Saturday, October 31, 2009

Looking Good! Profiling Our Banquet Outfits

Everyone attending the banquet of the International Black Genealogy Summit looked so beautiful, whether sporting African attire or other beautifully styled outfits. Here, these three ladies and I pose to profile our gorgeous banquet outfits.

Angela in African Attire

Angela Walton-Raji of African Roots Podcast sported her African attire at the banquet of the International Black Genealogy Summit. Isn't she lovely!

African Queen

After weeks of planning my African attire to wear to the banquet of the International Black Genealogy Summit, the day finally arrived for me to wear the outfit and all of the accessories I choose.

“I want to look like royalty,” I told family and friends.

I ordered the caftan from Dupsies, an African attire vendor I discovered through YouTube. The outfit was ordered on a Wednesday and arrived two days later. The outfit came with a matching head wrap, but after my niece hooked me up with a gorgeous hairdo, I decided not to wrap my head. Read more about my hairdo.

Posing to show off my jewelry.

Posing with online friends, Sharon and Jennifer

The smile says it all!

Modeling my outfit at work with matching head wrap.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy, Am I

I woke up this morning, my body aching with the stress of this week’s work (job, getting packed and travelling, and with the today’s “Power of Blogging” workshop at the International Black Genealogy Summit. “Happy, Am I,” I thought as I lay in bed procrastinating about rising up to tackle the morning’s numerous tasks.

“Happy, Am I” was a song made famous by the Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux (1884-1968) beginning in the 1920s. He is remembered by my maternal grandmother and others as the “Happy, Am I,” preacher. This peppy, hand- clapping and feet-tapping, theme song opened up his radio broadcast and television show and was especially inspirational to listeners during The Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Read more about how I discovered Elder Michaux

After getting out of bed, I watched the video below and clapped and moved to the beat in order to wake up my tired body.

All morning, I have meditated on the “Happy, Am I” and the memory of Elder Michaux. I also began making a list of some things that I am Happy about today.

“Happy, Am I”

  • For overcoming obstacles that occurred earlier in the week which threatened to prevent my attendance at this conference and conducting the Blogging workshop.

  • For the opportunity to share my knowledge of blogging with attendees of the conference.

  • For being in the company, for a few days, of enthusiastic and “OVERLY HAPPY” genealogists.

  • And most of all, that by 2:00 p.m. today, I can exhale when my presentation is over and enjoy the remainder of the conference.
  • Good Food, Good Fellowship

    Conference attendees of the International Black Genealogy Summit enjoyed an evening reception with good food and lots of fellowship. It was quite exciting for me to meet several Afrigeneaschatters, whom I’ve gotten too know online for about two years. Chatter and chewing filled the reception room last night and a GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!

    A Special “Do” for a Special Occasion

    Every once in a while I get a special hairdo for a special occasion. It might be a permed style, texturized, a fashionable wig, or braid style. It was a last minute decision, but I decided on a braided hairdo and asked my oldest niece to do it before I left for the International Black Genealogy Summit on Thursday morning.

    I'm all smiles as I sported my new hairdo at work on Wednesday and my makeup which was done by a coworker.

    She does not work as a hair stylist/braider by profession, but definitely has the natural gift to do such a job. She has never even attended school or training to do hair, but does it for our female family members and some of her close friends.

    After a little over two hours under her creative fingers, my niece transformed my hair into this beautiful style which I love and for which I have received numerous complements since this Wednesday.

    Actor and Comedian Chris Rock has already revealed many black hair secrets in his recent film, Bad Hair. However, I won’t reveal the details of how my niece transformed my hair. Neither will I post a “Before” picture which will both scare you and amuse you. (Ha, Ha).


    “My niece braided my hair,” I told a friend during a phone conversation on Wednesday night. I had not yet revealed to her the details about the hair style.

    “Is it your natural hair?” my friend asked. We have known each other about ten years so she knows my hair history.

    “It’s on my head,” I told her, “and I’ll leave it at that.”

    We both chuckled and then I described the details of the hair style.

    Here I am on Thursday morning at the Atlanta airport seriously tuning up my presentation.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Burning the Midnight Oil

    Conference attendees of the International Black Genealogy Summit are taking advantage of the extended hours (until midnight) of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Room. Although I would love to do the same, my evening will be better spent getting ready for my presentation that I will conduct tomorrow on “The Power of Blogging.” I did visit the library this evening to check out the room where I will be presenting. While there, I took several photos as seen below.

    The Day Has Finally Arrived!

    The big day has finally arrived and the International Black Genealogy Summit has begun. I arrived to town about 1:30 p.m. Many preconference activities began earlier today including an Author's book signing which was held in the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Room as seen below.

    Genealogist and Author, Tony Burroughs

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Five Mo’ Days and Counting!

    In five mo’ days, the International Black Genealogy Summit will begin and I’M SO EXITED THAT I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT! I have been planning to attend this conference since late 2008 and now it will occur in just a few days. I’ve been doing the countdown for a few days and either calling friends or saying to coworkers, ___ mo’ days. Most of them say “_____ more days?”

    “No,” I correct them. “I said ___ mo’ days.”

    These conversations always end in laughter.

