Inheritance,” “Entrepreneurs: Nineteenth Century,” “Black Cartoonists,” and “Daisy Lampkin” are in the Encyclopedia of African American History (Oxford University Press, 2009). His chapter on esteemed Birmingham inventor and former slave, “Andrew Jackson Beard” is in The African American National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2008). His chapter, “Juneteenth” appears in Africa and the Americas (ABC-CLIO, 2008).
Barksdale-Hall has received many honors including Phi Alpha Theta National Honor Society, Lifetime Membership, and National History Award both from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Pan African Studies, Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and is the past editor of The Black Caucus of the American Library Association Newsletter. He is former vice president of The Buckeye Review. In 2009 he received the Blue, Gold and Black: Color of Achievement Award from the University of Pittsburgh for his research and efforts documenting the first African American graduate, which corrected the University’s official history.
At the National Conference of African American Librarian Mr. Barksdale-Hall also will present and be signing his children’s picture book Under African Skies at the Birmingham Convention Center on Friday, August 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.