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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Why Oral History Does Matter
In Response To: Why Oral History Does Matter ()

Louis,

I read Paul Heinegg's "personal" story for his explanation as to why he was not dependent on oral history, which he posted at the Harris in Henry and Patrick County, Virginia thread awhile back, but I don't think Heinegg's posting proves your point. He verified that his grandfather's ruminations about being a veterinarian were in fact false. I don't believe Heinegg was disavowing the oral history of individuals who had authenticated their oral history. I also note that Art Thomas wrote in reply to your post to the Indian Slave Trade and the Generic Negro in November of 2008, that he had "yet some facts to prove/disprove the oral history." This is the very lesson that I believe many of the posters and Heinegg have been trying to convey: do the research and don't just rely on oral histories as that is the work of a true genealogist/family researcher.

Many of the posters, including Art Thomas and Deloris who has replied to this post, and Heinegg are in my estimation excellent researchers. They are certainly much more adept than I am, however, I caution you to disregard any notion you may have, that others will dismiss your oral histories if you have the facts, gleaned from valid research, to prove them.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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