    I am looking forward to so many things at this conference such as:
    1. Presenting a workshop on “The Power of Blogging.”
    2. Meeting many genealogists from around the world.
    3. Meeting online genealogist face-to-face.
    4. Browsing the vendor tables and discovering new genealogy books and other wares.
    5. Attending numerous workshops and learning new techniques to further my research.
    6. Breaking bread with other genealogists at the Luncheon and Banquet. Conversations over food is always a good thing!
    7. Researching at the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Room.
    Research Plans
    At the Allen County Public Library, I plan to research (1) Goodwyn Hunt and (2) Allen Pair, both who lived in Greensville County, VA. I do not know if I am kin to either of these men, however, I discovered both of them through research of my Greensville county family and I have found their lives and migrations interesting. I discovered the places where they migrated through either a census book index (Goodwyn Hunt) or online census index search (Allen Pair)

    Goodwyn Hunt
    Goodwyn Hunt was a free person of color born about 1797 in Virginia. He and several other Greensville County free persons of color, migrated to the Carthage area of Rush County, Indiana during the 1830s.

    Allen Pair
    Allen Pair was born around 1843. He was listed on the slave inventory in the estate of Howell Pair of Greenville County, VA In 1864. Allen Pair married Rebecca Jones on November 24, 1866 in Greensville County, VA. By 1880, he had moved to Leavenworth, Kansas.

    Tweaking Presentation and Planning Wardrobe
    I have spent the last few weeks tweaking my presentation and planning my conference wardrobe.

    Earlier this month I did a dry run of the presentation for my local genealogy society. I’m glad that I did this because it helped me to see areas for improvement in the presentation.

    African attire is encouraged to wear to the banquet and I have gone all out for this one. About a week ago, I ordered an African outfit online and it arrived in the mail two days later. Since its arrival, I have spent a lot of time buying accessories. I’ve consulted with my coworkers and some close friends on selecting just the right accessories and they are just as excited as me. I’m excited about my African Attire debut at the banquet next Friday night. I’ll share photos with my blog audience on next Saturday.

    Five mo’ day and counting!

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    40 Best Genealogy Blogs

    I am honored to be nominated for the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs sponsored by the Family Tree Magazine. A list of the winners will appear in the May 2010 issue of the magazine.

    Please cast your vote for my blog (Find Your Folks listed in Category #10 PERSONAL/FAMILY) as well as other wonderful genealogy blogs from the 10 categories. In each category, choose the number of blogs specified in the question (you'll get an error if you choose too many).

    Thanks for your Vote!

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Bus Excursion - Annual Baptismal Services

    Poster advertising bus trip of annual baptismal service of the Gospel Spreading Church. This church organization was founded by Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux in 1919. This poster was part of artifacts commemorating the 90th anniversary of The Gospel Spreading Church.

    Photo taken by Professor Dru, September 13, 2009
    Gospel Spreading Church, Newport News, VA

    See photo and read about Baptisms by Elder Michaux in Potomoc River.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    How to Tie An African Head Wrap

    I am busy preparing to attend the International Black Genealogy Summit later this month where I will be presenting a workshop entitled “The Power of Blogging.” Besides fine tuning my presentation, I am working on plans for the trip such as choosing the workshops I want to attend and my wardrobe for the conference. I noticed on the program that wearing African attire is recommended for two events (a banquet and a luncheon). It will be fun to participate in the wearing of ethnic garb so I have been researching the Internet to get ideas for possible African outfits which might either be a caftan, skirt set, or pants set along with an African scarf or head wrap.

    Part of my Internet research included searching for videos which demonstrated ways to tie an African head wrap or gele. This video is sponsored by Dupsies, a vendor of African styled clothing, jewelry, and other products.

    Below are three videos demonstrating three different ways to tie an African head wrap. My preference is style #2, but I’ll try all three to determine which one looks best on me.

    How to tie your African Head Wrap, Part 1

    How to Tie an African Head Wrap, Part 2

    How to Tie an African Head Wrap, Part 3

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Michelle Obama's Maternal Slavery Roots

    The New York Times traced first lady Michelle Obama's five generation path from slavery to the White House. Harry Smith of CBS interviewed Megan Smoleyak, the genealogist who researched Mrs. Obama’s maternal ancestry.

    Kudos to Megan Smoleyak for her patience and diligence in uncovering this invaluable information.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Power of Blogging Workshop

    I will be presenting a workshop entitled "The Power of Blogging" at the meeting of the Hampton Roads Afro American and Historical Genealogy Society.

    DATE: Thursday, October 8, 2009

    TIME: 7:00 P.M.

    PLACE: Hampton, VA Public Library, 4207 Victoria Blvd., Hampton, VA 23669, (757) 727-1154

    WORKSHOP SUMMARY: Workshop will demonstrate the basics of blogging, ranging from the technical aspects of blog creation, publishing and upkeep, to ways to steer traffic to a blog.

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    I'm a YouTuber Now!

    I am pleased to announce the creation of the Professor Dru YouTube Channel. I am a YouTube fan and use it on a daily basis to watch videos for education and entertainment. It is a thrill for me to be able to embed the code of my own video into a blog.
    I look forward to utilizing this technology site as a forum to showcase my video creations.